Update on Mobile Usage for Orthopedic Websites

Based on current statistics, we know that an increasing number of people are spending significant amounts of time on mobile devices. Many of those people are browsing the internet and booking appointments and services online via a website or app.

Other industries are seeing an increase in mobile users on their websites, but does that increase apply to orthopedic practices? While we may not be able to give you industry-wide stats, we currently host over 300 sites for medical practices and are able to view stats for all of those sites.

After reviewing the stats for our websites, these are some of the trends we noticed.

Responsive websites have the highest percentage of mobile users.

All of our newest websites are responsive. Other clients have sites with a separate solution for mobile devices. Other sites do not have a mobile solution at all; they were designed before the mobile web was truly active.

On average, about 40% of the traffic to our websites comes from mobile devices. So, we used that figure as a benchmark when looking at mobile usage for each type of website. Of the sites without mobile solutions, just under 30% had a mobile user percentage over 40%. Just over 40% of our sites with separate mobile solutions had a mobile user percentage over 40%. This figure is better, but still not as high as we would like to see. However, over half of our responsive sites passed this benchmark. The sites that provide the best mobile experience were more likely to have mobile user rates over 40%.

High mobile usage rates are not limited to just the “big city.”

People that live in larger cities tend to have more of an “on the go” lifestyle than those living in small towns. It makes sense that a high percentage of city dwellers would browse the internet on a mobile device throughout the day. With this reasoning in mind, we looked at each practice website by city population. Surprisingly, mobile usage rates in cities with populations ranging from 10,000 to 499,999 had fairly similar mobile usage rates despite the difference in population. In fact, P3 websites with populations ranging from 10,000-49,000 had the highest mobile usage rate by a small margin.

These stats seem to suggest that even practices in smaller towns would benefit from having a mobile site just as much as a practice in a large city would. These types of behaviors are becoming more universal, and are not just limited to a more urban setting. People are getting used to accomplishing a number of tasks on their smartphones, and are beginning to expect websites to be easy to navigate on mobile devices.

The more doctors a practice has, the higher the mobile usage rate (and traffic) tends to be.

While population did not greatly affect traffic, the number of doctors in a practice did correlate with increased traffic. In general, the more doctors a particular practice had, the higher their traffic. On average, practices with five or more physicians got 20 times the amount of traffic that single-physician practices got. Practices with greater numbers of physicians also tended to have higher mobile usage rates, which is likely due to their higher levels of traffic.

Still, the differences in mobile usage were quite large. Only about 30% of practices with one doctor had mobile usage rates over 40%. In contrast, nearly 70% of practices with 6 or more doctors had a mobile usage rate higher than 40%. These numbers don’t mean that practices with just one doctor are unlikely to have high mobile usage rates, however. It’s more likely that larger practices have a bigger draw in search results because several doctors are associated with those practices. Smaller practices can achieve the same results, but may have to put in more work with local SEO to make that happen.

We’ve seen mobile usage stats increase across the board for orthopedic practices over the last few years–even for practices with lower mobile usage rates. Mobile usage rates appear to only be increasing, and it doesn’t appear that they will decline anytime soon. Practices that focus on mobile usage in their online marketing strategies have a better chance at staying ahead of the curve for patients searching for an orthopedic surgeon via a mobile device.