A survey of 21 randomly selected UK-based medical device and service company websites suggests that when it comes to exploiting the power of the internet, a little more nurturing of this most precious of resources could pay back in terms of search engine performance, viewer experience and delivery of qualified leads.
Medlatest, by now well known for purveying a smattering of medical device industry news, is one of numerous endeavours undertaken by UK medical device/internet experts, Hill Woods Medical Media, Ltd. (HWMM). HWMM’s principal officers, Nick Woods and Andy Hill have been in the medtech and/or internet business for donkeys years, during which they’ve accumulated more than a little experience in both. The question they’ve addressed by this new study, which can be found here, is how does a sample of medical device and associated industry websites perform when measured against a number of important criteria?
Why is website performance important in the first place, when selling medical products and services is such a human to human affair? Well, the contention is that one way or another companies feed off the impression they create in the market place as well as being easy (and appropriately) track-downable using popular search engines. An awful website with most recent news dating back to 2014, with old-fashioned fonts and virtual unusability on an iphone is not likely to fill your visitor with confidence that the product is any more considered, goes the theory. Then there’s the reality that says if you’re going to the bother and expense of developing and maintaining a website, why not make it perform as well as it could?
The HWMM report looks at important criteria, using a combination of Google’s developer tools, coupled with some of the investigators’ own methodology. The conclusion seems to be that bigger companies do a better job all round, although few of the 21 randomly derived target companies come out with a clean bill of health. And quite frankly some elicited so many red flags as to be very difficult to find through search engines, and barely worth the effort on arrival.
The other striking fact is that a number of sites are not responsive, so will work poorly on mobile phones and tablet devices. While this might only look important if the company is concerned about its audience looking for it on these devices, the wake-up call is that healthcare professionals are arguably even more firmly wedded to their tablets and iphones than the rest of the populus… and also Google likes websites that are device-friendly.
Study co-author Andy Hill says; “One could argue that good enough is good enough when it comes to websites in medtech, but the plain fact as illustrated by the variety of sites assessed here is that some companies plainly do the job better. Those sites are the ones that look most current, work quickly and securely and are user friendly. I suspect they are also the most successful of the companies we surveyed too. The rest have a great opportunity to get better results from their website.
“It’s difficult to claim that a sample of 21 companies is truly representative of the industry as a whole. That said, even if this piece of work is only considered a pilot study, it’s been a worthwhile exercise and one that is likely to lead to us performing a more comprehensive analysis.”
Hill Woods Medical Media Ltd. provides full development, hosting and maintenance packages, specifically to the medical device (and associated) industry. If you would like HWMM to perform a confidential health check on your site, contact the company here