Last updated on January 24th, 2018 at 03:25 am
It’s no secret that we are now at a point where we constantly connect to the world using devices in our back pockets. As consumers, when we’re searching for local services, we are more likely to use our phones versus a desktop computer. Your current and prospective patients are no different. This change in consumer behavior has made mobile friendliness of dental website a top priority for search engines, particularly Google.
Over the years Google has made changes to their search results algorithm to push small to medium businesses (SMBs) into adopting mobile-friendly websites. That comes as no surprise since mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic back in 2014. In August of 2015, Google updated their algorithm (known as Mobilegeddon) so mobile-friendly websites were more likely to rank higher than non-mobile friendly websites.
Despite search behavior moving to mobile devices, many SMBs (including dental practices) have yet to prioritize mobile-friendliness of their website. Industry thought-leaders believe that “47.3% of SMBs do not have mobile-ready sites.” Meanwhile, nearly half of non-mobile-friendly web pages lost ranking after Google’s Mobilegeddon update.
Fast-forward to the present, it’s no longer enough to just have a mobile-friendly dental website – you now need a fast, mobile-friendly site.
Below are five reasons why:
1. Consumers Want Speed
They don’t just want it, they demand it. More often than not, potential patients are researching dental services like yours while multitasking. This means your dental website has to get their attention in a fraction of a second because they’re attention is likely focused elsewhere. Dental websites that take longer than three seconds to load are more likely to be abandoned by potential patients.
2. Google is Making Speed a Ranking Factor
Google wants to create the best search experience for users by giving them what they want. If searchers demand faster load times, it’s only logical that Google would write that into their ranking algorithm to incentivize SMBs like dental practices to make it a priority.
A year after Mobilegeddon and several research studies later, experts found that that there is a strong correlation between website load times and rankings. Google announced shortly after that it does, in fact, favor faster websites.
3. Google Sets the Standard
With over 60% of the market share, Google’s competitive advantage continues to be its knowledge of their consumer market. Therefore, they will also do whatever they can to enhance the searcher’s experience by giving them what they want beyond their expectations. Although some studies suggest that users are less likely to abandon a website when load times are shorter than three seconds, Google’s idea of an optimal load time is actually less than one second.
4. Other Platforms Are Embracing Faster Mobile Website Speed Too
Did you know that Facebook recently introduced a new way to upload content so links from Facebook show up quickly on mobile devices? It’s true! They’re called instant articles because the software they are built on loads content in under a second when opened on a mobile device.
5. Local Business’ Websites are Affected by Consumer Expectations
Potential patients’ expectations of their mobile online experience with your website will change based on their experience with other websites. As mobile becomes exponentially more popular, users will come to expect a mobile-friendly website from all businesses. That means that dental practices like yours have to adapt now by prioritizing your website for a mobile-friendly experience.
Tips to improve mobile site speed:
- Avoid overloading your page with video or images
- Rework copy on pages so less is necessary, without losing important keywords for SEO
- Test your mobile site speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool
- Update your current dental website design to a responsive design, now available for free to ProSites Members.