You Have a Website – Do You Need an App Too?
Tell your patients to turn their phone on and check out your App
We often hear that marketing your practice feels like a lot of work. And there is always more to do. More content, more social media, more SEO, referral relationships and more.
And now you’re hearing people tell you that your practice needs an app – why? Simple – because everyone has a smartphone. It’s time to simplify and stay on the mind of your patients. But how do you accomplish both?
An app can become the best marketing tool you have ever had. It will put you in front of your patients more often, letting them know exactly what new services and products you have. So, how does an App keep you top of mind? Through notifications (you know – those little red dots on your phone screen and tell you something is happening in an App) that appear when an app is updated and it’s easy compared to getting your patients to notice updates on your website.
Why do you need an App and a website?
Having a website and having a mobile app are two completely different tools and as such, they accomplish two different objectives for your practice. Before we can go further into what they each can do for you, we need to clear up the confusion that surrounds Apps and websites. There are three different terms that you need to understand.
When most people think about a website, they think about something they can easily access on a computer, and hopefully just as easily on a phone or tablet (with a good web developer, they can). If the website pulls up in the browser on a smartphone and displays correctly, that means it is a responsive website. It is built for all browsers and it changes to fit the screen size it’s being viewed on. To access a website on a phone, you usually need a cellular network, WIFI, or other means to connect to the Internet.
What is a Mobile App?
Mobile apps are built to be installed and accessed from a specific device, like an iPhone or Android phone, or from a specific tablet like an iPad. In other words, they are built for specific mobile operating systems. When a mobile App is accessed, it is done so directly from your device. Mobile apps are stored on your device and access your device’s system resources.
Take a look at the different views of a website and a mobile app displayed on a phone.
While there are many similarities between web apps and mobile apps – like color and fonts – these really are two different products. You already know what your website is supposed to do, so take a look at what an App can do that a website can’t.
A Mobile App is:
- Easily accessed.
- Better in functionality. Mobile Apps can access your phone’s resources, like location services or camera, in ways websites can’t.
- Faster than a website on your phone
- Made for personalization of the user. Everyone can adjust their settings.
- Made for communication and engagement.
- Built to fit your business branding
- Faster to build and launch.
- More easily shared – this includes sharing your content with others.
- Easy for your patients to send their friends invites to your App. Talk about a referral…
- Made to have additional features added to keep the interest of your users.
- Going to give you the flexibility of features like checking in, orders for products and services, shopping, specials on services or products, etc.).
- Concise. Information is more concise than a website but can be expanded if the user wants to learn more.
- Constantly bring you to the top of mind through notifications, which can go out – both to the owners of the App and the users of the app letting everyone know what’s happening.
- Going to give more promotional opportunities and potential exposure via the App Store or Google Play.
- A new stream of conversions through the sharing of the app and sharing of social media,
- More design freedom. Each feature in an app can be designed to best fit your business or practice.
- Add fun options to engage the user, like quizzes or polls, scratch and play coupons, audio, and video.
- Provide users a one-touch option for social engagement.
- Should be used to help with push traffic to your website.
What’s the Best Digital Strategy for Your Business?
Now that you know what an App can do for your practice, it’s time to decide. Of course you have a website, so now do you add a mobile App to your strategy?
The right choice for your business depends on the objectives you are trying to achieve. If your goal is to bring more information to a broader audience, a website that is responsive is the right choice. If your goal is to get more interaction with your audience, then a mobile app is the right choice.
Both are good choices! But who said you can’t have both?
If you would like to see samples of mobile apps designed for practices like yours, contact us to schedule a consultation. We’ll demo your options and discuss what you want in your app.
Let’s get you on the top charts… Talk to you soon.
Fill your waiting room with the kinds of patients you want to treat.