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It’s not enough for your law firm's website to be online and accessible to potential visitors.

Even a website offering useful content and eye-catching graphics isn’t enough to ensure you attract the hits you want. With statistics showing more than half of all website traffic is accomplished via a mobile device, a website lacking mobile-preparedness will likely lead to a loss of visits and, exponentially, conversions.

Of course, fewer visitors to your site will undoubtedly translate into less money in your law firm’s bank account. According to Tom Murzenski, Director of Technology and Online Marketing at Impel Digital, a mobile-ready website “is sized to fit on a mobile screen without horizontal scrolling, the text is easy to read, images are the right size and the site is easy to navigate by touch.”

A mobile-ready URL offers “a first class experience for visitors” using their smartphone to access the site, he says. Websites that are not mobile-ready are also not as user-friendly. For example, when a user clicks on a business’s phone number on a mobile-ready website, the number instantly transfers to the phone’s screen. Click your cell’s “call” icon and the phone dials the number.

The caller is able to call your office much easier since they do not have to look for paper and a pen to write the number down or create a crazy acronym to help them recall your digits. Still, easier phone communication isn’t the main reason for ensuring your firm’s URL is amenable to mobile users.

“Google's research indicates mobile visitors are five times more likely to leave a site that isn't mobile friendly and nearly half will leave if a site doesn't load within three seconds,” says Murzenski. “You've probably fought hard to get a visitor to come to your site. Do you want them to leave right as soon as they get there?”

Another reason to go mobile is that Google analytics favor mobile-ready sites. That means a mobile-ready website is bound to achieve a higher Google ranking than one that is not.

Making Your Site Mobile-Ready

If a website was built more than eight years ago and has not been updated since, it will probably be more time- and cost-effective to start from scratch versus attempting to add mobile elements to a site not geared towards that technology, says Murzenski. However, if your website was created using WordPress and was built fairly recently, it is already mobile-friendly and requires little, if any, customization.

Services such as Wix or Weebly have mobile-preparedness built in, although it will likely require some tweaking, says Murzenski. So, how can you know if a website is mobile-ready or not? The folks at Google have the answer for that. Click here to be taken to a site which allows people to check the mobile-readiness of a URL.

Murzenski offers three tips to know about mobile-ready websites. They are:

  • Go Responsive
  • Keep it slim
  • Watch your navigation

"Responsiveness design means your site will rearrange itself to make it easy to see your information, even on a small screen," he says. Keeping a website slim is imperative because it impacts the speed at which a web site can be navigated. "Speed is a huge issue on mobile," says Murzenski, who advises people to use a minimum of bells and whistles on their site so accessibility speeds won’t be diminished.

He also says to use as few images as possible, and keep the ones you do use small, as graphics also impact a website’s speed of accessibility. When it comes to navigation, Murzenski says to keep the visitor in mind when creating your site’s navigational buttons.

“Your visitor may be holding their phone in one hand and trying to navigate with a stretched thumb,” so keep it all accessible, he says. Another tip? “Keep your menu easy to use,” says Murzenski.

Tami Kamin Meyer is an Ohio attorney and writer.

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