Tag Archives: public health

Consider the Following Recommendations When Designing a Mobile-Friendly Website

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

Before we get into what defines a mobile-friendly website, let’s first discuss why this is even relevant.  About a year ago, Google released its algorithm known as Mobileggedon.  In essence, this algorithm penalizes websites that are not “mobile-friendly” by decreasing that website’s ranking in mobile search results.

So what may have been the catalyst to releasing Mobileggedon?   Since 2014, mobile devices have been the primary devices utilized to access the internet.   Desktop is still important, but it is no longer considered first-line.  Therefore, Google’s Mobileggedon algorithm is like a “tough love” approach in encouraging businesses to always design their websites with mobile devices in mind.

When developing a mobile-friendly website/webpage, consider the following recommendations:

1) Do NOT design a separate mobile website from your desktop version because it is redundant!

Think about it.Why would you create two different websites (mobile & desktop versions) that contain the same content?Google already penalizes websites for duplicate content.So why would you allow your website to be penalized for duplicate websites?

2) Use Responsive Web Design (RWD)

According to Wikipedia, RWD is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

From a technical standpoint, RWD employs use of flexible layouts, flexible images, and cascading style sheet media queries. This allows a web page to be able to detect the visitor’s screen size and orientation; and change the layout accordingly (think auto-adjusting to fit your mobile device’s screen).

3) Always include a viewport meta tag

The viewport is a virtual area used by the browser-rendering engine to determine how content is scaled and sized.   The viewport meta tag tells your browser that the web page needs to fit the screen.

Typically, when loading full-sized web pages, mobile browsers display the entire page at reduced magnification.When a website does not make use of a viewport meta tag, users may have to double-tap or pinch the screen to adjust the web display.The below illustration shows a typical web page layout displayed on a mobile screen:

In the above example, users typically must rotate their mobile screens, pinch to magnify, etc so that the content can be seen.

Applying a viewport is critical in creating web pages that are mobile-friendly.

The following shows a sample screen layout without a viewport. The initially loaded page is zoomed out much too far to be legible, while zooming in makes content extending off the right edge of the screen difficult to access:

This reflects the browser's default assumption that content should extend 980 pixels wide. Mobile browsers must make that assumption in order to render pages that are not optimized for display on mobile screens.

Finally, here’s the above screen layout after applying the viewport:

There are many different configurations that you can specify your viewport to control.  To explain the technical details any further would be beyond the scope of this article.The idea here is to understand the concept (and importance) of applying viewport meta tags to your webpage.

4) Font sizes and button size matter

Ideal font size is 14px.When creating labels or forms, consider reducing the font to at least 12px.  Same concept applies for buttons.   For optimal viewing, consider creating button size dimensions of at least 44px by 44px.

5)Use high-resolution images

According to Wikipedia, image resolution is the detail an image holds and can be applied to describe digital images, film images, and other types of images. Essentially, a higher resolution means more image detail.

Having extremely high-resolution images will prevent pixilated or even blurry images when viewed on a retina-quality screen.

6) Remove the default zoom

Using auto-zoom may interfere with a web page’s layout elements, especially for images and navigation content. They may appear small or too large in your layout.

The solution here is to make use of viewport meta tags.Again, to describe the technical details of this process in any more detail would be beyond the scope of this article.

7) Use YouTube videos on your site

Because YouTube already utilizes responsive web design (RWD) coding, any risk of difficulties in viewing videos on a mobile device are theoretically eliminated.

8) Don’t constrain your user’s mobile experience

Always include a “go to full website” or “view desktop version” option at the bottom of your site. This will give your website visitors the ability to choose how they want to view your website’s content.

9) Never stop testing

Even after your responsive website is complete, the testing never ends.Be sure to test your webpage on various mobile devices: Apple, Android, Windows, etc.Leave no stone unturned including buttons, layout, font, displays, etc.

Even more important is to allow someone who fits your target [demographic] user.Consider including someone who does not have an extensive technical background especially if this person comprises your primary demographic of potential users/visitors of your website.

Did I miss anything?  Your comments are always welcomed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Productively Create & Optimize Your Professional Network

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

According to Wikipedia, a professional network service (also known as a  professional network) is a type of social network service that is focused solely on interactions and relationships of a business nature rather than including personal, non-business interactions.

