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The Omni Advantage is simple – we provide the services our clients want, nothing more and nothing less. Not every market is the same, not every medical practice, bariatric surgeon, plastic surgeon, otolaryngologist, etc. is the same. Why should online marketing companies only offer you one package without understanding your needs and desires?

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Design

Omni Medical Marketing Announces New Creative Director in Charge of Medical Website Design

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Denver, CO (PRWEB) February 19, 2013

Omni Medical Marketing is pleased to announce the addition of Simon Willems as their new Creative Director in charge of Medical Website Design and Development. With over 10 years of experience in website design and development, Simon Willems brings his skill, experience, and leadership to Omni Medical Marketing’s design team. A University of Texas – San Antonio graduate, Simon graduated with a degree in marketing, before beginning his career as a website designer. Harnessing his attention to detail and creative energy, Simon is poised to deliver clean designs and unique user experiences, while also adhering to the best practices in web standards and accessibility.

In 2011, Simon Willems was awarded the IABC Award of Excellence for Communication Management: Electronic and Digital Communication. He uses these skills to deliver strong brand messaging with engaging website interactions.

“I am thrilled to become a member of the great team at Omni Medical Marketing,” Simon Willems explains. “With the very best medical website design team in the country, I am focused and determined to continue Omni Medical Marketing’s commitment to produce the very best medical website designs and marketing results.”

With a focus on Medical Website Design and Medical Marketing, Omni Medical Marketing has been delivering top-notch website designs for plastic surgeons, doctors, and dentists. The team at Omni has over 40 years of combined experience in marketing, search engine optimization, website design and customer service. They are dedicated to delivering a high level of service to every client, regardless of the project size or need.

With Omni Medical Marketing’s focus on delivering products that will help to grow medical practices, Simon’s experience with Mobile Website Design and Development will help Omni to cater their efforts towards meeting the needs of medical practices in an ever-changing mobile world.

Read the rest of the article at: http://www.prweb.com/releases/Omni-Medical-Marketing/Medical-Website-Design/prweb10442720.htm

Keep Your Medical Website Design Clean and Lean

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Previously, we have explored the benefits of Improving Calls to Action and optimizing traffic through A/B Testing. However, you might have wondered why we don’t just put every possible trick we have up on a page and see what sticks? Why waste time trying to perfect all of these little elements when we can shotgun test them all at once? Well, the answer is fairly simple: Less is More. Keeping your website clean and clutter-free will keep conversions high, improve website performance, and impart trust in your expertise.

Simplicity in Medical Website Design

The key to a good conversion rate on your website is to maximize content and interaction with the fewest possible number of elements. Just like with the 80/20 rule, the majority of your audience is generally only looking for a small number of items. By placing emphasis on these items and organizing your site around them, you can funnel traffic to where it is most important. Take Hick’s Law for example: it states that with the increased number of options presented to a user, the longer their decision time will be. If you overload a user with too many buttons, lists, and menus, the better the chance that they will make no decision at all and simply leave your site not knowing where to begin. Similarly, Occam’s Razor states that the simplest solution is more often than not the correct solution. Keep your layout and navigation simple, and users will be more inclined to stay on your site and visit more pages, drastically improving their conversion rate.

Hick's Law: The more options presented, the longer it takes to make a decision

Hick’s Law: The more options presented, the longer it takes to make a decision.

Medical Website Design Performance

On a technical level, keeping your site clean and clutter-free will help your page load and speed up your site. The less the browser has to render, the faster it can convey content to the user. In the mobile space, this distinction can be all the difference in the world, as users who have to wait over 4 seconds for a page to load are overwhelmingly likely to exit your site altogether. In fact, stats show that 61% of users who visit mobile unfriendly sites are likely to leave and visit a competitor’s site instead.

Statistic: 61% of internet users who visit a mobile unfriendly site are likely to leave to a competitor’s site.

Statistic: 61% of internet users who visit a mobile unfriendly site are likely to leave to a competitor’s site.

Medical Website Design Expertise

Clean design also imparts on your website visitors that you are an expert in your field. How so? When we are in the process of making a purchase decision, we weigh a variety of options including those called “surrogate indicators of quality.” Research has shown that people are more likely to buy more expensive versions of the same product because of a perceived increase in value (it costs more, therefore it must be better). Much in the same way, relaying content in a clear, straight-forward manner, with only a handful of incidental elements such as forms and Calls to Action, tells your visitor that you know precisely what matters, cutting out the fluff. This seemingly innocuous difference is an indicator of the quality of your services. In your audience’s mind, a good medical website design means a good medical professional.

