Is the mobile experience you provide going to keep us on your site or cause us to move on?

By Susan Saldibar

The other day I was watching the news about Mick Jagger’s heart issues and got to wondering just how old he is. So I grabbed my iPhone, pulled up Safari, and did a name search. Two seconds. Boom. Up popped his stats (he’s 75, by the way).

I’m a boomer, not a millennial, but I’m just as impatient as one. When I go to a website on my iPhone I expect to get information in a couple of seconds. In fact, I will abandon a site if it doesn’t load quickly. I’ll also abandon it if it’s not super easy to navigate. And, it’s not that I don’t have the time, it’s that I don’t want to take the time!

The point to all this is that people like me are looking at senior living communities, often from our smartphones. Is the mobile experience you provide going to keep us on your site or cause us to move on?

I spoke recently with Celena Canode, Marketing Campaign Manager for G5, (a Senior Housing Forum partner). Celena shared with me a copy of a new ebook called “20 Digital Touchpoints” that examines various aspects of a company’s digital presence. The section on mobile websites got my attention because it had some facts I hadn’t heard before (and they underscore how typical I am as a consumer).

Mobile-first is a must for communities serious about competing.

First things first. Google has put out a recommendation that all websites become what they refer to as “mobile-first”. What mobile-first means is that your website needs to 1) be easily found via mobile phone, and 2) must load quickly.

G5 believes that if you’re serious about competing you need to have a mobile presence that keeps pace with everyone else out there. And there are two key statistics that help make that case: 1) over 50% of web traffic now emanates from smartphones, and 2) 53% of users will leave a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. A slow load time, by the way, means you’ll have less traffic on your site and more bounces. Not good.

Here are some things G5 recommends for senior living communities to be truly mobile-first:

  • A clean design that loads fully and is pleasing to the eye.

  • Buttons and clickable elements that are far enough apart to be easily accessed and clicked.

  • A 2-second load time. You should also consider animation or a colorful backdrop that indicates the page is in the process of loading.

  • Check in on your website yourself, via your own phone.

Here’s another point that many web managers either aren’t aware of or don’t think is important. It’s the “s” in HTTPS. The “s”, for those who don’t know, signifies that the site is “secure”. So, G5 recommends that if you plan to collect any sensitive information from your visitors, make sure your site is secure. Visitors may look for that “s” and bail if they don’t see it.  

Finally, G5 urges communities to make sure you’re keeping up with Google. Google shifted to mobile-first indexing for search results last year. And they’ll continue to make changes. So it’s important to make sure you’re paying attention and keeping pace with their latest moves.

How confident are you about your mobile website presence? Have you checked in via your smartphone lately? If a prospective resident or family member sees your community name pop up on his or her phone and clicks, what will happen next? How you answer that question is important. It may be the difference between gaining a lead and losing one.

You can download the full G5 “20 Digital Touchpoints” ebook here.

For more information about G5 please visit their website.


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