Why Physical Therapy Practices Need Mobile Friendly Websites
How does your website look on your phone?
People are spending more and more time on their phones. Whether it is checking emails, social media, websites or apps, people are constantly on their phones. An average adult spends 177 minutes per day on their smartphone (that’s just shy of 3 hours a day). Think about it this way—almost every time you look around there is at least one other person using their phone. Now, imagine that one person is visiting your practice’s website. Is the site mobile friendly? Does the design and content fit a smartphone user’s expectations? Does it load quickly and function well?
The number one test to determine if your PT practice’s website is mobile friendly is this: you shouldn’t even notice that you are on a mobile device. The website should function just as well, if not better, than its desktop counterpart.
Let’s Start with the Homepage
When you type in the URL, how long does it take the page to load? Many websites struggle to load quickly on wireless networks and mobile Wi-Fi because these sites are not designed to be mobile friendly. A professional web designer knows how to structure your website’s content so that it loads properly and fast. Similarly, a web developer will use the right code to speed up the website on mobile. Have you ever used a regular phone charging cord? Compare that to when you use a lightning charging cable—the one that charges in a fraction of the time. That difference in speed is what it means to have a website that is mobile friendly.
Next, your website’s content, specifically the text and images, needs to be designed and arranged in a way that presents well on mobile. Text and images should scale to fit the device. For example: on a desktop, the headlines and images should be considerably larger than they appear on mobile to properly adjust to the difference between the size of a laptop screen versus an iPhone screen. Images also need to be compressed to load quickly on a mobile network. The user experience when not all the text is visible and it takes 10 more seconds for the image to load is not mobile friendly. Ultimately, if you start with a mobile-friendly website, you will almost automatically have a superior quality desktop site too. It’s easier to scale up to desktop than to scale down to mobile.
Is My Practice’s Website Mobile Friendly?
Take the test with this free tool from the Google https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/.
We recommend that you test your website and then some of your competitors. How does your site compare?
A word of caution—this test doesn’t completely cover the user experience on the site. It’s specifically looking at the design and code to determine the mobile friendliness. You also want to interact with the website. Test it yourself to see if you can find contact information, articles on back pain, the address etc. Bonus points if you can click the address and open Google Maps to get directions to the location.
Important 2018 Update:
In the summer of 2018, Google announced some major changes to the way they rank search results. One of the biggest adjustments is that mobile friendly websites – or sites that load very quickly on mobile – will be given higher results than those with slow load times.
Page load times can require some technical expertise, but it boils down to making sure your images are as optimized as possible to be small in file size while still looking clean and not blurry. If you use WordPress, install an image compression plugin to help automatically. There are even plugins specifically for increasing load speeds.
If you use video as a background, consider only using that on the desktop version, maybe tablet, and using a static image on mobile instead.