If you’re ready to take the editor’s pen to your site, contact Omni Medical Marketing for a Free Medical Website Analysis where we will evaluate your site and give you recommendations for improvement at absolutely no cost. We think you will quickly see why the knowledge and insight behind every Omni Medical Marketing website makes them the best in the industry.

How Does A/B Testing Help Your Medical Practice Website Design?

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What is A/B & Multivariate Testing?

A/B & Multivariate Testing may seem like a complicated subject, but it’s actually pretty simple. Basically, with A/B Testing, websites can serve up two different forms of content to track which version performs better. Not sure if an orange or a purple button will better entice users to click on it? With A/B Testing, you can remove the guesswork, turning hunches into facts, and know once and for all. Using this method of testing can greatly increase key metrics for your medical website design including leads, registrations, downloads, and, most importantly, revenue. So how does it work?

Let’s take an example. Almost all major news sites today use A/B Testing on headlines to see which version drives more traffic. First, two different headlines are chosen, the A (base) headline and the B (test case) headline. Both are then applied to an A/B Testing Tool which will serve up the two versions equally, at random, to different visitors. Once a statistically significant variation in results is determined for which headline users were likely to click on more, the A/B Test concludes the winner and scraps the alternate, losing version. Multivariate Testing is slightly different in that you can apply more than one test case, serving up a wide variety of different versions. The hard data and science behind the test, regardless of which style of testing, definitively shows which headline is objectively better for generating more visitors to the site.

Using A/B (Split) Testing can help determine which Call to Action is best

Example: Using A/B (Split) Testing can help determine which Call to Action is best.

The applications of A/B Testing in medical website design are extensive. With the primary goal of your website being patient lead generation, there are many important avenues to optimize such as capturing visitor’s information via forms, encouraging direct phone calls or email, and conveying physician expertise. So what kind of A/B tests could you run with this in mind? Here are just a few examples:

1)      Placement and styling of a phone number

2)      Number of fields in a contact form

3)      Before/after picture selection

4)      Type of home page banner image

5)      Call to Action button style

6)      Video introduction versus pictures with text

As you can see, there are a number of different ways to go about optimizing your site for better conversion rates. Do you know what types of changes you can make to get your medical website working better? To get started with A/B Testing and see how Omni Medical Marketing can improve your medical website, contact us today!

Call 800-549-0170.

Medical Website Development Best Practices – Cross-Browser Compatability

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In the early days of the medical website design and development, there was only one popular web browser: Netscape Navigator. Creating websites that worked for everyone was pretty simple, as most everyone (around 90%) viewed websites using the same web browser. Designers didn’t have to ask, “How will this website look on a cell phone?” or, “What happens if my visitors use an old web browser?”.

That all changed when Bill Gates finally decided that the internet wasn’t really a fad. Microsoft unleashed Internet Explorer in 1995, initiating the first “browser war”. Netscape and Microsoft competed for market share, with Internet Explorer peaking at 95% of the market in 2002. The competition between browsers caused a lot of problems for medical website designers, cost businesses a lot of money, and slowed down innovation for almost a decade.

The Feature War

The fight between Microsoft (IE) and Netscape (NN) wasn’t fought on Madison Avenue. Instead, the two companies competed by introducing new browser features. Each feature was intended to either enhance the user experience or to create new opportunities for web designers. One example was <blink>, which allowed a designer to create text that flashed on and off. This was a Netscape feature, and wasn’t available in Internet Explorer. In response, Microsoft introduced <marquee>, which allowed designers to create text that moved across the screen, horizontally or vertically. This feature wasn’t available in Netscape Navigator.

As you can imagine, this created chaos for medical website designers. As each browser introduced more unique features, designers were forced to make some difficult choices. The most difficult choice of all should have been the easiest.

Either/Or

If a designer’s client wanted some blinking text, the designer created a website that worked best in Netscape. If the client wanted scrolling text, the designer worked to make sure the website looked great in Internet Explorer. No big deal, right? WRONG. Clients didn’t want to cater to only a portion of web surfers…they wanted their websites to look and act the same way, no matter what browser they viewed it with. Designers, of course, couldn’t comply. They couldn’t make Internet Explorer use <blink> or make Netscape use <marquee>.

The solution? Designers began creating separate websites for each group of visitors. Surfers using IE would see a website that worked for them, and surfers using NN would get their own website as well. Problem solved!

