WHILE A 2016 study by LawyerMarketing indicates that most people, across all age groups, who plan to hire an attorney still prefer to conduct more in-depth research using a desktop computer, there are three reasons why you want to make sure your law firm website is optimized for mobile:
- Mobile may be the initial point of contact with your firm, as more people readily grab and use their phones to look up information while they are on the go, or during stolen moments of “downtime.”
- Some folks only have access to mobile devices or limited access to computers. They may not own a computer themselves but may use public access computers. However, most adults own a cell phone of their own.
- Most likely, a mobile device will be used to contact you, either via a call, a text, an email or through GPS and directions to your office. The easier you make it for your prospective clients, the better.
Many website designers get so focused on how a website looks, they forget the true purpose of a website to a business owner—and that includes a law firm: to help the business convert clients from site visitors to paying clients. In other words, when a prospective client visits our website, we want the look, feel, content and functionality of the site to be so compelling the prospective client takes immediate action to engage with us, whether that’s by sending us a message, signing up for our mailing list, booking an appointment online, or picking up the phone and calling.
If your prospective clients cannot easily take any or all of those actions from your site (whichever actions you desire), whether they are on a laptop, tablet or mobile phone, then you might need to make some adjustments. To be competitive your mobile-friendly website must have:
- Fast loading content. First and foremost, your site must load quickly. If you’ve ever experienced a slow-loading site and bounced away quickly because of it, you’ll know what I mean. Make sure your photos are optimized for the web and test to ensure you don’t have any plug-ins that could be slowing things down.
- Easy-to-read content. The older you get, the more you’ll understand this one. Make that font bigger and darker than you think you’ll need it. The more color contrast you have between the background color and the font color the better. That’s why black text against a white background is still so popular. It’s the easiest to read. Don’t make your prospects work to read your brilliant words.
- Contact information that’s easy to find. Put your firm phone number on every page. And your e-mail address, too. Don’t hide the prize! If you want prospects to CALL your office, make it easy for them to do so. My favorite is when I can click on the phone number and it asks me, “Do you want to call this number?” Heck, yes! Now, I don’t have a phone number on my site because I have a specific process for contacting me to schedule an appointment. However, there are buttons on almost every page and clear instructions on how to contact me.
- Directions and connections to map. This is the same concept as the contact info. If you have an office where people can meet with you in person, then please, please, make it super easy for them to find the directions. This is especially important on their mobile device. Even more important is the ability to simply click on the directions and have it open in the Maps or GoogleMaps app on their phone. If you’ve ever had the experience of looking up directions and then having to copy and paste an address into GoogleMaps then you know what I mean.
- The ability to book an appointment. If possible, make it easy for your prospects to book an appointment with you directly from their phone. These days, so many people are happy never to speak with a human over the phone. They prefer to simply conduct business transactions online. Make it easy for them with a “Book Now” button that allows them to schedule an appointment through an online portal using your scheduling program. Reserve blocks of time each week for new client appointments and limit their options to these blocks if you must but do make it an option.
- A way to pay online. If a prospective client or current client wants to pay you money, make it super easy for them to do so by creating a pay online option. Again, the mobile phone is about convenience. Why make it hard for someone to give you money? Use the pay online option for initial paid consultations, or to make payments toward an outstanding invoice.
- Necessary info about the attorneys, areas of practice, and disclaimers. As attorneys, we are required by the Bar to provide certain information about our qualifications, our geographic location, areas of practice, our Bar licensure, and other disclaimers. Be sure this information is on your site. This is for your protection, as well as for the consumer protection. Requirements may vary from state to state, so please consult your Bar rules to determine what is required in your state.
Notice there is a common theme that runs through all the items on this list: convenience. Mobile phones are devices of convenience. They are designed to make information from anywhere in the world accessible at our fingertips. If you want your law firm site to stand out in the crowded marketplace, adopt a convenience-for-the-client mindset when planning and creating your site. If you make it easy for them to learn more about you, contact you, schedule an appointment and then hire you, they’ll feel confident they’ve chosen the best attorney to handle their matter.