The mobile revolution is a fact. In October 2016, worldwide, more websites were visited with mobile devices than with desktops. Indeed, Statcounter, a research company that tracks Internet traffic, reported that 51.3 percent of websites were loaded onto mobile devices, thus overtaking traffic from desktops for the first time ever on a global scale.
How does that affect you? In this article, we’ll focus on how to accommodate your mobile clients. More specifically, we’ll deal with what this means for your website and for your interactions with your clients. In a follow-up article, we will pay attention to some new tools the mobile revolution is providing for lawyers.
Let us start with your website. The first question to ask yourself is whether your website is mobile-friendly. How does it look when viewed on a mobile device? Is the text going out of the screen? Do the images and videos fit within the screen width? Can the navigation of the site be used comfortably on a mobile device?
Gone are the days of fixed width wide screen layouts. A quick look at available statistics teaches that approximately one in three website visitors has a screen width between 320 and 360 pixels! So, your website must be accessible in these lower resolutions. You may also consider using a font size that keeps the text readable.
A next item to pay attention to is the structure of your website. Are the menus and navigation touch-friendly and is the site easy to navigate on mobile devices? Are the menu options sufficiently large so they can be tapped with fingers? Mobile visitors also expect pages to load faster. Typically, pages that are optimized for mobile usage tend to be shorter, which means that – compared with how things used to be – you may need to reorganize and split up the content of your website.
Don’t speculate that you can postpone making your site mobile-friendly, because you are already losing potential customers. People using mobile device are 50% less likely to use your services if they find you through a website that is not mobile-friendly! And search engines like Google punish websites that are not mobile-friendly in several ways. Non-mobile-friendly websites get a lower ranking in the search results, which means your website will be harder to find. That ranking is lowered even more if the user who is performing the search uses a mobile device. (As a site note, Google also punishes websites that do not have a sitemap, disclaimer, or privacy statement, as well as sites that do not meet accessibility requirements). If you want to find out how your site is doing, Google offers a website where you can test it, and see if it is mobile-friendly by Google’s standards: www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
In previous articles, we pointed out that the new legal consumer prefers to work with lawyers who offer a client portal. In it, clients can have access to their data in a secure environment, and keep track of the evolution of their case(s). Preferably, that client portal, too, should be mobile friendly.
Finally, mobile media also affect how we communicate. 97% of the owners of mobile devices use it for texting through (social media) apps like Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Skype, Google Hangouts, or other apps. Many use their mobile device for video chats. And 53 % of mobile users use their mobile devices to read and send email as well. Are the emails you send mobile friendly? Do the header and footer fit within the screen widths of mobile devices?
The mobile revolution is here. Make sure you don’t miss it!