I recently read a prediction that by 2015, more Internet searches will be done on smartphones than on computers. This means people will actually use their phones to access the web and search for whatever they want more than they will on their computers. But let’s face it, a smartphone is a computer. My iPhone does more and has more storage and Internet speed than my laptop did 8 years ago.
Also keep in mind that more than half the phones out there are smartphones, and that keeps increasing. And now that Google is buying Motorola, that is going to be accelerated. Android phones already outsell iPhones, and 60% of the new phones sold are smartphones.
What does that mean to your dental practice? Well, first of all, you will need to make sure that when your practice appears on a Google map, that you’ve put as much information as possible in Google Places about your practice. In an earlier blog, I describe how to do that. This also means that the steady migration away from yellow pages use will continue and likely accelerate.
It also means your website should look good on a smartphone’s browser. That’s easy to check. Just use your phone and look up your website. Most web designers now can make a version of your website that displays better on phones and tablet computers like the iPad.
The best part is that more and more, this computer that is always in their pocket makes it easier for you to contact patients, either by text or email, and to even send them photo or video messages. It also means that more of them can use their phones while they are in your office to check in on Facebook and post a comment, and also do a Google or Yelp review of your practice. (Remember, they need to do Google reviews from their own devices, not your computers or iPads in your office. Google ignores reviews that come from the same computer.)
And someday, they are going to be able to make and change their appointments right there on their phones without even calling you. It’s coming, and people will expect it, so start to prepare yourself mentally for this.