Mobile Design for Users on the Go
Did you know that more than half of internet users today access information through their mobile devices? Yep, it’s true. We’ve all seen them – people sitting in their cars, waiting in line at a grocery store or sneaking glances at their smart phone during a business meeting. They’re all tapping, swiping and texting to get information and optimize their real-world experiences.
The time spent on mobile devices engaging with digital media has reached 3.3 hours a day for the average consumer, according to the Meeker 2018 Internet Trends Report. This is more than double the 1.6 hours per day consumers spent on mobile engaging in 2012. Mobile is such an extension of daily life today that users reach for their devices not only when they want to get directions or find an attorney, but also when they’re hungry, bored or worried.
That’s why it’s so important to have a website that is mobile friendly! This means your site needs to be fast, secure, easy to use and provide contact information immediately. It also means buttons and links are large enough to be tapped with a finger and text is large enough, so users don’t have to squint. After all, these rapid mobile users may only pause on your site for 10 seconds or less. If it’s not fast and effortless, they’ll move on.
Three in four smart phone owners turn to mobile search first to meet their immediate needs. And in 2017, mobile devices were responsible for more than 52% of total global internet traffic, according to Forbes magazine. The key to a mobile-friendly user experience is on-the-go speed and ease of use.
Let’s Be “Responsive” and Improve SEO
Most law firm website designs are programmed to be “responsive” – meaning that the size, orientation and placement of on-page elements adjusts dynamically (read: automatically and effortlessly) to the size of the visitor’s device. A responsively programmed website design will adjust and fit correctly on desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile device screens.
Hard as it is to believe in this portable digital age, there are still some law firms out there with no mobile-friendly version of their website. Make sure you’re not one of them!
Google has given direct and specific guidance for offering a mobile-friendly web experience, and Google ratings are impacted by your website’s ease of mobile use. In 2018 Google announced Mobile-First Indexing, prioritizing the mobile-friendliness of your website as a ranking factor.
How Do I Know If My Site Is Mobile Unfriendly?
Conduct a little experiment. Use your smart phone and look up your firm’s website. Watch what happens next.
- How fast does your page load? Time it!
- Do text and images pop up quickly and clearly or are they fuzzy, mottled and sometimes missing?
- Do you immediately see your firm’s phone number and location, or do you have to hunt around for it?
- Can your fingers tap tabs and buttons cleanly or are buttons too tiny causing repeated mistakes?
- Can you read the text easily or do you have to squint?
- Do you feel annoyed or energized by this experience?
Mistakes Not to Make
- Don’t treat mobile-friendly design as an afterthought. It’s every bit as important – if not more important – than website design for computer use.
- Optimize for tablets, too. Ultramobiles, which include tablets, hybrids and clamshells, are huge drivers of growth in the future mobile sector and are a critical format to consider in mobile-friendly web design.
- Don’t forget to create a “Call To Action” button or link that prompts users to call your law firm’s phone number or fill out a contact form. And think about customizing your CTA button – rather than labeling it “Click” or “Submit,” consider naming it “Get Started” or “Let’s Talk.” Calls to action and contact info should be repeated at various places on your site.
- Don’t overload your site with text and slow-loading images. Your site needs to load quickly and scroll easily. Mobile users are mission oriented and in a hurry. They want immediate results, or they will go elsewhere.
- Not investing in social autofill. If your website has a log-in portal for clients or potential clients, consider incorporating autofill in your web design so that users don’t have to remember their login password each time they visit your site. Today’s consumers have a slew of login passwords swimming around in their heads, and research shows that users frequently leave sites due to forgotten login information.
Where Do I Go from Here?
If you’ve discovered that your firm’s mobile engagement experience is a snooze rather than a cause for excitement, don’t despair. A remedy is close at hand. There are simple tools that can enhance your site’s mobile user experience, and there are digital professionals who can help get you there. Our Gladiator professionals are always here to help you analyze and create successful mobile strategies. It’s important to remember that mobile-friendly website design enhances SEO, which drives your firm’s online visibility and strengthens its brand authority.
Believe it or not, mobile users who find your firm online have a conversion percentage nearly three times higher than the same search done on a desktop or laptop, according to socPub research. Not only that, but 70 percent of mobile searches lead to online action within an hour.
Social media is also a growing referral source, and a majority of social media is conducted on mobile devices. Social media reaches a third of consumers in the United States today, and users spend an average of 135 minutes on social networks every day, according to the Meeker Internet Trends report.
Make sure your law firm is not missing out on this brave new world of mobile engagement. It’s essential that you have a dynamic digital footprint.
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