The following are suggestions for creating a more productive, professional network:

1. Utilize a fresh pair of eyes:

When working on a project, consider finding someone from a department/discipline, etc. to take a look.   Having the objective opinion from someone outside your area of expertise may be just what’s needed in order to uncover issues that may have otherwise gone overlooked. 

If the project involves a product to be employed by a certain demographic, then it would probably be a great idea to make sure that you’ve acquired the objective opinions of individuals from that group, especially if you (the project manager) don’t adequately represent that demographic).

2.  Be open to working on projects (& working with people) outside your realm of expertise (or department):

Volunteering to assist others from other departments, sectors, etc will yield an opportunity to better understand the perspectives of others who are not within your area of expertise or department.  This will not only provide a forum for additional professional engagement outside your usual professional network, but also allow for a non-biased opinion on a particular issue within the project.

3.  Consider planning an informal gathering outside the workplace:

For example, you could invite a colleague for coffee or brunch, explaining your interest in projects they may have done in the past or are currently working on.  Since this is an informal meeting/gathering, this would also be a great time to determine any common interests outside the workplace. 

The key here is finding the balance between professional and personal matters during the interaction.  It would also probably be best to limit any informal gatherings to daytime hours.

Establishing rapport with specific objectives in mind such as learning more about the company and discussing commonalities outside the workplace will likely make it even easier to eventually work on a project with that person or to simply learn more about opportunities for growth within the company.

4.  Join a professional organization that’s reflective of your industry

This strategy is beneficial in several ways including extending your professional sphere of influence and establishing rapport with other likeminded individuals (professionally and/or personally).  Essentially, it is one of the easiest ways to network while looking for opportunities to advance your career.

In my industry of healthcare, I am a member of several professional societies including the National Medical Association, Medical Society of Georgia, and the American Board of Internal Medicine, to name a few.

5.  Try to make yourself available to assist others when asked:

Obviously, this is easier said than done and there can be a fine line between feeling needed and feeling abused.  With that said, this is still a great way to further establish rapport with colleagues in and outside your department or professional background.   It is a great way to show that you are reliable but be sure to not overextend yourself.  Do what feels comfortable and reasonable.

Your comments are always welcomed!  Did I miss anything?  Please feel free to share.

OK, Healthcare Entrepreneurs…Your Turn.  Let’s Resuscitate Your Professional Portfolio

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

In this era of inbound marketing, we are constantly discussing the importance of making sure that the traits and characteristics that are associated with our personal lives are congruent with those that define our professional lives.   Many would refer to this as our “brand,” or that ‘intersection’ of values, traits, & characteristics that are prevalent in both our personal and professional worlds.  

For most, it should be easy to determine another person’s character within a specific period of time of interacting with them.  Having this information combined with a decent understanding of that person’s professional background, would serve as a good starting point for understanding that individual’s brand.

As healthcare professionals, many of us are guilty of what many may call outbound marketing strategies.  When we are applying for jobs or looking to advance our careers, we tend to update our CVs and then jump right into the “applying process” but then we forget to do all the other important things that matter.  These include having a completed LinkedIn profile with updated professional photo and publishing articles (or blogs) that further explain who we are & what we do. 

More specifically, we should consider:

*Establishing ourselves with our potential customer base (i.e., patients, hospitals/healthcare facilities, etc) by making sure we can be easily found online

*Making sure our online professional profiles (think LinkedIn) are congruent with who we are and what our mission (or company’s mission may be (i.e., branding).

*Making sure we have a current, professional photograph that clearly shows our face

*Ensuring that our certifications/credentials are highlighted and current

* Publishing blogs (articles) about our product(s) and how it relates to our potential customer base (i.e., areas of healthcare we practice, our target patient population, what services we offer, etc)

In summary, we must take the time to make ourselves more visible.  Gone are the days when patients and healthcare facilities would solely depend on our state’s medical board or sites like Healthgrades to conduct their due diligence.

They want to be able to do a quick Google search and find us along with our current professional photo, our certifications/qualifications, areas of practice, beliefs, etc so that they can make better choices as informed consumers and stakeholders in healthcare. 

Remember that healthcare, like many other sectors, is rapidly changing and will continue to become more like a “big business.”  This means familiarizing ourselves with inbound marketing strategies while ensuring that our online professional portfolio remains current.

Ultimately, the assumption is that we will build a loyal customer base (i.e., patients/healthcare facility/etc) and if our product (or services) is really great, then they will keep coming back for more and they will tell their friends, colleagues, etc about it. 