Not really. Designers like to get paid, and they don’t like making two websites when one will do. They began to put pressure on browser manufacturers to work together.

It’s 2013 Already

Fast-forward to today. This problem has been solved, hasn’t it? Don’t all browsers work the same way?

Not really. There are somewhere close to 40 popular web browsers, sometimes with a half-dozens different versions being used. The best medical website designers know how their websites will look in each, which requires both some homework and some testing. Your website looks fine in Firefox 10, but is that on a PC, on a Mac, or on Linux? They’re not the same, and an effective web designer knows this. How many of your website’s visitors use Flock, or Konqueror, or Safari? The same website might look drastically different with each, and might even be broken.

But wait…there’s more! How does your website look on a new Windows 8 smartphone? The iPhone 5? The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.0? The Google Nexus 7? Does your website break on the newest version of Amazon’s Kindle, or is it okay? Can you afford to lose revenue with those visitors?

What Now?

Nobody in their right mind would consider making different websites for 40 different browsers (or even just 5), yet we must make sure your website works for everybody. This is where “cross-browser compatability” comes in. There are lots of different ways to create a website, and every designer has a slightly different approach. Set aside a designer’s style and personal preferences, and what you have left is their ‘best practices’ for making websites. The same code must work for all of your visitors, provide them with an effective call to action, and allow them to contact you easily. To accomplish this, your website must be written with all of those different web browsers in mind.

This doesn’t happen automatically. Here at Omni Medical Marketing, our medical website design team is constantly learning. We keep up on trends and best practices, and we’re on the lookout for new and innovative ways to future-proof your website. For example, see responsive medical website design. If your current medical marketing company doesn’t do the same, your website may be out of date in less than one year. The internet landscape changes that quickly, and you don’t want to be left behind. Give us a call. We can help.

Call 800-549-0170.

Medical Website Best Practices: Lose Weight

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Today’s super high-speed bandwidth connections have created a false sense of security for modern designers.

Before the days of “fat pipe”, website designers spent a lot of time worrying about download speeds. After all, everyone on the internet used a dial-up connection. They obsessed over the size of their images, cut unnecessary code, and measured the amount of time it took to load their web pages.

That all changed in a hurry. With the advent of broadband internet, designers suddenly (over just a few years) had the freedom and flexibility to create almost anything online, with little reason to even think about speed. Those were the glory days of big Flash animations and splashy, image-rich websites. Today, desktop computing in the first world has progressed even farther. It’s an immersive, media-rich experience. Instead of downloading web pages and videos at around 6MB per hour, surfers can now stream HD movies at close to 1,700MB per hour.

Everything old is new again

It’s almost 2013. The internet has been around for more than 40 years. The World Wide Web is two decades old. Once again, website designers need to obsess over speed. While traditional internet connections are faster than they’ve ever been, “code monkeys” must go back in time and think small. Why, you ask? Mobile.

Smartphones are changing the web. Most web jockeys don’t realize it yet, but their work needs to change as well. The old days of slow connections and confusing technology are back, and a lot of professionals aren’t keeping up. A lot of web designers (and their clients) are going to get left behind. At this time, over half of U.S. cell phones are smartphones, and almost 30% of Americans own a web-enabled tablet. This number is expected to rise dramatically in 2013. I’ve seen the evidence first-hand, at my local AT&T store. My 13 year-old son is getting a cell phone for Christmas. How many “dumb phones” does AT&T have for him to choose from? THREE. Every other phone offered is a smartphone. You can’t even buy a smartphone and use it like a dumb phone…as soon as the smartphone connects to a cell tower, you’re automatically enrolled in an expensive data plan. When regular old cell phones leave the market completely, mobile computing will truly skyrocket.

Because of the explosive growth of smart devices like smartphones, iPads, Kindles, and the rest, the web is being consumed differently today than ever before. Desktop computers are blazing fast, but cellphones are not. That cool Flash animation you had built for your website doesn’t even work on a lot of devices. Where it does work, it takes forever to download. It’s time for a change, and smart web designers are looking to the past for guidance.

Web design must be thoughtful

More than at any time in the history of the web, designers must think carefully about their work. They really need to consider every aspect of web surfing before writing any code. Should you use HTML 4, or XHTML 1.0, or HTML 5? Should you use any CSS 3 at all? Will that cool javascript thing you used last year work on the new iPad Mini? These kinds of question are increasingly important, especially during a difficult economic period. Nobody wants to spend top dollar for a great website and find that it looks nasty on the hottest new phones.

