Expertise, Online Marketing, Orthodontic Marketing

Key Design Elements Essential for Mobile First

In 2022, you’re probably aware that a lot of your website visitors are using mobile devices to find and access your website. Ideally, your orthodontic website is easy for users on mobile devices to find, navigate through and take action.

How do you ensure that your orthodontic website is optimized for mobile search? Here’s what it takes to build a mobile-first website design with 4 key tips to attract users on any device.

 What is a mobile-first approach?

Mobile website accessibility is known by a few buzz words, like mobile-responsive (or just responsive), mobile-friendly, or using a mobile-first approach.

A mobile-first approach simply means that when your website is being designed the designers are first considering how the website will be used on a mobile device and then expanding that design into how it will appear on a desktop device.

Much of your online traffic is most likely omni-channel, meaning users will visit your website on both their mobile devices and their desktop computers (and expect a good experience for both). Often a user’s first, and sometimes only, visit is on their phone. A mobile-first approach ensures that even if the user only ever visits your site on mobile they still have a positive user experience and are able to access all of the information they need.

There are generally two types of users accessing your mobile site: those looking to take action and those looking for more information. A user looking to take action knows what they need. Most likely a phone number, directions, or to request an appointment. A user looking for more information will work through some pages of your site before deciding if they’re ready to take action.

Knowing what elements comprise a mobile-first website approach will help you to feel confident that your website caters to both types of users.

You can test your current website by opening it on your phone and trying to think like a user who has never visited your site before. Can you find the “request an appointment” button right away? What about the phone number or address? If those aren’t what you’re looking for, what is the website telling you is the next step that you should take?

The last thing you want is a confusing website that doesn’t have a clear path directing toward a call-to-action.

Why is mobile-first design necessary?

  • In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices generated 54.8 percent of global website traffic. (Statista, 2021)
  • 50% of smartphone users are more likely to use a company or brand’s mobile site when browsing or shopping on a smartphone because they don’t want to download an app. (Google/Ipsos, 2019)

Prospective patients are using their mobile devices to find your practice. If your website isn’t meeting their preferences, they’ll return to Google to find a website that is meeting their needs.

Today, the average human’s attention span is just 8.25 seconds, which is 4.25 seconds less than in 2000. As your users’ attention span decreases, it’s important that you do what it takes to secure them.

Here are 4 things you can do to create a mobile-first website:

  • Establish a clear funnel through design.

The goal is to funnel users from Google to your website’s home page and to a Call to Action (CTA) that applies to them. Whether the CTA is to request a free exam, learn more about your practice or explore your treatment options, you want the design to intuitively guide users toward an action.

Guiding the user toward the next step can be done through design elements and copywriting. For instance, a clearly visible green button that says “Call” will make it easy for a user to click and immediately be connected on their phone. Another button that says “Request an Appointment” that leads to a mobile-friendly form will also do the trick. Try setting a timer and see how quickly you can make it from the homepage of your website to either the phone number or request appointment form. Or, better yet, ask a friend or family member who is similar to your patient demographic to try.

According to a study by Google, 61% of mobile users call a business when they’re in the purchase phase of the buying cycle. A mobile-first website design ensures that your practice’s contact information is easy to find and use. There should be no question as to where your practice is located and how to reach your practice.

CTAs should be obvious, persuasive, and used wisely. If you give someone too many options they are more apt to not choose any of them, or at least not the one you actually want them to. Think about how many times you pick up your phone to do something and accidentally end up in another app or notification having completely forgotten why you picked up your phone in the first place – by nature humans are easily distracted!

What is the one thing you really want a prospective patient to do? Schedule an appointment. Your clearest CTA’s on mobile should be to do just that.

If the user isn’t ready to take action yet, then they can be funneled into the next pathway to learn more information. These CTA’s can be either buttons or in-text hyperlinks for things like “Learn more about our services” or “Meet our doctors” – again, be careful not to have too many conflicting prompts.

  • Make sure it’s fast enough not to frustrate your user 

A mobile-first website prioritizes the users’ experience on their mobile devices. Site speed is a key factor that impacts the mobile experience.

Ideally, your website loads within 2 seconds to prevent users from bouncing off your site and onto a competitor’s site with a faster loading speed. There are a few key features that impact site speed, including image size, server speed, plugins and more. All factors of your website should be optimized to load quickly on mobile searches – every time.

  • Consider the experience of all types of users 

Your website’s primary purpose should be to encourage prospective patients to schedule an appointment, but you can’t forget there are other people who will be accessing your site.

If your website acts as a hub for important information like new patient forms or payment portals, consider how easy it is for your patients to find this information. You can use Google Analytics to gather pertinent information like how many repeat users vs. new users visit your site each month, how long do they spend on your site, and what pages do they visit.

Last but certainly not least, consider the accessibility of your website to those with disabilities. Ensuring your website is ADA compliant on desktop and mobile devices is absolutely critical. Is the text size large enough to read? Are the buttons a contrasting color and large enough to click on a small screen? Taking the time to ensure that every visitor has a positive experience on your website will not only leave you with happy patients but decrease your bounce rate and improve time spent  on your website (both key factors of improving your search ranking).

  • Partner with an experienced orthodontic marketing agency.

The easiest way to create a mobile-first website and ensure that it covers all the bases is parenting with an experienced orthodontic marketing agency (like us!)

At eNox Media, we create mobile-first websites with designs that bring your brand to life and attract new patients on any device. We’ve been partnering with orthodontists since 2001 and we continue to evolve our strategies to maintain the most modern approach.

Want to see how your current website is performing on mobile? Contact us for a free website audit today!

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Secure more leads through your website. Let’s get started with a complimentary website audit.

mobile first approach website graphic