How mobile is your law firm?

Posted by Dez Derry, CEO of Legal Futures Associate mmadigital

The new high street

Picture your average day. When you have a spare five minutes, whether on the train, in a taxi, or waiting for a meeting to start, what are you doing? Chances are you have your smartphone in your hand, or your tablet on your lap, and you are searching. Searching for a holiday, the contact number of a restaurant, or maybe you are doing a spot of online shopping?

So what makes your clients any different to you?

More and more people are buying smartphones and tablets than PCs these days. According to Ofcom, 58% of the UK’s population has a smartphone and 19% of people have a tablet. So when you are discussing the latest website update or putting together some additional changes, consider your audience.

How are they browsing? How are they accessing information? The answer is, through mobile devices such as Blackberrys, iPhones, iPads and other tablets. Mobile is so often a mere after thought. But it should be the thought at the front of your mind.

As a law firm, you need to do all you can to be at the touch of a button. Accessible via any device that your client is using, and at any place. Don’t assume that your prospective clients are merely waiting till they get home to research the best law firm for their case. They may be looking as they wait in the doctor’s surgery, whilst waiting for a meeting, or even on that rare holiday they have taken.

So what does it mean to be mobile responsive? Essentially that your web users are able to receive the optimal viewing experience, dependent on their device. This means easy navigation, quick loading, fast re-sizing, panning and scrolling, whatever their device.

If, when they access your site via their mobile, it is not responsive, you could very quickly lose your audience. Let’s face it – we have all become extremely impatient, so if a site takes too long to load, or isn’t very appealing on a smaller device, they will quickly click to the next page that is. It really is as simple as that.

You need to be where your clients are. Over 30% of all smartphone owners use mobile to conduct research. Whether this is for new products or services, they will turn to their trusty device to find out more. From websites and social media to reviews and forums, your clients are wanting to know more.

Another way to see if mobile is the right thing for you is to check out your competition. What are they doing? Are they there already? If so, then they are already ahead of the curve. If not, then you could get there before them.

But what is most important is that your clients are already there. They are already going about their daily lives using their mobile devices. They are shopping, browsing, searching and downloading. Being a law firm doesn’t mean you should get left behind. In fact, it means you should be there, ahead of the game and in a place that may leave them surprised to see you there.

But it does mean that if you are not accessible via mobile, you could find yourself ignored by your clients or quickly dismissed, however great your level of service is.

It is time to be where your clients are. If your website is not mobile responsive then now is the time to do something about it.

When was the last time you bought a PC? Now think of the last time you bought a tablet or a smartphone. It really is that simple. It is time to be at their fingertips… not waiting for them to get home when the moment has passed. Technology is all about the here and now and when it comes to mobile and responsive web design, the time is most certainly now.


    Readers Comments

  • With Google already seeing over 36% of all searches coming from mobile users, a figure that they expect to exceed 50% within the next 6 months, it is essential that organisations start to react and optimise their sites to work well on mobile.

    The legal firms we support are typically seeing up to 30% of all their online traffic coming from mobile users. Not having an online presence that works well on mobile is equivalent to closing your website down for a day or more a week.

    If more than 15% of your online traffic is coming from mobile users. You need to react and now.

    To copy your website to mobile will not work. It is more than just being responsive to a mobile device, when thinking mobile it is essential to understand the requirements of the clients and deliver quickly to their needs. Much of your website content will not be relevant to a mobile user. Also there are many areas of best practice that you need to consider (such as the cost of dialling certain phone numbers). Any service needs to be optimised for any mobile device and importantly for search discovery – that means that you will get in front of clients when they are looking related services and deliver a great and professional experience when they look to engage.

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