The legal industry will constantly be in demand, especially as there will always be the need for law consultations, court proceedings, and contract notarizations, just to name a few. Lawyers who practice independently or those who are part of law firms will always have a market. The question now is this: how do they get potential clients to find them, much more get them to become actual clients?
The thing about law practices and firms is that they are still a business, which means that you need to employ business strategies to promote your services and convert people into clients. In other words, you need to market your business.
If you are a well-known lawyer or you are with a recognized firm, marketing will be a minor problem, but for those in independent practices or small firms, it would be everything. Before thinking about all the marketing strategies you can use, you want to start with one of the most basic elements of starting a business: your website, particularly a responsive one. Keep reading to know more about how a responsive website can help your law practice.
How Competitive is the Legal Industry?
Let us first take a look at the landscape of the legal industry. Given that legal services will always have a demand, many individuals decide to specialize in law for different reasons. They may want to support advocacy by helping organizations and their clients on legal matters. They may be looking for ways to support an industry they believe in through law.
Whatever the reason is, the fact is there are a lot of lawyers in the United States. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that there are 813,900 lawyer jobs in 2019. This number is expected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029. With this, the figure is expected to balloon up to 846,300 in 2029, showing an increase of 32,300.
So, it means that you already have hundreds of thousands of competitors out there and it is going to increase over the next few years. What you want to do is to stand out, so that clients will gravitate toward your practice. You can do this by creating a responsive website. Remember, more than 60% of Google searches are done using mobile devices, and legal practice areas get 21% to 57% of their traffic from this platform.
Defining Responsive Websites
So, what does mobile traffic have to do with responsive websites? What are responsive websites, anyway? Well, the easiest way to define it is that it’s a site with flexible elements including layouts, images, and style. Basically, it is a website designed to flexibly fit all kinds of devices. Viewing your site from a desktop offers an optimal experience and using a tablet or a phone to visit it also offers the same experience.
This is because a responsive website “responds” to the display parameters of the device using percentages. So whatever device you use to visit your law firm’s website, it will change itself to fit the parameters of the display, allowing you to see the same design no matter what.
If this is the case, aren’t responsive websites the same as mobile-friendly or -optimized ones? The fact is, these three are different concepts. Mobile-friendly designs are built to show sites and pages in the exact way whatever device you use. It is usually designed primarily for desktops, and when viewed using a mobile device, only the size changes but not its features such as navigation.
While a mobile-friendly design only offers a shrunken-down version of the website, a mobile-optimized one changes itself for mobile devices. To provide the best user experience, a mobile-optimized website adapts to a smaller screen because it is designed for smaller screens in the first place.
Think of one-page websites where everything is tackled on the homepage. These sites tend to have a single column, thumb-friendly, and overall minimalist layout.
This may look like a great solution to make sites adaptable for small screens, but what if your visitors use a tablet? What about a tablet with a larger screen? A responsive web design is the best way to go for all types of devices with different screen sizes.
The Need for Responsive Sites
Aside from adaptability, responsive websites are essential for your marketing. Google gives incentives to websites that are compatible with mobile browsing. The incentives come in the form of higher rankings on search engine results pages.
You see, when you launch your website, it needs to be found by Google’s bots for indexing. Once a site and its pages have been indexed, you have the chance to be included in results pages whenever users search for services related to your legal practice. Having a mobile-compatible site increases your chances of appearing on the first page.
Of course, what Google thinks about your website is important. After all, this search engine plays a huge role in a digital marketing tool called search engine optimization (SEO). However, you want to make sure that you are also focused on what would cater to your users’ needs, and responsive websites check both boxes.
A responsive web design covers your need for a mobile-compatible website, while also making sure that your users will be able to browse your site without any hiccups. Think about it this way: do you like looking through a website that makes it hard to navigate? Are drop-down menus convenient on mobile? Do you appreciate small font sizes or having to scroll to the edge just to see the rest of the page?
If your answers to these questions are all no, chances are you would have a hard time browsing anything less than responsive pages. With consumers’ need for easier sources of information and options that let them make decisions quickly, what they are likely to do is to get out of the site and look for one that is easier to browse.
How Lawyer Websites Can Benefit from Responsiveness
Given the explanations above, you have already lost a lot of potential clients if you have been using anything other than responsive web designs. The good news is it is never too late to transform your website and give your would-be clients a better user experience. When you do so, here’s what you can expect:
Boosted Conversion Rates
As mentioned, many web surfers tend to avoid sites that are difficult to navigate. Keep in mind that once they visit your site or page, you only have a few seconds to impress them, and giving them a hard time will never do the trick.
What will encourage them to browse and engage in an optimized site that gives them everything they need, from better navigation to readability. This way, they will give your content a look, then proceed to find the right services for their legal needs. If they are interested, they are bound to look for ways to get in touch with you.
If users want to get in touch with you, you want to make sure that they can easily do so because, again, hassling them would make them want to leave. So, websites usually use built-in contact forms to make sure that users do not need to leave the site just to send some queries.
In case you do not have such tools, you can lead them to the right place by placing your email address or Messenger account on your Contact Us page. On desktop, they will need to go to their email service or to Messenger, which can be a hassle. On mobile, users just need to tap on these links and they can choose what app to use, making the process an easier one.
What do you feel about a business that refuses to get with the times even for something as essential as its website? Many users would feel that it will not fit their needs, especially if they value the use of technology or if their legal concerns have some relation to technology.
Just as lawyers dress to impress to create professional and intimidating air, your website should also do the same.
Responsive websites use one website to track analytics, while other methods use a mobile version of the site, which produces a separate dataset. You want to make sure that your developers can easily get data for your site, which you can use to improve your strategies. A single, responsive site is better as it offers a single source of data instead of having different sources.
Google Analytics even makes it easier for responsive websites as it consolidates tracking and analytics into one report, instead of separate ones.
The Bottom Line
Any independent lawyer or law firm can increase its bottom line with the help of a responsive website. Transforming your site to become a dynamic one can help your reel in more clients, giving you more chances of improving your conversion rates from mere visitors to clients.