Mobile Phones vs. Full-featured Websites: Yes, the Latter Still Matters

For gadget lovers, at least, Christmas came 10 weeks early this year. On Thursday, Apple officially unveiled its latest tablets — the iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3  — just one day after Google introduced its new-and-improved Nexus 9 tablet and Nexus 6 smartphone. Coupled with the more than 10 million iPhone 6s that Apple sold during that device’s launch weekend, the growing dominance of global seems to be unstoppable.

Or is it? Just when you thought the desktop was going the way of the fax machine, it seems that actual computers are staging a comeback. According to two separate reports released last week, PC sales in the U.S. grew 4.2–4.3 % during the third quarter this year compared with the same period last year. As Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, noted:

Consumers’ attention is slowly going back to PC purchases as tablet adoption peaked with mainstream consumers. The transition from PCs to tablets has faded as tablet penetration has reached the 40­–50% range.

What’s going on? Several things actually but for the purposes of marketing your practice, three desktop-favoring points of difference come to mind: They facilitate more in-depth research; their larger screens allow for bigger images, and they’re more user-friendly when aesthetic consumers are truly ready to take the plunge.

All of which suggests that it might be a good time to give your practice website a check-up and make sure it’s giving visitors what they want:

Landing pages: If someone researching tummy tucks clicks on a link to your website, they should actually land on a page that covers tummy tucks. Landing anywhere else — on your homepage, your bio, etc. — means extra work and less confidence that they’ve come to the right place. Keep pages free of clutter, use images and video to maintain time on site and make sure the page headline matches the link text.

Reviews and testimonials: Visitors to your website aren’t just looking for information; again, they’re looking for confirmation that your site is the one out of thousands that understands their concerns. And nothing carries more weight than reviews and testimonials from previous patients. (Incorporating reviews can also boost search results.) Work with your webmaster to determine the appropriate method (widget, plugin, etc.); take steps to ensure your reviews’ authenticity, and keep them front and center for easy reading.

Contact information: According to a report by BIA Kelsey, 60% of small and medium businesses lack either a local or toll-free number on their homepage and almost 75% lack an email link. Don’t be one of them. Readily accessible contact information makes it easier for them to take the next step as will a strong call to action (e.g., Request Consultation, Watch Video, etc.) One caution: When using a contact form, keep form fields to a minimum — name, email, phone — as asking for more can be a turn-off.

Monitor your results: The good news is that there are countless analytical tools that can help you determine if your practice website is effectively converting visitors into viable leads. The bad news is that making sense of the data can seem like one of the dark arts from a Harry Potter movie. Your webmaster or marketing agency should be able to provide regular reports that demonstrate what’s working and what isn’t. If not, your practice website may not be the only thing in need of an update.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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