Mobile websites for lawyers are completely necessary in 2021 and will be for the foreseeable future. This goes for every type of law firm, including personal injury practices, divorce firms, criminal defense attorneys, and so on.
Even B2B firms and other, less public-facing practices should have optimized mobile sites. Why do mobile websites matter? The answer is more complex than you might think. This article will go into some depth on the following topics.
That’s admittedly a lot to take in. Here’s an overview: Mobile websites are additional site versions that automatically display when someone looks you up on a phone or tablet. They’re faster, simpler, and optimized for an on-the-go experience. You’ll need them to generate new clients if your visitors are using their phones.
Traditional web design has high-resolution images, videos, and advanced navigational elements. This is all part of what was once called Web 2.0: the interactive, self-updating, and media-rich Internet that we’re used to today.
You might remember that, before that, websites were much simpler. They tend to behave more like static documents. They also loaded very quickly over very slow connections (at least compared to the connection speeds most people have today).
Fast forward to 2021, when many people have near-broadband connections on their mobile phones. We now need to deliver a similar media-rich experience to Web 2.0, but we need to optimize it for the unreliable speeds, short attention spans, small displays, and relatively lightweight computational resources of mobile devices. That’s mobile website design in a nutshell. And for the biggest reason to build responsive or mobile-friendly websites, Google is now employing mobile-first indexing.
How do you build a website if you want both desktop and mobile versions? The short answer is that you create both versions and you let the devices choose which one to display.
For example, you create a desktop version and a mobile version of your website that displays the same information but has different types of formatting. Then, you write code to let devices know which version is which. Devices such as desktop computers, mobile phones, and tablets read your code and select the correct version.
After you test on a wide variety of different devices and confirm that the display behavior is correct, then you can deploy the changes to your site. Building websites that display properly on any device is called responsive web design. It is basically a fancy way of saying mobile-friendly.
Law firm mobile website design should take advantage of the fact that your visitors have a way to contact you right in the palm of your hand. From a marketing and advertising perspective, this is huge.
Most of your potential clients will have questions that no website can solve. However, your website might be able to convince your prospective clients that contacting you is the first step towards solving their complex issues.
The best mobile design for lawyers usually focuses on more than just performance — it also focuses on making the most of this opportunity. You should provide ample options: direct darling, contact forms, and other types of lead generation.
Mobile websites work similarly to desktop websites. They just tend to have fewer multimedia or interactive elements. The smaller screens and lower bandwidth both play a role in these design choices.
If you want to see the difference for yourself, you can do it with your own smartphone. Here’s how:
If you work through this process, you’ll see that desktop sites do not look very good on mobile devices. The layout is wrong, they are slow, and the text is usually too small to read.
If you were able to check the difference between a mobile and desktop website, then you already know that mobile versions have a lot of advantages for visitors. Here are just a few examples:
Many of these advantages don’t just benefit your visitors. They also benefit your firm. Keep reading to discover how happy website visitors result in better search engine results and higher conversion rates.
Mobile optimization helps search engine rank. A higher ranking gives you more exposure. More exposure means more visits to your website, which, in turn, should result in more people calling your law firm.
Simply having a mobile version of your site is good for your search engine rank. In addition to that, the following things help:
Mobile optimization speeds up load times, increases the amount of time people spend on your site, and decreases the chance they get frustrated and leave. It covers most of the technical things you can do to increase your rank.
Optimizing for the web does not necessarily mean you have to rewrite your entire website. However, most firms we work with at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing choose to build new sites from the ground up with a mobile focus built right in.
If you need a mobile site, you probably need other things, too. It makes sense to do them together.
Getting everything done in one project lets you streamline your construction project. It should also consolidate your maintenance tasks. Finally, it should prevent the need for any major upgrades for a while.
How much does website mobile optimization cost? We know you probably want some kind of ballpark figure here — unfortunately, we need to know what kind of services your business needs first.
We need to know about your website, your goals, and several other technical details before we start to talk about what type of investment this project represents. For example, some firms have mobile versions of the websites that simply need a bit of updating. Others would benefit from building a new website from scratch.
Give us a call and we can give you your best options. We’ll also lay out what you can expect to pay for each.
Unlike apps, mobile versions of websites are not optimized for any particular phone or brand of phones. This upgrade is more about accommodating smaller screens, touchscreen-style inputs, and slower internet speeds — things common to almost all mobile devices. As mentioned above, this is called responsive web design.
Despite what the manufactures of these devices might want you to think, most phones are very similar. Your mobile-optimized site should work just as well on an old iPhone as it does on the newest Android device.
In short, all you need is one good mobile website. It will work across all tablets and phones.
In general, a mobile optimization project falls under a specialty practice called “responsive web design”. Some of the core skills and knowledge required to do it correctly include:
If you know how to do all of these things, and if you have the time to do them, then mobile optimization is something you can do yourself. However, even the largest law firms typically do not employ people with all of these skills.
This is a project you do once every several years — at most. It simply does not make sense to master a diverse skill set for a once-in-a-decade project.
We might be biased, but we don’t think it makes sense to try a DIY approach for any law firm online marketing project. It makes even less sense when it’s a complex project like this one.
On that note, FORWARD Lawyer Marketing has helped many firms optimize their websites for mobile. We are ready to listen to your goals and help you achieve them. We also have all of the technical expertise and knowledge you need to get the project finished quickly and efficiently. Please reach out today to get started either via our contact form or call us at (888) 590-9687.