In our research, we found that lawyers generally view the process of creating a website a must do activity in setting up and running their practice. However, many tend to forget the fact that establishing a web presence is only the first step in the journey. After you stand one up, you have to actively maintain it to stay relevant in search!
If you are getting ready to update your current site (or build a new site), the following tips should be top of mind in order to maximize your site’s relevancy in the ever changing landscape of search.
1) Ensure Your Site has Responsive Design
In simple terms, a responsive website design will render an optimal visual of your website across smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Your website no longer needs to degrade when viewed on a smartphone. Some designs even allow you to add mobile-centric features to your website to make it easy for your clients to reach out to you as well as navigate your website with common mobile actions such as a swipe.
Why is this important? The world is going mobile! According to a recent study by Morgan Stanley, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015 (by then, there will be 1 mobile device for every person on the planet). Your current and potential future clients are going mobile. When they search on-the-go, a non-responsive site will not effectively present your firm’s web presence and you may lose an opportunity.
Is your current site responsive? Test it. Grab the right edge of your site and drag it left to shrink your window. Did the site scale down to reflect reduced screen size? If so, it is responsive. Ours is responsive. Test ours and watch the site change as the screen size changes.
2) Create a YouTube Channel and Embed Videos in Your Website
Following the launch of YouTube in 2005 there has been an explosion in the growth of web videos around the world. On YouTube alone, there are more than 1 billion unique visitors and 6 billion hours of video watched each month! According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network. YouTube can be considered the second largest search engine in the world.
Why are these facts relevant for your website?
- Videos are interactive and engaging. They communicate a lot of information in a few seconds. Prospective clients can glean a great deal about your firm from watching a short introductory video. Frankly, it is much easier to consume video than trying to read the text describing your practice. Plus, the world is going mobile. Watching video rather than reading text is one of the trends within the mobile movement.
- Videos are good for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). When prospective clients watch a video, they are spending more time on your site versus bouncing around to other sites (the back button is really easy to click). If you can engage a prospect with a video, they are much more likely to spend more time browsing other areas of your site. In search engine lingo, more time on your site produces higher search engine rankings. It may or may not have been coincidental to the SEO impact of videos, but Google did purchase YouTube…
3) Make Contacting You Easy and Very Visible
On every page you should ensure your contact information is readily available and clearly displayed in several areas. Most people expect phone and e-mail contact information to be displayed somewhere near the upper right side of a page. In addition, the footer on every page should display phone, e-mail, office address, and any social media properties. Finally, you may want to add a Contact Us button somewhere mid-screen, either left of right.
Now, you may not think something as simple as making contact information easily visible will change your results. I was equally skeptical until a few years ago. I was managing a business that had web-based lead generation. A member of the team recommended we dramatically increase the font size of our phone number in the upper right hand side of our pages. Since the web is a test and learn environment, we executed the change. Immediately following the change we had an increase in inbound phone calls of over 50%!
If you’d like to add anything, pose a question, or suggest a strategy or tactic of your own, the AdvisorPool community would appreciate it. Please add it to the comment section below. Also, we would love to hear about your results by implementing any of these actions!
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