Did you know that approximately 25% of traffic to medical practice websites comes from a mobile device? If your website doesn’t look great for them, you’re losing money. Omni Medical Marketing specializes in the thoughtful application of best-practice web tech including Responsive Medical Website Design. We can transform your website from a web loser into a web winner in no time at all.

How to Decrease Page Load Time for Your Medical Website Design | Go Back in Time

Here are some practical tips for creating websites that rock on mobile devices. They’re a combination of old-school techniques and universal principles that every designer needs to keep in mind:

  • Write clean code. Simply put, less is more. At Omni Medical Marketing, we recommend moving to HTML 5 to future-proof your website.
  • Use fewer images. Designers can now use CSS3 and web fonts to reduce the number of images on a web page. Box shadows, text shadows, borders, gradients, and fancy fonts are just the beginning…and each element that uses CSS3 is one less image that mobile visitors have to wait for.
  • Use smaller images. That high-quality image on your home page doesn’t work for cell phones. At Omni Medical Marketing, we can show big images for desktops and smaller, mobile-specific images for cell phones and tablets.
  • Put content first…again. High-speed connections allow designers to substitute flashy graphics for quality content. Mobile surfers are looking at your website for information, not entertainment. Let Omni Medical Marketing help you measure the effectiveness of your current website and plan for the present and the future by getting back to basics.
  • Responsive, not “m-dot”. Some web companies may try to sell you a separate, mobile-specific website. Don’t fall for it. They’ll make a lot of money on those websites, but you won’t. The best practice is to make your website work well for everyone without creating multiple sites for different devices. Who wants to update two websites instead of one?

Take a tip from a web guy who’s been around the block: don’t let just anyone work on your website. There’s too much at stake. You need thoughtful, industry-leading professionals to help you navigate the constantly-changing internet. We promise to make the process as painless as possible.

If you would like to see how to put these tactics to work in your Medical Website Design as part of a Medical Marketing plan, contact Omni Medical Marketing today. Let us start improving your conversions now.

Call 800-549-0170.

 

5 Key Elements of Medical Practice Website Design and Development

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In any good Medical Marketing plan, website design and development should not be overlooked.  Medical Website Design and Development can play a key role in SEO and the overall marketing for your website.  Take a minute to read through the 5 key elements of Medical Practice Website Design and Development below to ensure that you are seeing the results that you deserve from your hard work.

 

  1. Looks Matter
    • Too much or too little; if your website looks like it is part of the Vegas Strip or Times Square, it can quickly turn people off. The first 3 seconds matters. Three seconds will buy you 30 seconds, and those 30 seconds will buy you three minutes. Yes, your site needs to be pleasing to the eye, however, most people do not want to feel like they are being sold or advertised to. Remember what attracted people to your website to begin with. It was the content, not over the top graphics and a sales pitch. Yes, the internet has turned into the number one source of marketing, but it’s not necessarily what people are actually looking for.
    • Having a dated website, that looks like it was built ten years ago by the kid who lives next door, will give the impression that you are out of touch.  Some of the most cutting edge websites out there are simple, clean and yet elegant. A Chrysler 300 may appear to have the elegance of a Bentley.  That is until a Bentley pulls up next to one.  Both cars have very similar lines; however, a 300 will never match the class of a Bentley aesthetically. You can keep it simple and have all the class in the world.
  2. Navigation
    • Keep the overall navigation simple throughout all pages. Using top navigation on one page, left on other and right on the next will turn people off.
    • Make sure there are easy to find buttons/links to your photo galleries.
    • Phone number/address: Many sites we review make it very difficult to find the phone number of the medical practice on their website. Make sure it is clear and visible on every page. This alone will increase conversion.
  3. Content, content, content
    • Give people what they want and need right away.  Navigation should quickly allow your audience to find out who you are, what field you are in, what services you offer, what hours you keep, and how to contact you. When navigation is done correctly, people will never question what services you or your medical practice provide.
    • Consider offering downloadable content, like brochures that people can share at the dinner table. Not only will this provide the user with the information they want right away, it will give them something to look at time and time again. Allow people to email these brochures to their friends and family. Get creative with the message that you want people to receive.
  4. Make sure people can find you.
    • We made our name providing medical practices and plastic surgeons with top notch SEO. We certainly recommend you working with a reputable SEO, that specializes in medical practice websites. However, there are a few simple tricks you can to do help.
    • Name all of your photos relative to what they are. If you are a plastic surgeon in New Jersey each one of your photos should be named something like FaceliftNewJersey-01.jpg . This will let Google know what the photo is and provide you with a better chance of being ranked for that term.
    • Find more ideas on the SEO section of our blog: Medical Marketing | SEO
  5. Use Social media for your medical practice.
    • Being active on social media gives people the opportunity to provide you with more referrals. Each time your post is shared, your reach multiplies greatly. Because these shared posts are coming from friends, the value of the post is very high.
    • Consider using software to limit the time you need to invest, while actually increasing the amount of social posts being pushed out. We offer our Social Media Software with a free trial period.  This allows you to see the results with no risks.
    • Post messages that matter. Blogs, useful health tips, and interesting news stories will demand more attention. If people find value in your message, they will keep coming back and will be more likely to share this information.
    • Post on the weekends. People log into Facebook daily, but actually spend the most amount of time there during weekends. Posting during that time is highly recommended. This is also a time where your competition is most likely not posting. It’s Win-Win.

