Don’t Make These Mobile Website Mistakes at Your Law Firm

Almost 60 percent of smartphone users say they won’t recommend a business to a friend if it has a poorly designed mobile site. Yet bad mobile websites abound, in all their cluttered, wordy and difficult-to-navigate glory. This is a particular problem for lawyers, who tend to pack a lot of information on their websites.

There’s no doubt about it: having a bad mobile website has a negative effect on your business. The good news is that the inverse is true, too, and making a few small changes can improve your site immensely. Can you spot and fix any of these common mistakes on your mobile site?

Making navigation too complicated
On a tiny screen, the options need to be short, simple and to the point. There just isn’t enough room for submenus or breadcrumbs – the secondary navigation that helps users figure out where they are on your site – on a mobile device. Your mobile site should lead visitors exactly where they want to go – and where you want them to go – and nowhere else. Remove any unnecessary navigation to make the interface cleaner.

Requiring visitors to fill out long forms
Very few visitors have the patience to type out long responses using a tiny touch keyboard. If you’re trying to gather information from potential clients (perhaps on your contact page), ask them only for the bare minimum. Most people won’t balk at typing in their email address. But asking for a summary of their case or a mailing address (especially when your first contact will probably be via phone or email)? Forget about it. It’s just another barrier preventing them from contacting you.

Including too big or too many images
Big, high-resolution images are the norm on desktop sites, but on mobile they’re more of a hindrance than a nice design element. Adding too many images will slow down the page load time, which is a huge annoyance for mobile users Googling on the go. Plus, on a phone screen, images are so small that many of the details get lost anyway. Save large images for your desktop site.

Burying important information
Most people researching your firm on their phones want the basics: firm location, firm hours, firm contact information and a bit about what the firm does. Put that critical information front and center. You shouldn’t include everything from your desktop site in your mobile version – any nonessential information only serves to make your mobile site more difficult to navigate and draws attention away from the need-to-know information most people are looking for. If visitors really want to know it all, you can always give them the option to navigate to your full site on their phone.

Using long headers and blocks of text
On a mobile device, you’re working with way less space. Long headings and subheads will get cut off on a two-inch screen. “The Story of McDermott & Goldstein, LLP: Where We Began” may look great on your desktop site, but on mobile, just stick to something like “About Us.” Similarly, paragraphs that are only a few sentences long on a desktop site are much longer on mobile screens, forcing users to scroll on forever. Significantly shorten any blocks of texts and simplify your copy.

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