Google Moves Mobile Forward, Attorneys Get Left In The Dust

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( — April 17, 2015) East Aurora, NY — On April 21, 2015, Google rolls out its much-anticipated, mobile-friendly algorithm update that will improve search results on mobile devices, heavily favoring mobile-friendly web pages.   


It’s fantastic news for business owners who are set up with responsive websites.  Their web pages will be favored in search results over the non-responsive web pages of competitors who will drop from high rankings. 


However, for those who do not have mobile-friendly websites, this update will seriously impair their visibility in mobile search results.


According to Paul Beauchemin, New York-based digital marketing consultant and founder of Digital Marketing Returns, most lawyers fall into the latter category and are behind the times when it comes to internet marketing and online advertising.  


An online presence is very important for law firms to reach prospective clients.  According to a FindLaw survey, consumers are more likely to turn to the internet to find a lawyer than any other means, including friend or family referrals and the Yellow Pages.


Beauchemin continues, “Despite the fact that mobile internet access has far surpassed desktop internet access, the lawyers that actually do have websites, have only managed to get traditional desktop websites up.  Lawyers have not kept up with the changing search habits of consumers.  This just isn’t good enough anymore.  Smartphones are where the eyeballs are turning to.” 


Most law firm websites are written as though they are legal documents.  The small font and long paragraphs make them almost unreadable on a computer, much less a smartphone.  Consumers tend to merely scan website text on their mobile phones, so short paragraphs and highlights are essential for digestibility.


Having a responsive web page will be essential as of April 21st, in order for companies to show up at all in Google search results on mobile devices.


But Beauchemin points out that there are added benefits to a mobile-friendly website.  One is an increase in the potential of conversion by getting and keeping mobile users on a website.  Consumers viewing non-responsive web pages via smartphone often get frustrated when websites aren’t easily readable or navigable and will simply give up and head to a mobile-friendly website.


Another benefit is an increase in conversion itself.  Consumers are more likely to act immediately from their mobile devices.  This was confirmed by a Think With Google study, which showed that 67% of mobile users are more likely to buy a site’s product or service if the site is mobile-friendly.


Google’s update will have a huge and detrimental impact on lawyers who haven’t kept up with the times.  According to Google, 48% of mobile internet users start in search and, as of next Tuesday, traditional desktop web pages will no longer be listed by Google in those mobile searches.


The effect?  Lawyers without responsive websites will essentially be handing their mobile-friendly competitors clients by the bucketful.


Lawyers have until April 21st to make their companies’ website mobile-friendly in order to stay competitive and relevant without missing a beat.