"Websites are great, but people don't carry their desktops in their pockets."
-Patrick Trzcienski President TZDesignstudio, April 2009
"New Study Shows the Mobile Web Will Rule by 2015"
-Mashable, April 2010
"Mobile Internet Now a Daily Ritual For Millions, Study Finds"
-Switched, March 2009
"...mobile Internet usage is ramping up substantially
faster than desktop Internet usage did."
- Mary Meeker, head of the Morgan Stanley global technology research team, via GigaOM, April 2010
The Cisco Visual Networking Index predicts that there will be 788 million mobile-only Internet users by 2015. And according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research company, more United States consumers will access the Internet on mobile devices than computers by 2015. That means that by 2015, lawyers whose information cannot be easily found and viewed on a mobile device may be left behind.
In September of 2011, Google released a statement informing website owners that mobile website optimization would affect their keyword quality, thus impacting their Adwords performance. Google also claimed that most users will not revisit a website from their phone if they had trouble doing so the first time. If your target audience is likely to search on a smartphone or tablet and cannot find your law firm site using the mobile search engine, or your site provides a poor mobile user experience, you risk losing potential clients and referrals.
Does that mean your firm needs a mobile version of its website? If you don’t already have one, now might be the time to look into it.
Designing a Mobile Friendly Website
As with any other marketing initiative your firm or business considers, the first thing you want to explore is how your target audience uses mobile devices. Are your potential clients or referral sources likely to use a mobile device to search for you or for information that might be contained on your website? If so, what is it that they are searching for? Is it the same or different than what they would be searching for on their desktop or laptop computer? What are your potential clients likely to use their mobile devices for? Is that something the firm’s website provides? These answers will help you determine what should be included in your firm’s mobile site.
Next, think about what the experience of viewing a regular website on a mobile device is like:
Type is small.
Load time is long.
Flash does not play.
Navigation is difficult.
Buttons are too small to click on with a thumb.
You cannot access sub-menus (the menus that pop up when you roll your mouse over the main navigation point).
To take advantage of all of those potential clients using mobile devices for search, your site must be mobile friendly: it must be simple, clean, easy to navigate and load quickly.
You will also want to look at the bounce rate and conversion rate for your site. Do smartphone and tablet users quickly exit your site? Are there fewer conversions (visitors that take action on your site, whether that is downloading free information, sending an inquiry or calling for a consultation) when your site is being viewed on a mobile device? These are the issues that need to be a part of your design decision-making process.
Some additional tips for making the mobile site work for your visitors include:
Edit – include the key information your visitors need on the go, but not everything; keep the number of pages down and the layout simple.
Keep branding consistent with your main site – include your logo and ensure colors remain consistent.
Don’t use pop-ups.
Limit the amount of text entry required – use drop-down menus and checklists where possible.
Contact us today to optimize your mobile exposure. Click here.
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