Dental Websites That 'Play Nice' with Mobile Devices Given Priority, Says AIM Dental Marketing President and Google Webmaster Authority

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It is now accepted as axiomatic that a website is crucial to the sustained growth of any dental practice. AIM Dental Marketing President comments on Google's recent update concerning the preferential treatment of mobile-friendly websites.

AIM Dental Marketing
The main benefit of a mobile-optimized site is delivering a great experience to those accessing the website from a mobile device.

Since mid-2013, the majority of web searches have originated from a mobile device. That percentage continues to increase.

The Problem with Being 'Traditional'
A traditional website is usually designed for viewing from a desktop computer. When viewed on a mobile device, the user experience is lacking in a number of important respects. Buttons and text are smaller, navigating the site involves pinching and zooming the screen, while some elements might not work at all.    

Being Mobile Unfriendly Can Be a Costly Online Dental Marketing Mistake.
According to information pulled from a February 27, 2015 YouTube video posted by Google Webmaster Spokesman, John Mueller:

  • 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site they had trouble using
  • 40% said they'd visit a competitors site instead

    and

  • 55% would give up caffeine to keep their phone!

A mobile-optimized site helps convert mobile traffic into dental patients with special features like Click-to-Call, Mobile Maps with Directions, Request and Appointment, and other 'thumb friendly' features that provide information and directions with a single click, all of which contribute to an effective dental website marketing strategy.

"The main benefit of a mobile-optimized site is delivering a great experience to those accessing the website from a mobile device," says Daniel A. 'Danny' Bobrow, MBA, president of AIM Dental Marketing, whose firm specializes in cost effective online dental marketing.

As of 2014 over 70 million Americans browsed websites from their mobile device each month. These users expect quick and easy access to the information they seek.

Optimal viewing from a mobile device means the page width of the site being viewed must match that of the device being used. This is because such users are averse to 'swiping' or enlarging a page section by using their thumb and index finger. "That's old school," says Bobrow.

State of the Art in Mobile Dental Website Design Marches On
There are currently three platforms considered to be mobile friendly. The first, and oldest, is called separate mobile design; as its name implies, this is a completely separate website, typically designed to remain as true to the original desktop design as possible. As recently as 2013, this was the best one could expect in terms of accommodating the needs of mobile users. A properly configured separate mobile design functions equally well on all modern smart phones including iPhone, Android, most Blackberry devices, and Windows Mobile. A unique URL (website address) is set up so that, when one enters the address of the desktop website, the user is seamlessly redirected to the separate mobile website.

The next, most recently developed, technology is termed dynamic serving design, whereby the content presented to the user is a function of the device being used. While beneficial in certain industries and applications, the price to value tradeoff for dental websites is questionable.

The third type of mobile friendly option is termed responsive design. A responsive design renders the website for optimal viewing by the device being used to view it, and does not require a redirect.

In the following YouTube video, released in late February 2015, Google Webmaster Spokesman, John Mueller, states that Google will give preferential search engine rankings for those sites that are mobile ready.

Dental Websites Pay Heed To Google Webmaster

This means owners of such sites may see a jump in rankings simply by virtue of having a separate mobile, dynamic, or responsive website.

While Being Mobile Friendly Levels The SEO Playing Field, It Pays To Be 'Responsive'
While, according to Mueller, Google does not currently 'discriminate' that is, grant preferential consideration, to one type over another, from a user standpoint, a responsive design is superior.

"Not only is responsive website design more esthetically pleasing to the user, it also offers superior function, a notable example of which, is the fact that web forms may not work properly on a mobile design platform. Web forms are a critically important way of connecting with prospective patients who are not yet ready to call the office to schedule an appointment (for more on the importance of web forms read AIM Dental Marketing president Daniel Bobrow's Article on Tire Kickers and Trigger Pullers). This is one important reason a responsive website is now a superior alternative to a separate mobile design in that it helps increase that all important phenomenon known as Conversion," concludes Bobrow.

Readers may learn more by watching our video, Responsive Website for Your Dental Practice.

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Daniel Bobrow
@AIM_Marketing
since: 07/2011
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