All Your Mobile Questions Answered: Webinar Follow-Up Q & A

Last week’s webinar, Everything You Know About Mobile is Wrong was a big success. The only downside was that we didn’t have enough time to cover all the questions! To remedy that, here are the answers to the questions we couldn’t address during the session.

For those of you who missed it, the webinar reviews how the mobile space has evolved in the past year and what that means for your digital mobile strategy. I introduced a new approach known as responsive design that re-architects mobile sites to work optimally on diverse devices. We also talked a bit about some of the growing opportunities in the mobile space including QR codes and a great discussion about when a mobile app is a better choice than a mobile website and when it’s not.

Is there a link to the video you showed that explains responsive design? I would like to share that concept with others.

Yep. Here it is:

[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUDDdqqgpyY[/youtube]

Keep in mind, there’s more to a good responsive site than just shifting columns and resizing images. Those elements are harder to see than the magical moving template, however, so that’s what we’re showing in this video.

We’ve been running a stand-alone mobile website for more than a year (different vendor, platform, etc.)  Can you give a short summary of why the responsive approach would be better?

Lots of organizations took this approach to get a mobile-optimized solution to market quickly. Knowing how our users’ needs and behaviors have changed, I’m glad you’re re-evaluating your strategy.

Here are the highlights:

  • Your users want access to your entire website through their mobile devices, not just a few sections of the information you provide.
  • The number of Web-browsing devices has become very diverse. Optimizing the experience for phones, tablets, cars and interactive TVs becomes very complex and expensive without a responsive design approach.
  • You typically have to duplicate content on a stand-alone mobile site. As you create multiple mobile optimized destinations, the headaches of duplicate maintenance multiply as well. With a responsive design approach, each modification you make on the site appears on all mobile devices.
  • The responsive approach has significant advantages in regards to the search engines (see below).

 

What is the impact of all of this on our search positioning?

Search engines realize mobile searchers want to be directed to sites that work on their mobile devices. Google in particular has a mobile Web crawler called Googlebot-Mobile. Thus, mobile search results definitely benefit from mobile optimized sites.

At the same time, the normal rules for good search placement still apply.

For starters, duplicate content is a no-no. Google’s been cracking down on sites that copy content from other sources as well as sites that put the same content on many pages. There are ways to mitigate this, but they can be tricky. The best fix is to essentially tell search engines to ignore your mobile site. But either way you lose.

The other way that you can lose is through inbound links. Having two URLs for the same information means that you’re dividing links between two pages, and your Google page rank suffers in the process.

The best answer is therefore to have a single page that presents in an optimal way for every device. That’s a responsive design.

How successful are QR codes? How successful should they be?

It’s a tough question to answer with a number. The results you’ll get are influenced by where the codes are placed, who the audience is, and the strength of the messaging and call-to-action in your campaign.

Here’s what we do know:

  • QR code scans increased 300% in 2011 over 2010 (ScanLife). However, QR code placement jumped 617% from January to December 2011 in top 100 magazines (Nellymoser), so it seems that marketer interest is outpacing consumer uptake (the above are both from SnapHop).
  • The audience using this technology in the U.S. is a good one for our purposes. College students aren’t particularly likely to scan codes, and many aren’t able to do so when prompted (Archrival).
  • It turns out QR codes are being adopted by a slightly older audience, with highest usage amongst 25-34 year old users. In addition, income levels for those scanning are high. These users are most commonly scanning codes out of magazines, newspapers and product packaging while at home (ComScore).

So don’t expect the addition of a QR code to blow the lid off of a mediocre campaign. However, QR codes have earned their way into our marketing toolkits and we’ll see more use in the future. For now, if nothing else, you’ll earn bonus points with those “in the know” as an early adopter.

What do you think is the “next big thing” in mobile strategy for healthcare?

There are many “next big things” in mobile strategy. I think that the “biggest, nextest” ones will be more effectively addressing the patient’s overall healthcare experience:

  • Reaching within the walls – We’re finding that some hospitals have as much as 1/3 of their mobile Internet visits coming from the public Wi-Fi networks in their facilities. That’s not including those using cellular data subscriptions or laptops on the network to surf while they’re in the building.  We’re beginning to see hospitals address this group with special Web pages much in the way that hotels do with in-building maps and cafeteria menus, rather than location and service directories.
  • Interactive destination guides – Mayo Clinic recently launched an iOS application designed primarily to be a mobile guide for those visiting the clinic from out of the area. It includes information on hotels, restaurants and attractions in the area, on-campus wayfinding and access to a patient’s medical records all in one place.
  • Clinical connectivity – As the model of care changes and we see more active monitoring of chronic conditions through patient self-care tools and through digital connections between patients and their care teams, mobile is the logical place for those tools to reside.

Can we get a copy of the presentation?

Of course!  We place recordings of all of our monthly webinars in our on-demand archive.

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This entry was posted in Design, Mobile, Search/SEO/PPC by Ben Dillon. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ben Dillon

It’s not just Ben’s sultry radio-voice that makes him the perfect person to be Geonetric’s eHealth Evangelist, although we do believe that increases attendance to our webinars. It’s the fact that Ben’s a thought leader. He follows healthcare technology trends like other people follow sports teams. He’s constantly researching and analyzing everything from social media strategies to accountable care organizations and determining what it all means to Geonetric, our clients and the industry as a whole. This sought-after speaker and current SHSMD board member wasn’t always in the spotlight, previously working in business process re-engineering and software development with the University of Iowa Healthcare and the Michigan Insurance Bureau. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in eBusiness and strategic management from the University of Iowa. If you saw this man’s calendar you’d be very surprised to learn that in between all his trade rag interviews and speaking engagement prep he still finds time to feed his Twitter addiction and play the Big House with the University of Michigan Alumni marching band.

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