When was the last time you saw someone—anyone—without a mobile device in their hand or next to their ear? Perhaps that's a bit extreme, but do you know anyone who does not own a cell phone or tablet? The answer to that question is the heart of why responsive design is such a big deal. If your law firm website isn’t already responsive, here are a few compelling reasons why it must be—and soon.
In 2014, for the first time in history, mobile usage surpassed desktop usage. Furthermore, according to Google as many as 77% of mobile searches occur while at work or at home where desktop computers are likely available. If clients are using their phones to access the internet even when a desktop is available, it’s critical you make it easy for them.
According to MIT, people can process and retain visual images in as little as 13 milliseconds. As few as 14 milliseconds are sufficient to get something meaningful into the brain. What that means is, you’ve got a very small window of time in which to grab someone’s interest, so making that first impression count is critical. Images, menus, and content that render partially, or that you have to work to access are not user friendly. Statistics show that approximately half of all mobile web users will never return to a website they've had trouble viewing in the past. So, you have mere seconds to make an immediate impression—good or bad.
A whopping 98% of people in the 30 and under age set own a cell phone. That means that any law firm website without a responsive design is pretty much ignoring the entire younger generation. The 30 and under age set needs equal representation. Enough said.
Up until now, responsive design was a nice-to-have not a need-to-have. You could easily get away with having a separate mobile version of your law firm website, or none at all. Those days are over. Today, with tens of thousands of device types to optimize for with varying screen sizes and resolutions, responsive design is the only way to ensure your website looks as good on a desktop as it does on a mobile phone or ipad. It is the best way to future-proof your website.
In December of 2014, Google announced that beginning April 21st 2015 it would score websites that it considers to be mobile friendly higher in search engine rankings. In a world where Google sends more traffic from smartphones than desktops, that’s a game changer. Depending on whose research you choose to believe, as many as 18% of websites now have responsive designs and that number is growing. If your legal website is not one of them, your search engine optimization results will suffer for it. If you want to know if Google considers your website mobile-friendly, check out their free tool. https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/
Implementing a responsive design may seem like a daunting and time consuming task, but it doesn't have to be. We’ve helped numerous CommonSpot customers across many industries go responsive in a matter of weeks.