It’s been almost a year since we’ve last written about mobile search. Since 2013 will come to a close in just a few short months, we thought it might be beneficial to revisit how mobile search is influencing the way people search for dental services.
After brushing up on some of the latest stats about mobile search and mobile use in 2013, we came to one very big conclusion. Mobile search is not influencing the way people search for local goods and services; it is absolutely revolutionizing the way people search for goods and searches online. Not only are your potential patients using their mobile devices to look for your services more and more, Google has completely overhauled their search algorithm, (ie – the method it uses to choose which websites to display for a search) to accommodate the increased use of voice search with mobile devices. You can read more about the new Google Hummingbird update and how it will affect dental websites here.
Mobile search is only going to continue to grow; there is no doubt about that. Here are five eye-opening stats and what they will mean for dental practices wanting to gain a larger share of patients searching online.
Five Incredible Mobile Stats
Stat #1 – “Over 1.2 billion people are accessing the web via their mobile devices.” – Mobify.com, 2013
Yes, you read that right, that’s BILLION, not million. For many reasons (ease of use, immediate availability, ability to search on the go, among others); people are choosing to access the information they need in the palm of their hand rather than sitting at a desk. This includes searching for a dentist for themselves and/or their family.
Stat #2 – “No one screen size has more than 20% of the market share.” – Mobify Research and Development, 2013
This stat is a little complicated so; let’s break it down. Just a few short years ago, most people searching online for goods and services went straight to their laptop or desktop computer to find what they needed. But, with the invention and subsequent overwhelming adoption of iPhones, Androids, iPads and other tablets, many people are choosing to look for what they need on mobile devices. So, going back to our statistic, no one screen size (ie – desktop, tablet or smart phone) is used more than 20% of the time. This statistic helps support the notion that it is absolutely imperative for dentists to have a practice website that displays correctly on any device a potential patient chooses to view their website on.
Want an easy solution? Dentists can build a website with a responsive design. We wrote about it here. And here. A website built with a responsive design will automatically adapt to a smart phone, tablet or desktop screen, without the hassle of creating three separate websites.
Stat #3 – “95% of smart phone users have searched for local information.” – Google, 2013
In most cases, people want a dentist who is right up the street or at the very least, in the same suburb or area of the city they live in. So, when they are searching online for a general dentist, they are usually only interested in finding a local dentist and disregard any listings that may be too far from their neighborhood. So, how can you make sure your practice website is showing up for the 95% of people who are using their phones to search for local information? With a marketing strategy called, “Local SEO.”
Some dentists believe that if they are following the current, general rules of search engine optimization (SEO), their practice website will show up for people searching for a local dentist in their area. The truth is…it may not and probably won’t. The wide-sweeping SEO strategy for national companies or brands like Amazon.com or Target may work because they have customers everywhere, but won’t work for the local dentist. There are very specific things that you must do for your practice website to show up in local searches, like making sure your address, practice name and correct website URL are listed and optimized in certain directories, among other marketing tactics. So, with the exception of an oral surgeon or a dentist who is widely known to specialize in specific, complicated procedures and might have patients searching for him or her from many areas, local SEO should be a high priority for most dental websites.
Stat #4 – “Mobile to overtake fixed Internet use by 2014.” – Smart Insights, 2013
This bold claim was predicted back in 2008, but it becomes even more glaring to online marketers and the websites they serve since 2014 will be here soon. And by “soon,” we mean in a couple months. This statistic is one more reason why dentists should start assuming than a good majority of their patients are finding their website on a smart phone or tablet, and making sure their website displays beautifully on all devices.
Stat #5 – “There are more mobile phones in the world than toothbrushes.” – Textmagic.com, 2013
We knew this stat would be compelling to dentists, for obvious reasons. While it seems unbelievable or even a little “tongue-in-cheek,” it’s true. According to 2013 research, of the 7 billion people who live on earth, 4.8 billion people have a mobile phone and 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. Clearly, the boom of mobile use isn’t slowing down anytime soon and we predict it will just continue to grow and affect online search.
Our online marketing team specializes in creating responsive dental websites that are built to show up beautifully on all devices and screens. To find out if your website is ready for mobile search, contact our marketing team for a complimentary Online Visibility and Competitive Analysis today.