Part 1 of The Practicing Attorney’s Guide to Creating Website Clients Want to Read

Posted by Audrey Ehrhardt, Esquire, CBC

Your website needs to be mobile-friendly.

A mobile-friendly website is responsive. This means your website content, structure and brand adapt seamlessly to the mobile platform your audience is searching for you on.  Right now, mobile searches account for more than half of all Google searches.  Think of your clients asking legal questions on their smart phone or tablet, have you positioned yourself to be able to answer them quickly and effectively?

Your website needs to have excellent mobile responsiveness or your visitors (your future clients) are going to leave. They’re not going to do what you want them to do, which is call you, fill out your contact form, or schedule an appointment.  What they are doing is leaving your website. And, if that’s not the worst thing that could happen, Google’s ranking algorithms penalize you if your website is not optimized for use on a smartphone. If you’ve been wondering why you no longer show up on the first page of search engine searches in your area that is going to be one of the reasons.

An ever increasing number of people search for answers to their questions on the internet via mobile technology today. You need to be out in front answering those questions. To do so your website design needs to convert to a mobile format that best meets the needs of your audience. It needs to include calls to action that motivate your reader to act.  Offer a free consultation? It should be there. Available for a call 24/7/365? It should be there. Have a must-read, free monthly newsletter? It should be there.

Think of one (or three or five) competitors in your area. Look at his or her website on your smartphone. Is it mobile friendly? Is it engaging? Is it easy to read and find answers? If you’re answering yes to any of these, there’s a strong possibility that your competition is engaging more clients than you are resulting from web searches.  Chances are pretty good they’re meeting the clients who left your antiquated site. In a Google research report, 61% of users said that if they didn’t find what they were looking for right away on a mobile site, they’d quickly move on to another site.

I know you’re thinking – my website is not antiquated. It was built only three years ago!  I spent good money on this!  We hear this from a lot of our clients.  The simple fact is that search engines, like Google, are rapidly changing to meet the needs of their consumers and changing technology. We have to stay abreast of these changes, determine what matters with each one, and adapt our course of action to avoid being left behind.

Why does it matter?

Let me give you an example. Imagine your kid or your spouse or your best friend asked you a really important question. One it would be easy for you to immediately answer.

Instead of answering it immediately, you back up about 100 yards away from them and shout your answer back. Even better, you don’t speak. Instead, you write your answer with white chalk on a dark piece of poster board and hold it up. Or maybe don’t even write your answer, just list a bunch of tiny topics they could choose from to select an answer.

Think they’re feeling irritated yet?

How do you think the visitors to your website feel when they’re trying to watch your tiny videos or scroll through your shrunken text to find the answer they desperately need?  Ever tried to read website text in a four point font? No, of course you didn’t.  You left the website and went somewhere else to find the same answer. Maybe even a second (or third or fourth) rate answer but you used it anyway because it was readily available and easy to read.

Web design matters more than ever before. You need to be using a web design that meets the needs of your clients and showcases you as the thought-leader you are.

Want to learn more about mobile-friendly web design and other cutting-edge tech topics? Join us for our free discussion of Marketing Today on Thursday, February 25, 2015, at 3:00 pm (ET) / 12 pm (PT). Can’t make it? Sign up for our weekly newsletter where we’ll be recapping the highlights from the live event.

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