Do you have a website? How accessible is it to users visiting from a mobile phone or tablet?
- Finding health information on the Web: In a September 2012 study by the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of adults who reported using the Internet also reported looking for health information online in the year prior to the survey.
- Finding health information on a mobile phone: In a more recent Pew Research Center study (April 2015), 62 percent of smartphone owners reported using their phone to look up information about a health condition.
- Mobile phones and the Internet: In the same April 2015 Pew Research Center study:
- Ten percent of smartphone users had no internet access at home other than through their smartphone
- Fifteen percent had limited options beyond their smartphone
The data tells the story. A growing number of people use their mobile device to access information online, and for some, their phone is the only way to access Web-based information. Further, people are looking for information to help them make decisions about their health. So, it’s important that healthcare providers consider mobile and desktop users when providing content online.
The Vaccine Education Center at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (VEC) recently redesigned its website for this exact reason. More than 50 percent of the visits to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia's Web pages occur on a mobile phone or tablet, and that number has been growing every year.
A mobile-friendly website is important for a few reasons. First, it is easier to use for a greater number of site visitors. Second, Google gives extra credit to responsive websites, so you’re likely to rank higher in Google search results if your website is optimized for mobile users. If much of your Web traffic is the result of a keyword search in a search engine like Google or Bing, commonly known as “organic search,” moving higher in search results is critical to getting information in front of your target audience.
If you’re considering a redesign of your website, don’t forget mobile! It could be the most important thing you do to get people to your content and provide them with a positive online experience.
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