Should Law Firms Care About Responsive Design?
The world of Internet marketing never seems to sleep and your law firm is undoubtedly trying to keep up. You’ve already integrated a blog, joined just about every social media site, and incorporated several SEO tactics. But know you’re hearing buzz about something called “responsive design,” and you’re wondering if it’s worth the extra effort or if it’s just a passing fad.
This article will examine responsive design, weigh the benefits against the downfalls, and do so with the busy life of a lawyer in mind. Not every marketing strategy is right for your law firm. Is responsive design one of them?
What Is Responsive Design?
Responsive design allows any visitor to your website to see all the content you have made available to them regardless of the device their viewing your website with. If they’re on their desktop, they’ll see the most common format of your website, the one you helped your web designer outline. If they’re on their smartphone, which is becoming more and more likely these days, they’ll still see your website in all its entirety, only optimized for the small screen. Same for tablets of any size, shape, or brand. In other words, responsive design responds to the user’s device.
What’s that you say? You’ve already made a mobile-friendly version of your website? Well, that’s great. As I mentioned before, mobile Internet browsing is becoming more and more prominent since smartphones are in just about everybody’s pocket. But a mobile version of your website is not quite the same as a responsive design. Most mobile sites show a limited amount of the content available to desktop users. While mobile development has gone a long way, it can still be slow and clunky. Responsive design allows your website to adapt quickly and efficiently without losing content or atmosphere.
Why Should You Care?
If you want a better website, you should care. If you want a higher SEO ranking for your website, you should care. And if you want to attract new clients, you should care. Responsive design can help you with all of the above, and then some.
One of the main attractions responsive design offers if the intuitive usability. Imagine that a potential client has viewed your website on their laptop at work. Later, they meet some friends for drinks and someone happens to mention they’re looking for a lawyer. Your potential client pulls out their iPhone to show off your website but low and behold, your website is suddenly vastly different. Nowhere can they find your employee bios, blog, or even contact information. You can lose several clients from that interaction alone.
Furthermore, if you’ve been paying attention to SEO practices, then responsive design should be a no-brainer. Google like to ranks websites based on many factors, but how well users respond to your website can play a big part. Not only does Google take note whenever a user clicks on your website and leaves rather quickly, but they tend to pick mobile-friendly sites for mobile-oriented searches. With responsive design, you can essentially hit two birds with one stone.
You’ve probably also been noticing that link building has become a hot SEO strategy. When your website links to and is linked by other highly ranked websites, Google can give you a higher ranking and more visibility. With a responsive design, your website receives the same link juice whether it’s searched for on a mobile device, a tablet, or a desktop. That’s because you only have one website that adapts to multiple screens, rather than various versions for various devices. With responsive design, your website can attract users regardless of where they are or how they’re surfing the Internet.
But Is Responsive Design Right For My Law Firm?
We’ve established that responsive design is pretty cool. We’ve also decided that responsive design is something worth caring about. But does your law firm need another marketing strategy eating away at a limited budget? While the decision is entirely your own, moving towards a responsive website at a slow and comfortable pace is a great idea. Talk to your designer about creating content that can be easily read on any screen size, compressing images for faster load time, and incorporating elements that look and function great regardless of whether it’s clicked on my a mouse or touched by an index finger.
In conclusion, your law firm should start caring about responsive design but without charging full force ahead. Eventually, your clients and potential clients will expect a website that meets their needs, doesn’t hold them back, and gives them the information they’re looking for quickly. Responsive design will be the answer to that problem in the future. By working with a web designer today, you can prepare your law firm’s website for responsive design and interaction-hungry consumers in the future.
Written by Pete Wise for the Douglas and London Law Firm; whom represent clients across the entire US, taking on cases noone else will. They have decades of history as an New York law firm and it translates into the courtroom.