Since it was launched, 1,300 people have ordered an STI test through SH:24 - 60% by women and 40% by men (broadly reflecting the gender split of clinic users) and 60% people have returned their test (higher than other online testing services). 95% of the people starting the order process go right through it to complete an order. We think this is a product of our careful and extensive prototyping of the order form with users during our alpha and beta development. This take-up of the service has been achieved with fairly low-level promotion in Lambeth and Southwark, which is in line with our soft launch (no big ad campaigns). The signs are encouraging and tell a positive story.
Most people continue to use their mobile phone to access the service (60%) suggesting that they order a test whilst on the move. Having said this, a sizable proportion of users (37%) use a desktop/laptop to do so – indicating that other people like to order a test in the privacy of their own home.
The website has received 5,200 visitors (70% of which are new) and 26,000 page views. This reflects our work to expand our online presence. Most people access the website by directly inputting the url and just over 20% through organic search. Since SH:24 still ranks fairly lowly for relevant search terms (such as ‘STI Lambeth/Southwark’) – we are encouraged that people are finding us still! But we want to make it as easy as possible to discover that free online STI testing, information and support is available to the residents of the boroughs we work in. This involves cracking the mysterious search engine algorithms, which we are working hard on!
We’ve stumbled across some other interesting facts – people tend to place their order for a kit at lunchtime (12-2pm), late-ish afternoon (3-4pm) or later evening (8-9pm). Despite this, ordering an STI test is a 24 hour thing – with some people ordering in the night or very early morning.
Posters and promotion cards are in many places now (clinics, GPs and pharmacies) which has helped shift many asymptomatic people from clinics to SH:24. In theory, and over the long-term, this should help to alleviate pressure on clinical services and allow them to focus on more complex cases. We have also received some nice press attention and online endorsements from users.
June will be a busy month for us now as we shift the focus of our promotional activities so that we can meet more users and partners who deliver sexual health services or related areas face-to-face. We will be in Asda demoing and promoting our service, taking part in the #LambethLGBTday at the Eagle bar/club in Vauxhall and getting involved in various Pride London events – this is to name but a few things we are up. No matter how much analytical data we look at, there is no substitute for getting out there and talking with people!