When you go to a doctor, you usually have a couple of questions and even a request for a lab test sometimes. You may also be convinced that somehow, you know exactly what’s wrong. You just need somebody to narrow it down between a common allergy or something that is more serious. You just want a specific answer and this is part of what it means to be in the digital consumer revolution which has been going on for many years now.
Information and Consumers
Consumers are taking control over their health more than ever. Over 91 percent of all Americans go online to look up health information, exploring symptoms, researching how to manage a certain condition and looking for treatment, based on an online survey by Makovsky/Kelton. General health information sites like WebMD, are the most highly sought after sites, with 59 percent of the people saying that they had visited them during the last 6 months, based on an article by eMarketer which cites a poll in 2012. It is followed by sites about disease which comprises 12 percent, drug sites comprising 9 percent and government sites like the CDC which comprises 8 percent.
Creating High-Quality Content
Whether you are serving medical experts or patients, it is clear that consumers will be finding a solution online before they will ever call for an appointment or ask for a consultation. Patients search Google for their symptoms and wonder if their persistent cough is a symptom of bronchitis, pertussis or cold that will not go away. Physicians go to peer-reviewed publications like medical journals that can be found at ScienceDirect.com.
Whether consumers try to compare options or put a name to their illness, healthcare marketers have to meet them where they have a combination of high-level, awareness stage content as well as more detailed information. Consumers who are in the stage of awareness of the journey of the buyer want to check intriguing blog posts, videos and articles with a focus on solving problems. When they come to looking for a solution, they are going to see a lot of product comparisons, testimonials and case studies.
Online Health Content
About 2/3 of consumers now have a preference of using mobile apps in managing their health, based on a survey by Pulse of Online Health. Accenture’s market research foresees 1.7 billion smartphones as well as tablets are going to have mobile health apps installed in the next 5 years. This is true not just for patients. Over 85 percent of physicians use smartphones in their work including for research online. Physicians spend 11 hours every week online for professional uses according to a Taking the Pulse survey by Manhattan Research in 2012.
The bad news is, 68 percent of the top 25 healthcare companies during 2013 did not have websites that were tailored for mobile. If your organization does not make it easy for consumers who are busy or healthcare professionals to get a hold of information while they are mobile, you are going to lose them.
Improve User Experience on Your Site
A site that is optimized for mobile and interactive is going to make it easier for visitors to find you and make them more likely to return. The recent addition of mobile optimization by Google to its ranking factors means that your site will have higher chances of getter lower search engine rankings as well as less organic traffic if the site is not mobile-friendly at this point.
It is not just a matter of being found. Studies reveal that responsive web design will end up in higher conversion rates. This would result to year-over-year increases that are 11 percent higher compared to sites that are not interactive.