What It Takes To Create A Winning Mobile SEO Strategy: 5 Questions With Humana’s Mobile Manager

5-QuestionsAccording to a study conducted by Pure Oxygen Labs earlier this year, Humana was one of only six top 100 Fortune 500 companies whose website met Google’s mobile SEO requirements.

In light of Google’s focus on mobile, mobile SEO is something all companies should be considering – not just Fortune 500 organizations, and definitely more than six percent of the top 100 Fortune 500.

It was only a few months ago when Google’s head of Web spam Matt Cutts told an audience at the SMX West Conference, “You really need to be thinking about mobile. We’re starting to think a lot about mobile.” Google confirmed that sites with mobile experience issues won’t rank as high in Google’s mobile search results.

Humana mobile manager Nicole Fabry has spent the last year concentrating on Humana’s mobile efforts. “We’re really focused on understanding the consumer,” said Fabry. Humana’s mobile manager says her team identifies pain points in the user experience and collects feedback from members to guide Humana’s mobile efforts.

For Fabry, informing Humana’s internal teams is one of the most crucial steps toward building a winning mobile SEO platform.

“When it comes to mobile SEO, our biggest challenge has been education,” said Fabry. Her goal is to get other Humana team leaders thinking about the company’s mobile initiatives as a long-term strategy versus their short-term needs.

With numerous business lines, including health insurance and Medicare programs, wellness initiatives and mail-order prescription services, Humana.com serves over 20 million members, as well as non-members searching for information on Humana’s offerings. In an attempt to incorporate all of Humana’s services into an effective mobile experience, Fabry is leading the charge to launch a new version of the MyHumana mobile app later this year.

The current app allows users to view their insurance coverage and claims, search for pharmacies and physicians, review drug pricing, order refills, and enroll in Humana’s mail-order pharmacy service RightSource.

Myhumana app

“The new app will utilize camera features,” she says, “But we’re not just looking at big wow features.” Fabry emphasizes the importance of giving users what they want, and how sometimes, going after the “low hanging fruit” can greatly increase an app’s usability.

“Currently, our users don’t have a way to reset their password from within the MyHumana app,” said Fabry, “The new app will allow users to reset their password without having to access our website.”

In addition to giving us details around the launch of the new MyHumana app, Nicole was kind enough to answer Search Engine’s five most pressing questions about Humana’s mobile strategy.

Five Questions with Humana’s Mobile Manager Nicole Fabry

Nicole FabryAmy Gesenhues: When did mobile SEO become part of Humana.com’s overall initiatives?

Nicole Fabry: Humana’s mobile SEO preparedness is an extension of our overall SEO program and part of an evolutionary digital marketing process that recognizes the rapidly growing adoption and use of mobile devices.

A few years ago, when we first began to see people accessing our web properties via mobile devices, we created a mobile friendly site (m.humana.com) and a mobile app because we are committed to meeting our members where they are.  As adoption of mobile devices surged, and the number of people accessing our sites via mobile devices increased, we recently redesigned our core websites using Responsive Design to ensure we are meeting the changing needs of our members.

Amy Gesenhues: How much of Humana.com’s traffic comes from mobile devices, and which areas of your site are most frequently accessed via mobile devices (phones & tablets)?

Nicole Fabry: Our traffic data is proprietary information that we can’t share. However, we are seeing an increasing trend upwards in users accessing our web properties from mobile devices.  The majority of that traffic comes from non-members looking for information about our products and pricing as well as our members who log in to MyHumana to securely access their individual health plan information.

Amy Gesenhues: What specific steps have you taken to make sure your site is optimized for mobile access and what are some of the biggest challenges around optimizing your site for mobile SEO?

Nicole Fabry: A number of factors have contributed to how we have developed our mobile web and app strategies.  These include understanding how users are accessing our sites, analyzing emerging digital and technology trends and creating appropriate technology platforms to help us build a foundation for future growth.

After we made the decision to use Responsive Design to optimize mobile access for our core web properties, our main challenges included modifying our development process, ensuring consistency, providing training on Responsive Design techniques and promoting increased collaboration across our development, design, copy and digital teams.

Amy Gesenhues: How does your site’s mobile SEO efforts relate to your overall SEO strategy?

Nicole Fabry: Search marketing continues to reinvent itself on a regular basis due to new technologies and innovations. For us, mobile SEO is a vital component of our overall SEO strategy. The user experience is our highest priority, but we also focus on understanding how our users look for information, changes within the SEO industry, developing relevant content and strictly adhering to section 508 accessibility guidelines.

Amy Gesenhues: What advice would you give to other brands that have yet to begin optimizing their site for mobile SEO?

Nicole Fabry: If you haven’t started evaluating how your users are accessing your websites, start now. With the increasing proliferation of mobile devices (tablet and smartphone), users of all ages expect to be able to search for information, access their information and buy products wherever they are and whenever they want.

Redesigning your website using Responsive Design may not be the right thing for everyone, but you should be tracking how users access your site and what type of content they are viewing to determine whether you need to mobile-optimize certain areas of your site. If you are getting ready to redesign your site or build a new one, make sure you consider mobile optimization before you start. It will be a lot more efficient and easier to mobile-optimize it initially than retrofitting it in later.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Features: 5 Questions With | Google: Mobile | Google: SEO | SEO: General | SEO: Mobile Search | Top News

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About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs.com, SoftwareCEO.com, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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  • dkern

    Not sure what we’re supposed to learn from this. No real detail given.

  • Pat Grady

    “was one of only six top 100 Fortune 500 companies whose website met Google’s mobile SEO requirements.”
    It’s coming!

  • Ronnie’s Mustache

    And they’re going the App. route. : /

  • Morgan Akchehirlian

    Agree with you.She did not shared the tricks that we need to learn and understand to make sure our sits meats Google SEO standards.
    25%+ to many sites is coming from Mobile phone devices.Its really important to make your site Mobile friendly or you are losing this 25% which is a major amount of traffic per day.

  • Mike Williams

    Humana may be doing great on the Fortune 400, and the Internet. But down the line here in South Texas they have been around for decades, they were the first company to sell HMO health insurance for senior citizens.
    But these days they are loosing customers as they have gotten a sour reputation as a slow payer of their bills. Last year the largest hospital in San Antonio stopped accepting their members as patients. It took months to work it out, and the news media heard a lot about how they pay their bills slow. My own doctor, Dr. Lopez is not accepting their members as parents starting in October.
    They still have many customers left, but they get tired of providers not accepting Humana in payment. They should perhaps pay more attention to the little people in the market place, and less to being an internet biggie. Most of our seniors here do not have the internet,

  • Mike Williams

    Humana may be doing great on the Fortune 400, and the Internet. But down the line here in South Texas they have been around for decades, they were the first company to sell HMO health insurance for senior citizens.
    But these days they are loosing customers as they have gotten a sour reputation as a slow payer of their bills. Last year the largest hospital in San Antonio stopped accepting their members as patients. It took months to work it out, and the news media heard a lot about how they pay their bills slow. My own doctor, Dr. Lopez is not accepting their members as parents starting in October.
    They still have many customers left, but they get tired of providers not accepting Humana in payment. They should perhaps pay more attention to the little people in the market place, and less to being an internet biggie. Most of our seniors here do not have the internet,

  • http://www.llt-group.com/seo.html JeremySeoChicago

    I love the fact that Fortune 500 companies are now integrating mobile technology into the insurance/medical field. Keeping a boring and tedious topic (no offense) accessible to the masses is always a good thing to have. Good informative piece. Spot on.

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