5 Ways to Improve “Call to Action” on Your Medical Website

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Your website is the face of your medical practice and needs to quickly and powerfully translate your brand to visitors. Once a visitor has connected with your message, the next step is to turn them from a lead into a conversion. The typical ways of converting visitors into clients is via “Call to Action” elements such as contact forms, buttons, and social media subscription (i.e. like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter). However, having these Calls to Action is not enough. Great care must be taken to optimize these important elements of your site to maximize their effectiveness. There are a number of ways in which Calls to Action can be optimized using a few tricks from the User Interface toolkit.

Decisive Language

An example of using decisive language to improve the Call to Action

Example: Using decisive language to improve the Call to Action.

Calls to Action need to have concise, forceful language to encourage interaction. While “Click Here” is certainly simple and effective, changing button text to be more goal-oriented typically results in better conversion. Phrasing the text with action such as “Get qualified today!”, “Sign me up now!”, or “Yes, I want a free trial!” gives the user a clear indication of what they will accomplish and how to proceed. Filling out long forms will certainly turn most off upfront, but easing them in with the end-goal of their experience can lower that friction making the interaction seem more instant. Adding language with time sensitivity can also help as it adds a sense of immediacy. You always want users to know what they need to do next and the language of your Call to Action is your best way to achieve that.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Silly)

An example of using simplicity to improve the Call to Action

Example: Using simplicity to improve the Call to Action.

Nothing will drive traffic away faster than requiring more action than is necessary from a visitor. Forms need to capture only the most vital information with low chance of error. Why be strict about the precise format of a user’s phone number? Let them fill it out the way they see fit and get them on their way. Likewise, Call to Action buttons shouldn’t have multiple sentences in them. Get the user moving on to the next step. While you want your buttons and forms to stand out, keep the design consistent, easily visible, and recognizable. Speed and ease of use is the name of the game in lead conversion. Once the user’s basic information is captured, you have more leeway in how to interact with them but you need to make the initial barrier to entry as low and unintimidating as possible.

Contrast

An example of using contrast to improve the Call to Action

Example: Using contrast to improve the Call to Action.

Make your Calls to Action stand out. Use a different, brighter color for buttons. Use white space to make forms pop so they appear less crowded and more inviting. You want your Call to Action to be easily distinguishable from the rest of the page. If the user needs more content before making a decision, provide it by all means, but keep it from competing with the ultimate goal of moving the visitor on to the next step or interaction.

Fitt’s Law (Use of Space)

Fitt's Law states larger, close by Calls to Action generally perform better

Example: Fitt’s Law states larger, close by Calls to Action generally perform better.

Without going into too much detail and dredging up scarred memories from your high school math courses, Fitt’s Law is essentially an empirical model which predicts user action based on a target’s size. Translation: the bigger elements are, the easier it is for users to interact with them…to a point. Your Call to Action should be located in an obvious space on your website with minimal distance to travel to. This means a button should be large enough to be easy to click or tap on and not too far away from all the other action on your page. While making a button big and close by seems like common sense, there is a point of diminishing returns. The larger a Call to Action is, the smaller the boost in usability you will get by increasing its size further. Fitt’s law is especially important when considering the layout and design of your Mobile Medical Website. The main takeaway from Fitt’s Law is that all User Interface elements should be grouped together and big enough so that there isn’t any considerable distance between them.

A/B Testing

Using A/B (Split) Testing can help determine which Call to Action is best

Example: Using A/B (Split) Testing can help determine which Call to Action is best.

