On April 21, 2015, Google will be making significant changes to its mobile search algorithm. The end result? Websites that are not mobile friendly will, essentially, be blacklisted.
Mobile friendly websites render different layouts depending on the size of the browser screen and with more and more individuals (prospective clients, potential business synergies, members of the media, etc…) accessing the web through their mobile devices, the decision by Google to promote websites that are mobile friendly makes sense.
The use of mobile devices is quickly surpassing PC usage, meaning law firms that don’t have mobile friendly websites are already at a disadvantage. After April 21, a non-mobile friendly website will just not appear in mobile search results. End of story.
Responsively Designed Websites
A responsively designed website is not the same as a mobile-friendly website. It’s better. At WebPresence, Esq. we only design websites that are responsive and do not charge an “additional” or “hidden” fee to do so (view some of our sample law firm websites here).
A responsively designed website dynamically adapts your site’s content based on the technology on which it is being viewed; i.e. PC vs. Mobile vs. Tablet. As the size of the screen changes, the number of columns displayed, the menu layout, images, and other elements scale to the optimal size. Compared to a creating a separate mobile site, a responsively designed website is considered to be more extensible to new devices, easier to maintain, and more SEO-friendly.
The climb from falling out of grace with Google is a steep one (remember the hundreds of attorney websites that disappeared after Google updates Panda and Penguin decimated websites that were using ‘black hat’ SEO tactics and providing low quality, spam-like content? Two years later and many of them are still struggling to return to Page 1 of a Google search). First, determine whether your law firm’s website is mobile friendly. Google offers this tool to help you. Second, contact us to discuss updating your website ASAP. Your future clients will appreciate it.
For more information on how to make sure your website is mobile-friendly, or to discuss updating your current website, contact our law firm website design team at 310.906.0935 or email us here.