It may seem like yesterday’s news to say that anyone with a website should be optimized for mobile phones and tablets. But healthcare providers aren’t exactly the fastest adopters. Here are some stats and facts to help you build the case and make it happen now.

1.) 49% of U.S. hospitals do not have mobile friendly websites.

That means that those who do have mobile friendly sites are winning more market share simply by being available on a variety of devices. Those who are going to the extra mile to truly understand what their users want are even further ahead of the game.

What do users want?

2.) 59% of Internet users search for health information online according to Pew research

Consumers research medical conditions, treatments and most importantly, healthcare providers. Marketers need content strategies and search optimization to attract and engage these consumers. Branded content with credible sources go far to fulfill those requirements. If you’re not promoting your expertise, showcasing advanced treatments and profiling satisfied patients, you can bet the ranking websites like Healthgrades, and Angie’s list are (that’s right, Angie’s list has expanded into health). Of course Medicare.gov is also a searchable site that reveals rankings by HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems).

Better if you are in control and managing the conversation. And better if you make the experience easy and practical…

Medical Marketers must optimize for mobile

3.) 44% of patients who research hospitals on a mobile device scheduled an appointment

According to Google’s Digital Journey to Wellness research report, scheduling appointments easily online is a sought after feature. If your local yoga studio has an online scheduler, it shouldn’t take an IT village to make it happen on a provider’s site. At the very least, don’t make visitors search for the basics such as phone numbers, street addresses and maps. Downloadable patient information packets and intake forms will save time and likely provide you with more legible patient forms.

Google’s overhauled search algorithm, Hummingbird, further underscores the importance of mobile in our digital world. It went into effect a little over a year and its ability to understand so called long-tailed search queries, meaning spoken language, was created in response to how people search on their mobile devices – verbally asking questions rather than typing them into search boxes. 

4.) Mobile will rule in 2015 and beyond

A report by Morgan Stanley indicates that mobile will soon outpace the use of desktops. Much of it has to do with faster, broader data delivery (3G data); growth in the type of Wi-Fi enabled devices (laptops, tablets, phones, games, integrated systems in your car) and the dropping prices of such devices. Technological innovations also predominate in the mobile world – leaving development for desktops trailing.

5.) The average iPhone user only spends 45% of his on-device time making voice calls.

Whether you’re an Apple fan or not, phones are clearly used for more than just talk. Everyone, even your grandmother, has a mobile phone now. While demographics still show that mobile adopters skew toward a younger demographic, the gap is closing. Eighty-three percent of people aged 18-29 have smart phones, and fully 49 percent of people 50-64 years of age have smart phones.

Having worked for nearly 20 years with executive level medical marketers in many healthcare niches, we’ve seen the valuable difference it makes when leaders embrace and move forward with changes strategically. Waiting to optimize for mobile is not option. If you find yourself a bit behind or overwhelmed, know it’s not too late. But every passing day makes the challenge greater.

Download our free whitepaper to learn more about the five things you must be doing now.

It just might help you make more purposeful, research-based decisions for your digital marketing plan.

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