Finally, you can utilize split testing to serve up different Call to Action methods to test which one better performs. This requires a bit more leg-work and time/budget costs, but can dramatically improve website efficiency. Basically, you design two different elements and then randomly assign them to unique visors and log how each performs independently. Don’t know if a big, green button is better than a small, slick form? Use them both and let your users decide which they prefer without even knowing it is a test. A/B testing also helps remove opinion from the process to objectively answer questions about the quality of a Call to Action, solving the question of what works best once and for all.

If you would like to see how to put these tactics to work in your Medical Website Design as part of a Medical Marketing plan, contact Omni Medical Marketing today. Let us start improving your conversions now.

Medical Website Development Best Practices: Don’t Blend Your Code

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Today’s Medical Website Development best practice may seem complicated, but the important thing to remember is that it could save you money and time down the road.  As website development continues to evolve, the development of websites has made maintenance and updates much simpler.  If a website is properly developed from day one, even a complete overhaul of the Medical Website Design and appearance of a site can be drastically changed, while still maintaining the original framework and content.   By changing the style sheet, your website can have a completely different layout and feel, without actually changing any of the internal pages and structure.  A website that does a great job illustrating this fact is www.csszengarden.com.  By simply clicking on other designs, you can see dramatic changes to the site without actually changing any of the actual content.

While the details can be slightly complex, the premise is simple.  Making stylistic changes to your site can be done in one place and yet affect every page of the site.  This hasn’t always been true.  Using the most advanced website development methodologies can make changes to your site much simpler and less time-consuming, and this translates to lower costs.

As is always the case, limiting the amount of code necessary and following best practices also translates to better Medical Website SEO.  Google, Bing, and Yahoo don’t want to sort through line after line of HTML code any more than the average person.  Having all of your content, design, and behavior code neatly organized and separate will also limit the amount of code that the search engines have to dig through to get to your content.

Modern medical websites are made of three basic components:

  • Content
  • Design
  • Behavior

Modern medical websites are created using three basic kinds of code:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Javascript

Each kind of code should be used in a limited fashion, and as strictly as possible:

  • Content is controlled (“marked up”) with HTML.
  • Design is controlled with CSS.
  • Behavior is controlled with Javascript.

Best Practices demand that we keep these three types of code separate. Mixing your code together makes future updates much more difficult. When I say “difficult”, I mean time-consuming and expensive. You’ll see what I mean in a just a moment…but first, take a look at these two paragraphs:

<p style=”color: green”>This is a paragraph with green text.</p>
<p class=”cta”>This is also a paragraph with green text.</p>

The first paragraph (<p>) is a mixture of HTML and CSS – a blend of content and style. The instructions for making the text green is right there in the HTML. It’s a simple and easy way to get things done, so a lot of designers do this.

The second paragraph (<p>) doesn’t contain instructions for making the text green. Instead, the paragraph has been given the class “cta” (stands for Call To Action). The instructions for making the Call To Action green are in a separate file: the stylesheet. This requires putting code into separate files, so a lot of designers don’t do this.

There’s a very significant difference between these two paragraphs. While they both contain green text, only paragraph 2 is future-proof. Consider: three years from now, you may want to change the color of your Calls To Action from green to blue. How is that done? Take a look:

<p style=”color: blue”>This is a paragraph with blue text.</p>
<p class=”cta”>This is also a paragraph with blue text.</p>

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be any difference…right? Let’s think this through together. The first paragraph required a change – in the HTML – from style=”color: green” to style=”color: blue”. The second paragraph’s HTML stayed the same, but required a change in the stylesheet (CSS) to do the same thing. So why is one technique so much better than the other? Simple: your website has more than one page. Your Calls To Action appear all over the place, right? Changing them all from green to blue can be either incredibly simple or incredibly time-consuming. Instead of dealing with two paragraphs, we’re really dealing with dozens, or hundreds, or even thousands:

<p style=”color: green”>This is a paragraph with green text.</p>
<p style=”color: green”>This is a paragraph with green text.</p>
<p style=”color: green”>This is a paragraph with green text.</p>
<p style=”color: green”>This is a paragraph with green text.</p>
<p style=”color: green”>This is a paragraph with green text.</p>
<p style=”color: green”>This is a paragraph with green text.</p>

Changing these six paragraphs from green to blue requires six separate changes. If you have dozens or hundreds of changes to make, you must change green to blue individually, dozens or hundreds of times. Now see the Best Practice:

