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Big health sites over-index for mobile

Senior Director, Social Media

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This week comScore released some numbers from its new Media Metrix Multi-Platform product and they highlight the effect that mobile is having on popular health sites. In the top 50 worldwide sites the two relevant health ones are:

Also, since 50% of users discuss health on their social channels, it is worthwhile to look at some of the larger social sites to review their mobile lift as well:

What is tracked?

The comScore report shows the monthly unique visitors for the sites split by:

The Metrics

Rank Site Desktop Mobile Mobile Only Mobile Lift
#4 Facebook 145,306 99,698 29,494 20%
#9 Wikipedia 85,856 49,296 23,667 28%
#24 Twitter 35,963 31,372 19,577 54%
#31 WebMD 32,641 27,614 18,200 56%
#41 Everyday Health 27,143 16,141 11,577 43%

The average mobile lift (excluding the three top sites which are special purpose outliers such as Pandora radio and Zynga) is 31%. It is interesting to note that both WebMD and Everyday Health outperform the average in terms of the percentage of users who visit on mobile devices.

webmd-mobile

WebMD screen capture from iPhone

Why Mobile?

Speculating on why mobile is such a large part of these health websites’ traffic is intriguing. We would need to conduct some primary research to find out for sure, but some initial thoughts are:

Symptoms are noticed when the patient is out of the home and the trigger sparks a search on the condition that finds the large health portals.

Conditions that are embarrassing are more likely to be reviewed on mobile, away from the family computer where the significant other and children can see the browsing history.

These sites have good mobile experience and users have found that they don’t need the desktop version.

Regardless of why, the fact is that health seems to be over-indexing for mobile. Keep this in mind during your next site redesign.

More About the Author

Brad Einarsen

Brad is Klick's Senior Director leading the social practice. His group ensures that clients get the best bang for their buck on the social platforms.

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