Because we took the time to establish credibility and online authority through implementation of the above, we will have accomplished two things:  

  1. positive word-of-mouth references from former patients/employers/healthcare facilities, etc (more subjective); and
  2.  a legitimate online “place” for those who do not yet know who we are (or our business) to easily find us to verify the information (more objective).

 

 

How to Better Market Your Business Online

Glenn E. Fleming, MD, MPH, Contributor, MarketHive

We keep hearing about the importance of understanding the concept of inbound marketing and how the old days of utilizing outbound marketing techniques have become obsolete.  Everyday I am beginning to realize just how critically important inbound marketing really is.  In hindsight, I’ve been utilizing a form of this technique for quite some time now as a young physician still at the beginning of my healthcare career.

No potential client wants to feel like you [the company] didn’t taken the time to research who the client really is, what the client really wants, and what the client is looking for.  It is your responsibility as the “CEO” of your “company” to do your “due diligence” by first understanding what the goals of your company are.

Furthermore, people need to know who you are and what “certifies” you as an individual knowledgeable about whatever topic or product you are selling.  This comes from a complete, professional profile page with a current photo of yourself, which includes your face.  Think LinkedIn as a great example of what your company profile page (or individual profile page) should look like.  It should also include educational background and certifications so that your audience has tangible evidence that you are knowledgeable in your field.

Once you understand the mission or goal(s) of your company (or yourself), then it’s time to determine who your potential clients are.  Who or what are you selling?  Who or what will be interested in your product (or you)?

Next, you will need to strategically figure out a way to “speak” to your targeted audience (i.e., your potential clients/customers).  In theory, this should attract a growing audience/client base by providing them with useful, relevant, and specific information that is germane to whatever it is you are selling.   Blogging is one way to accomplish this task.  Using this method will attract your targeted audience/client base because you are providing useful, relevant, and helpful information to them in your blogs.

Once you have completed the above, you will realize that it’ll be a lot easier to market your products because you have established credibility through your professional profile page, which should include a current professional photo of yourself/company along with all relevant education/certifications.  You will have provided useful, relevant content to your targeted audience and they are beginning to trust you because the information you are providing is deemed helpful to them.  Because you are sharing your blogs over multiple social media platforms, your clients can easily find you online and any questions they may have about your credibility can be [for the most part] easily answered through a general online search of you and your company.

Finally, you may be able to acquire a small sample of individuals willing to try your product for free (or for a small fee).  The key here is having those few individuals who have agreed to try your product show the rest of your target audience how well your product works.  Social media can be a huge strategy for getting the word out about how well your product works on an impartial individual who has no direct interest in your company.

For example: You (or your company) are selling a skin cream that you believe will help with wrinkles and dry skin.  Utilizing the above recommendations, this should give you and your company more credibility, visibility, and trust among your potential clients/customers:

1) Due Diligence for you and your company

-What are the goals/mission of your company?

-Who are you or your company?

-What do you [or your company] look like?
-Do you have a completed LinkedIn profile for yourself and/or your company (updated professional photo,

educational background, certifications, etc)?

2) Due Diligence for your targeted audience/clients

-Who are you marketing to (demographical information)?

  –>Example: Women of all ethnicities and sexual preferences who are between the ages of 35 and 50 who are    single and live in the Los Angeles area

-What are you trying to sell them?

   –> Skin cream that makes them look younger

3) Start speaking to your target audience

-Create blogs that are specific to your target audience

–>Potential blog topics: What causes dry or wrinkly skin?  At what age does our skin begin to wrinkle?  Are there any differences in skin aging between men & women; or among the different races/ethnicities?  Why?  How?

  -Create surveys or polls to get an idea of how many women (or men) have issues with dry skin/premature wrinkling,     etc

               -Eventually start creating campaigns showing the success of your product by those who have no interest in your                       company’s bottom-line

Please note that these recommendations are not by any means all-inclusive but it is a start in the right direction.

Think like a customer.  Would you want to make a significant purchase from someone or some company that you know nothing about?  Would you go see a physician who you know nothing about (at least with regard to qualifications/certifications)?  Would you plan to have an elective procedure at a hospital or healthcare facility that you know nothing about?

What additional tips would you suggest to better market one’s self or business?

Your comments are always encouraged.