It seems like everywhere you go nowadays, you see people absorbed in their smartphones. Waiting for the bus, in line at the grocery store, walking down the street – the smartphone epidemic is growing.
Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are quickly changing the way we interact both with each other and with the businesses we frequent – and it will not be ignored. In fact, 80% of today’s Internet users own smartphones – and according to Google, 82% of those smartphone users will use a search to find local businesses before ever leaving home.
So what does that mean for your veterinary practice? It means that to make sure your website’s visitors make it to your practice, you’ll first need to double-check that your website is mobile.
The trouble here is that as much as we’d like to think that desktop websites work for both platforms, that just isn’t true. This belief leads to the somewhat infamous pinch-to-zoom conundrum, which leaves your visitors carefully contorting their fingers to try to find the spot that has the information they need, bring it up to a visible level, and hope it all fits on the screen.
Your website’s visitors aren’t going to want to work to find your information. So how can you make sure that they’re finding what they need in order to bring them through your front doors? We made this handy checklist of what your users will want to see!
1. Cover the basics.
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how difficult it is to find a company’s address or phone number sometimes. Desktops generally keep this information in a few different places, including About pages and Contact pages.
The issue is that this doesn’t work for a mobile site. When people look at your website on a mobile device, chances are they’re looking for something they need pretty quickly. Otherwise, it could wait until they got home and booted up their laptops.
Make it easy for them to find your information quickly without needing to navigate through menus and tabs. Users tend to look at the bottom of the page for information first, so use your address, phone number, and hours of operation as your footer.
Bonus: to make it extra easy for pet owners to find your clinic, try setting up your phone number as click-to-call and adding driving directions or an embedded Google map.
2. Keep it simple.
Have you ever read a website or article and thought that they must be making up words? This is a pretty common occurrence, especially in marketing – but it isn’t necessarily a trend that works.
Of course you want your practice to stand out and be unique, but there are better ways to go about it. If you create new and unique terms to describe your practice’s services, you run the risk of confusing and even alienating your visitors. Avoid creating brand-specific or unconventional terms, and stick to industry terms that your clients know and understand.
3. Simplify the navigation.
Obviously, you can’t keep everything about your practice on the front page. You’re going to need other pages that your users can navigate to for additional information.
You’re also going to need an efficient way for users to navigate your mobile website. Keep the menus short and sweet – no one likes trying to hit those tiny lines with their thumbs. You could also set up your logo so that it links back to your home page.
If you have a specific call to action for your visitors – like a seasonal sale on pet products or a new service to feature – put that front and center on your home page to make sure your visitors see it.
4. Don’t sacrifice your content.
Mobile websites generally have much less real estate to work with as far as their design goes. It might be tempting to accommodate for this by reducing the amount of content on your mobile website, but don’t do it! It’s an easy shortcut that could end up annoying your visitors.
Your mobile website should be just as informative as your desktop website, so your mobile visitors can get just as thorough an experience. If there’s too much content on the front page of your website for a mobile screen, consider looking into how much of it could be moved to other pages – or use the magic of the preview with a “Read More” button!
5. Show them what others are saying.
If your clients are saying nice things about you online, displaying those testimonials on your website is a good way to give potential clients an idea of what they’ll be walking into. They can also be particularly influential for your mobile users, who are generally looking to make a quick decision.
There are a few things you can do with testimonials on your mobile website. You can put them on the front page of your site with your contact information, but if you’re running out of room, it’s perfectly fine to put them on another page. It all comes down to how you want to show off your practice!
6. Make it fast.
Did you know that 53% of people will leave a mobile page if it takes longer than three seconds to load?
Because mobile users generally browse when they have a few spare moments, like when they’re waiting in line, your website has a very short time span to make an impression – and you want it to be a good one.
What causes mobile websites to slow down? It probably won’t surprise you that the main culprit is images. On average, images account for over 60% of the information your website needs to load – so when you have big images on your desktop site, it can be a challenge to translate them to a mobile site without causing a traffic jam.
One of the easiest workarounds to this issue is to build a responsive website. This means that your website will recognize the device being used to view it, and will respond to that device – including adjusting image display and formats.Keeping your mobile site user-friendly and informative can be a huge advantage in bringing pet owners through the front doors of your practice – and these tips can help you get there!
Did you know? WebDVM websites use responsive design to look great on all devices and reach those on-the-go pet owners!