In recent years, many GP practices have taken their services online. This proved to be crucial during the pandemic, allowing patients to gain access to healthcare support and assistance from the comfort of their own homes.
There are many benefits associated with the digitisation of these services; from ease of access to lower administrative costs – a great practice website means that your GP team can spend less time answering phones or responding to emails, and more time focusing on patient care.
This means that you should work on developing a website that is as user-friendly as possible. Often, this means ensuring it can be accessed from a variety of devices, such as mobile phones.
Why should my GP website be mobile optimised?
There are many reasons why your GP website should be mobile-optimised, especially when you consider the fact that a recent study found that “almost a third of the 2,873 live NHS websites had “at least one notable deficit in standards “with confusing navigation or poor content.”
Analytics from nhs.uk for the first six months of 2022 show 81% of sessions were via mobile devices, with just 16% from desktop and 3% from tablet. Research from Ofcom shows that people with low digital confidence are more likely to only use a mobile to go online.Creating a highly usable and accessible GP website for patients – NHS England
As such, there are many benefits associated with ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, for example:
Most people access websites from their phones.
According to a recent study, 60% of online searches are carried out on mobile phones. As such, failing to design a mobile-friendly website will make it impossible for these users to navigate their way through your website, whether they’re trying to book an online appointment or research your opening hours. In fact, it will likely encourage them to close the tab and look elsewhere (many studies find that users will spend >5 minutes on non-optimised websites). This could also mean people who need it most are unable to gain access to your services.
By setting up a mobile-optimised website for your practice, you can also reduce the number of administrative duties your reception team must carry out as appointments can be made digitally.
Your website will look great no matter what.
When ensuring your website is mobile-optimised, this will also mean that the web design looks excellent no matter which device the user is accessing your site from. This can improve their perception of your surgery considerably. This is because it will resize all images, graphics and text according to the device in question so that users will find it easy to navigate their way through your site. A poorly designed website suggests a lack of professionalism, which could change the level of trust you share with your patients or lead to general dissatisfaction.
Your website will rank higher on search engines.
The amount of traffic your website receives depends largely upon how your site ranks on search engines such as Google. The higher your ranking, the more likely you are to connect with new/existing patients as 67% of users click on one of the first five suggestions that appear after they search for something. Whenever a user searches from a mobile device, the search engine will automatically rank mobile optimised sites higher than those without these features, though your use of SEO-friendly language will also come into play here. For example, you need to make sure your site is one of the first suggestions that appear when users search for “GP Surgery in (your area)”.
Mobile optimised designs are more accessible.
Accessibility is also a key concern for web developers, no matter what kind of site you are running. Thankfully, ensuring your phone is mobile-optimised is a great way to ensure that your content is accessible. For example, it will ensure that the font size is appropriate for the device that is being used, though it can also be edited by the user. This can come in handy for GP websites, as some patients may require a larger font, especially if they are dealing with sight loss. Accessibility is particularly important for healthcare providers who may be encouraging users to book their GP appointments online. After all, mobile optimised sites can be accessed on the go, no matter where your client/customer is based.
How can I ensure my website is mobile optimised?
There are various ways that you can ensure your website is mobile optimised. For example, you could:
- Use a CMS (Content Management System) that automatically optimises your site for different devices, by maintaining a user-friendly interface.
- Work on improving your website’s loading times, as mobile users tend to be less forgiving of slow response/loading times. This is particularly true when it comes to seeking healthcare support, as many users want (understandably) fast results.
- Ensure all images, graphics and text are appropriately sized and give users the option to change the font size if necessary.
- Consider setting up a mobile application, as this can help you to better communicate/support users.
However, if your specialities lie outside the world of web design, you may find the above steps a little daunting. But that’s where we come in!
When utilising Practice365, you can ensure that your GP practice has a website that is incredibly user-friendly, whether they are accessing your site from their phone, tablet or PC. This means that your site will feature a responsive design that not only looks great but functions perfectly. This can improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, as they can always get access to the information or support they need.
Get in touch today to find out more.