For years, the most common mobile web design practice has been to develop a unique mobile version of a website on a sub-domain. For example, if a law firm’s primary website is www.lawyersrule.com, the mobile version will live at m.lawyersrule.com. Visitors on mobile devices are automatically redirected to the “m.” sub-domain website instead of the primary website. While this approach works, it does not work as well as a newer and better trend called responsive design.
Responsive design is a relatively new and extremely exciting web design trend. With this type of design, you optimize a website for desktops and for all other apparatuses that a searcher may use to look up your website (i.e. mobile phone, tablet, iPad, e-reader). Responsive web design makes one single website work effectively on both desktop and laptop browsers, as well as across the entire universe of mobile devices, providing the best browsing experience regardless of the user’s device or operating system. Responsive design allows your law firm’s website to respond automatically, and to display the ideal layout for the screen resolution of all devices.
So, rather than having separate websites for different devices, responsive web design for lawyers allows a law firm to use one design in one online location on every type of device a user might be searching with.
WHY SHOULD LAWYERS CARE ABOUT RESPONSIVE DESIGN?
• Google says so. Responsive design is Google’s recommended website configuration; having one sole URL makes it easier for Google to index your website.
• If your law firm’s website is not built with a responsive design, you could be losing prospective clients.
• Tracking user behavior is easier with one set of analytics.
• Without responsive design, you may be duplicating content across both a mobile and non-mobile version of your law firm’s website, which dilutes your search engine rankings.
Is your firm’s website mobile friendly?
Today, more than 200 million adults in the United States own a smart phone and are accessing the Internet via phone more often than desktop computers. If your law firm’s website is not yet mobile-friendly, we illustrate below why you should drop everything, and take care of it immediately.
When we say mobile-friendly, we are referring to whether or not your website displays differently on a mobile device than it does on a desktop. Mobile-friendly sites load quickly and are easy to navigate on hand-held devices like phones or tablets. There is no need to create a completely different website in order to be compatible with mobile devices (we get this question a lot). If your website is mobile-friendly, it should be able to pick up what type of device is visiting, and adjust accordingly.
• Future Clients Want To Find You
Whether a new client is blindly searching for a lawyer, or an old client has referred you, they are more than likely visiting your website from a cell phone. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you are making it that much more difficult for prospective clients to find you and your chances of potential clients contacting you are reduced by 50%. How your website is displayed and how easily it is to access your information could be the difference in whether a client hires you or moves on to someone else.
• Google Favors Mobile Friendly Sites
Google’s search algorithm has been fine-tuned to favor sites that look and work better when being searched from a smart phone. This means if the content of your site is too wide, or links are too close together, or the layout displays poorly on a mobile device, your site will rank lower in search results on mobile devices. If you want to stay ahead of the game and maximize SEO value, making sure your site is compatible with mobile devices is an essential step.
For more information on how you can work with Stacey E. Burke, P.C. to turn your existing law firm website into a responsive and mobile friendly website, contact us today.