<p class=”cta”>This is a paragraph with blue text.</p>
<p class=”cta”>This is a paragraph with blue text.</p>
<p class=”cta”>This is a paragraph with blue text.</p>
<p class=”cta”>This is a paragraph with blue text.</p>
<p class=”cta”>This is a paragraph with blue text.</p>
<p class=”cta”>This is a paragraph with blue text.</p>

Changing these six paragraphs from green to blue requires only one change, in the stylesheet. They’re all Calls To Action, and they’re controlled by a single line of CSS. Changing the color can be done in moments…along with the font, size, style, etc. That’s what I mean by “future-proof”: you can change dozens, thousands, or even millions of paragraphs on your website all at once. Making even a simple change like this reduces what would normally take hours or days into a one-step process.

A well-made website is as future-proof as possible, making changes quick and easy instead of frustrating and expensive. Future-proof your website by keeping your code separate. Don’t mix your HTML with your CSS.

How to Best Optimize Medical Website Navigation for Mobile Users

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When optimizing a Mobile Website Design for users with smaller screen devices, one of the primary concerns is navigation. How will the user be able to quickly and easily get around the site when real estate is at a premium? Designers seem to still be grappling with this issue, so there is a wide array of trends currently seen in the mobile space.

We will examine a few to see the strengths and weaknesses of these different approaches:

The “Shrink-And-Leave” (or Complete Removal)

An example of as-is mobile navigation

Example: as-is mobile navigation

One of the most common and laziest methods is to simply shrink down the navigation and leave it as is. While the development time in this implementation is practically zero, users can get frustrated trying to snipe tiny links with their finger. Likewise, full navigations on desktop rarely look good when forced into a much smaller space without consideration for layout. An even more egregious “solution” is to entirely hide/remove the navigation, dumbing down the site entirely for mobile users.

The Link List

An example of the link list in mobile navigation

Example: the link list in mobile navigation.

Another of the more pervasive methods is to simply lay out a list of the more common site links just below the banner/header of the site. While this method is certainly better for touch users, it can eat up a lot of the valuable screen real estate forcing users to scroll more than they probably should have to before actually getting to the content of the page.

The Fly-out

An example of the fly out menu in mobile navigation

Example: the fly out menu in mobile navigation

To solve the space problem of the link list, clever designers have resorted to fly-out menus which only expand outward once tapped. Usually, these fly-outs are accompanied by an icon that resembles three vertical bars popularized in many native iPhone apps. While this icon could be potentially confusing to users who are unaccustomed to its meaning, the trend appears to be picking up steam quickly as it is currently found on a large number of sites.

Footer Only Navigation

An example of footer anchor mobile navigation

Example: footer only mobile navigation.

A variation on the fly-out menu’s solution to the valuable screen space problem, some sites will resort to hiding the navigation at the top of the site and placing it at the bottom. Often times, this navigation type will have a link at the top (occasionally accompanied with the three vertical bars mentioned previously) that jumps the page down to this footer navigation. While another good way to optimize visual space, this method can disrupt a visitor’s experience by taking them to an area of the page they didn’t anticipate, possibly causing them to get lost.

Select Dropdown

An example of form select dropdown mobile navigation

Example: select dropdown mobile navigation.

One of the more peculiar solutions, which has been gaining momentum, is to make an alternate navigation that relies on a simple dropdown. While perhaps initially perplexing, this allows the operating system (OS) of the user’s device to style and handle the navigation resulting in a more familiar, seamless experience once enacted. This also bypasses the problems associated with styling fly-out menus which can look bad on devices which handle animation poorly or can’t be relied upon for javascript functionality.

Which Mobile Navigation Method is Preferred?

Like the early days of the web when designers were trying to figure out basic functionality in websites, the method for deploying mobile-friendly navigation has yet to be codified. As more and more users turn to mobile devices for the majority of their browsing experiences, we will see which solution emerges as the best and most popular. As web traffic continues to rapidly skyrocket on non-desktop computers, contact Omni Medical Marketing to see how we can best optimize your site for visitors on all devices with Responsive Website Design.

