If you’re like most small business, driving a consistent flow of leads through your door is a big, often expensive challenge. More and more, websites have moved away from being digital brochures to becoming the hub of lead capturing. The truth is that today’s websites are also your “director of first impressions,” with prospects meeting your company virtually before they even consider meeting you in person. Think about that for a moment… when’s the last time you made an assumption about the quality, reliability or capability of a company simply based on what you observed online? How often did you choose to move on when what you saw or experienced didn’t immediately meet your expectations? This pattern is particularly troubling in the services sector where the biggest influencer (you or your staff) might be missing out on multiple opportunities because your director of first impressions failed to deliver. When you finally do wet someone’s appetite and entice them to visit your website, the goal is to attract them into your sales cycle, not repel them to the competitor next door. Yet this is happening every day for businesses that ignore the power of a mobile-friendly website.
The legal industry serves as a glaring example of the domination of pre-service online searches. A survey conducted by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell determined that even a few short years ago, a stunning 58 million consumers in the U.S. sought an attorney over a one year period and 76 percent of those potential clients used the Internet to search for an attorney.1 That’s a lot of opportunity in the realm of “search and seizing” new clients. Attracting and converting your share from leads into to sales is a competitive, often fruitless undertaking. That’s why businesses must take advantage of every opportunity when prospects choose to spend those first few critical seconds on your website.
What the average business professional may not know is that over 1/2 of ALL Google SEARCHES are now conducted on MOBILE DEVICES. While this number used to apply to worldwide searches only, it is now true specifically in the U.S. As a result, on April 21, 2015, Google released a major mobile ranking algorithm (AKA, they finally pulled the trigger and changed the mobile search formula) impacting every website in existence, including yours. The fact is, if your website is outdated and not mobile-friendly, your firm is likely to (or already has) experienced a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search (and Yahoo, since Google struck a new deal with them beginning October 1, 2015).
Why is transitioning to a mobile site so important? Here are 4 fears every attorney should have if they haven’t made the switch:
- Prospective clients will go to the competition. Google’s own survey entitled “Mobile-Friendly Sites Turn Visitors Into Customers” revealed that 61% of visitors would quickly move to another site if they failed to almost immediately find what they were looking for on a mobile web site.
- Prospective clients are frustrated accessing non-mobile-friendly websites. A study out of the UK across 2000 smartphone users ages 16-70 found that 69% described their experience as “frustrating” when visiting sites not optimized for mobile. Google reports the figure slightly lower at 48%. If you’re investing in online advertising or are purchasing leads, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few dollars to $60 per lead depending on your niche. When you’re spending that kind of money fishing for customers, you’d better have a strong net to keep them from swimming away.
- It can hurt your firm’s reputation. 48% of visitors say that poor performing websites on smartphones conveys the message that companies don’t care about their business. Google’s report goes on to say that even if people like you and your company, 1/2 will use you less often, purely as a result of not having a mobile site! In the end, viewing a desktop-only website on a smartphone just makes your firm and its practices look dated.
- It boosts business for your competition. When you’re site isn’t mobile friendly, it’s simple math and the numbers favor your competitors … “67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile friendly site.”2 If you don’t have one, guess who’s most likely getting those clients?
As of last year, more than half of major businesses have already made the move from a desktop dinosaur to what’s commonly known as a “mobile responsive” website, and the window of opportunity to get in front of the rest is closing quickly. Investing in marketing can be a difficult decision, but when you look at responsive websites from the perspective of ROI, making the switch becomes a lot easier. What is one of the 61% of clients that bounce to another firm’s site worth to your business? How about two or three? In many instances, it only takes a few clients to make the investment worthwhile and dramatically improve profits, building “share of wallet” from those seeking your services. Do the math for yourself and determine whether any of these 4 fears need to keep you up at night any longer.
1 “How Consumers Choose an Attorney: Information Gathering”. The National Law Review. Stephen Fairley. 2012-09-27.