Is your law firm’s website optimized for mobile use?
You and your clients likely have the same reaction to unexpected life events. Whether it’s a car accident, an injury, or a lawsuit, the first thing you do is gather information. As the saying goes, knowledge is power, and the easiest avenue to that knowledge is pulling the smartphone out of your pocket, opening the internet browser, and Googling the answer to whatever life has confronted you with. Google will populate quickly with articles, comment threads, and business websites, all of which are fighting to grab your attention as you scan the results.
So, imagine this – someone googles “lawyers near me” on their phone, a link to your website pops up, and they click on it. Success! But, the website doesn’t load correctly, the menu bar malfunctions, and the user can’t view the content they were looking for. Frustrated, they click the back button and find your competitor’s website, which functions perfectly and allows them to navigate to the information they are looking for quickly.
Your website does not have mobile optimization, so the client selects a different law firm for their legal needs, and you have lost a potential customer.
What is it?
The power of your the smartphone is growing—at least when it comes to searches. But, what is mobile optimization and how can you begin to implement this strategy on your law firm’s website?
Mobile Optimization is, quite simply, that when a potential customer accesses your company’s website on their smartphone or tablet, your website works the way it’s supposed to. The webpage is user-friendly, allows seamless navigation, and the client has a positive experience.
You may confuse this with SEO, search engine optimization, or the practice of improving your website’s visibility and increasing its ranking on search engines. Although SEO is a component of mobile optimization, it is only one key factor in a bigger picture.
Consider first that consumers act differently on cell phones versus their PCs. Mobile optimization requires content on smartphones to be formatted to fit a small screen; it must also be easy to navigate and quick to load. Strive for as limited clicks to make consumer contact—one to two at most. Additionally, your law firm’s copy should be concise to ensure a speedy experience for users.
So, enhancing your website for smartphones elevates you above the competition.
Why do I need it?
Technology is an ever-present part of modern life, in which we are all connected, all the time, by the world wide web. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center, 95% of Americans now own a cellphone, with smartphones comprising 77% of those phones. These smartphones are used for texting and calling, of course, but they are also used to surf the web anywhere, at any time.
More importantly, for the first time since both cell phones and desktop computers became available to the everyday consumer, cell phones are now used more than desktop computers to access the web. Instead of sitting down at a desktop computer to do some research or go on their favorite sites, the modern consumer is using a smartphone or tablet during their commute, in line for coffee, or while sitting at soccer practice.
With so many opportunities to view websites on the go, customers have understandably developed a higher standard for their viewing experience. You risk frustrating potential customers if it is not easy to find the information they’re searching for on your website. Customers surveyed by Google reported that a poor website navigation experience made them less likely to employ the company. Additionally, they complained that they felt as their time was wasted, and they were not considered important.
Instead of mobile optimization making a business stand out, it has now become mandatory, with 57% of consumers saying that if a company’s website is not optimized for mobile use, they would not recommend it to others. In a world where we are all connected, word of mouth is a priceless commodity, and a personal recommendation is often the golden ticket to success.
How do I optimize my website for mobile use?
Google used to crawl and rank websites based on a user’s desktop experience. However, beginning in 2018, Google will start to rank websites based primarily on the mobile experience, with the desktop interface ranked second.
What does that mean for you? It means if your firm’s website isn’t optimized for the mobile-first index, you may also start to see a drop in website traffic as Google gives higher SEO placement to sites with a better mobile experience.
Here are some tips for ensuring you don’t lose any site traffic with the rise of the mobile-first index:
- Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to ensure your website loads properly on mobile (websites that load in under 5 seconds on mobile see 70% longer time on site)
- Consider switching your blog over to Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which will allow them to load faster
- Try optimizing keywords for voice search to boost chances of being found on mobile (incorporate long-tail keywords with organic language you would ask Siri/Alexa into your SEO strategy)
Optimizing for the mobile-first index doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor if your firm’s current website already has a good user experience and site design. But, if you’ve been considering an update to your online presence, now is the opportune time to do so.
Consumers want to know that their chosen law firm is technology-savvy, up to date with the times, and most importantly, the best at what they do. If they do not perceive these things when viewing your website on their phone or tablet, they will quickly look for another.
Website content is king, but only when clients can view it on their own terms. Keep up with the times, and ensure that your customers are able to find the information they need quickly and easily with mobile optimization!