Medical Mobile Website Marketing for Tablets and Smart Phones

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Now that you have seen the Benefits of Responsive Design for mobile sites, let’s discuss the differences between mobile website marketing and traditional website marketing when it comes to user intent.  While Responsive Design is a fantastic option for mobile websites, understanding user intent is equally important to effectively marketing your site for mobile users.  As targeting search traffic can often include understanding intent, Medical Mobile Website Marketing has to understand why visitors are using mobile devices to visit your site in the first place.  With an estimated 25% of healthcare related searches coming from mobile devices, understanding user intent can help to attract the 25% of potential patients that your practice may be missing out on.  Also, with the explosion of tablet sales in recent years, understanding the use of a tablet in a home can also have a large impact on your site’s design, functionality, and content.

Stop and think to yourself, when do you use your mobile device for search, and what is your intent when you begin your search.  While this answer will be different for Smart Phones and Tablets, there is no doubt that the intent will be different than when a search is conducted at a desktop or laptop computer.  With the sale of tablets reaching 40 million units sold in 3 years (It took Smart Phones 9 years to reach that mark), there is no doubt that every medical practice website design should consider a mobile website marketing plan to capture this audience.  Some reports even show up to 25% of all internet users worldwide depend upon mobile devices to access the internet, as they either rarely or never use a desktop computer.

Mobile Device Adoption Rate Post Introduction

Mobile Device Adoption Rate Post Introduction

Mobile Website Marketing: “Facebook-itis”

The fairly recent story concerning Facebook’s IPO plummeting focused around one main topic.  Mobile Website Marketing became a huge problem for Facebook, as more users accessed their social media site through a mobile device.  Since their mobile platform did not support advertising, the plan for revenue growth was greatly flawed.  In this circumstance, one of the largest internet companies in the world ignored the increasing trend of mobile users.  Do not make that same mistake.  Part of any good Medical Marketing plan should be to focus on the future.  What is happening, and what will most likely happen?  By looking ahead in your Medical Marketing plan, you’ll be able to attract potential patients that your competition may be missing out on.  It’s never too soon to start thinking about the future, and with the exponential growth in Smart Phone and Tablet ownership, the writing is one the wall.  If you want to capture each and every person who may be searching for a qualified surgeon, general practitioner, plastic surgeon, or dentist, having a focus on mobile marketing will be a key to your success moving forward.

What is Mobile User Intent?

Mobile user intent evaluates why a user is using a mobile device for search.  In other words, what are the circumstances that lead a potential patient to search for a medical practice on a mobile device?  While there is a percentage of people who rely on mobile devices exclusively for internet access, evaluating why users are using a smart phone versus a tablet might also cause you to reconsider the design of your mobile site.

For tablets, more families are becoming two screen homes.  That is to say that more families keep a tablet nearby when watching television.  Often, it’s a television commercial that drives them to pick up the tablet to learn more about a specific practice or procedure.  A tablet user doesn’t typically have their tablet all day, and it often acts as a “laptop substitute” for quick informational searches.  While a tablet is a mobile device, most tablet owners will not take their tablet everywhere with them, and it’s not always the best choice for people who are on-the-go.

Smart Phones are a different animal entirely.  While a Smart Phone can also double as a “second screen” for individuals watching television, a Smart Phone user is much more likely to always have their phone on them.  Mobile Website Marketing should account for this added benefit by catering to people who are in-transit, or on-the-go.  While mobile Smart Phone devices will be used less seldom for information gathering, it is common for searches to take place for basic information.  That is why a mobile medical website should feature contact information, location, and phone number clearly displayed on the home page, or be easily found in navigation.  Doing so will ensure that the information someone may be looking for is readily available and requires minimal navigation.  Since Smart Phones don’t typically have the same navigation ability that the larger tablet does, having pertinent information on the home page of a medical website will cater to this group of Smart Phone users.

How Does This Impact Your Mobile Website Marketing Plan?

In short, you should always consider the intent of users when designing a mobile medical website.  If a potential patient is using a Smart Phone, chances are, they are looking for basic information about your practice.  On the other hand, a tablet user is much more likely to be looking for more content and information that can help in the decision process.  Responsive Website Design has the ability to cater to both types of mobile user, and even preserves your main site content for the Smart Phone user who may be looking for more information than just the medical practice’s phone number.

By considering the intent of mobile users, you can capture the additional 25% of users that are looking for your medical practice.  Medical Website Design, navigation functionality, and page content can all have an impact on your ability to succeed in the increasingly competitive mobile device market.  Taking the extra time to think about user intent could take your medical practice from being just one of the many options, to the clear choice winner in mobile search.

To learn more about Medical Mobile Website Marketing and Responsive Medical Website Design, contact Omni Medical Marketing to arrange a meeting with one of our mobile website marketing specialists.

Call 800-549-0170.