Most people use a search engine like Google when they have a legal question or want to find a lawyer. For that reason, attorneys spend a significant amount of their marketing funds creating websites designed to attract clients. They invest considerable time and resources into creating content that answers legal questions and provides helpful information.
However, many law firms fail to factor in where traffic is coming from when building a site and creating content. Today, nearly two-thirds of all Google searches are done using a cell phone or another mobile device.
If you’re an attorney and your website – and the content on it – isn’t optimized for a mobile user, there’s a good chance that you’re losing valuable leads.
Your Law Firm’s Website Needs to Be Mobile-Friendly
You can have a great website, but if a mobile user can’t view your content, it’s useless to them. Therefore, even though much of the content on your website can be viewed on a mobile device, that does not necessarily mean the content “looks” great or is easy to read.
The good news is that minor changes to your content strategy can make a huge difference for mobile users. With easy tweaks and fixes, you can make your content mobile-friendly.
These ten tips can help you make your law firm’s content mobile-friendly to attract a larger number of potential clients.
1. Be Aware of How Patterns Are Used to View Content
The first step to optimizing content for mobile users is to understand how content is read on a mobile device. Many people read content on a computer in an F-shaped or triangle reading pattern. They focus on the left upper corner of the page.
However, on a mobile device, the reader is focusing on a smaller area. Therefore, their gaze is more evening distributed. New layouts and new patterns impact how people read content on a mobile device. Designing content based on these new patterns is essential to keep users on your pages.
2. Write Content That Appeals to Readers
Some readers scan a headline and summary, then move along. If the content interests them, they’ll read it all. The inverted pyramid style of writing gives readers the most important information in the first one-third of the page.
Therefore, your header and summary need to hook and capture the reader. Typically, you would place the most important information at the top of your page to ensure that the reader receives your message before moving to another page.
Traditionally, this advice would be the best advice for online content. However, mobile users tend to focus on the entire screen. Therefore, make sure that you optimize your page to have information at the top, middle, and end of the screen.
Wherever the person’s eyes land on the screen, you want that person to see something that encourages the person to remain on the page, continue reading, or click on a link.
3. Use Chunking to Keep Content Easy to Read
Paragraphs of text can be difficult to read on a mobile device. The sentences run together, and a person may lose their place while following text on a small screen. However, separating content into “chunks” of information makes it easier for readers to scan and consume information quickly.
“Chunking” is the practice of breaking up related information into smaller sections.
Using the following tools can help break up content to make it easier to read on a mobile device:
- Short paragraphs
- Bullets and lists
- Use of different fonts, bold, and italics
Using these techniques can also improve readability for content.
4. Keep Headlines Short
People scan headlines and titles to decide if they want to click on content. Long titles can be cut off on a mobile device.
The reader may only see the first six words or 55 characters of a title or headline on a smartphone. Therefore, if you do not hook the reader with the first six words, they scroll past your content without a second glance.
Focus on creating a title that tells the reader what they can expect to learn from reading the content.
5. Short, Simple Words Are Best
In most cases, you can find a short, simple word to replace complicated words that increase the grade level of your content. On a mobile device, simple, short words are easier to read. For example, change “utilize” to “use” and “witnessed” to “saw.”
Long phrases also make mobile content more difficult to read. Instead of using “in order to,” simply say “to.” The word “before” can replace “prior to” in content to make it easier to read.
Legal writing is generally technical. Therefore, there are some words that you may not be able to replace, depending on the subject. However, you must remember your audience.
You are not trying to attract other attorneys. Instead, you want potential clients to read your content. Readers move to the next article if the content is filled with long words that increase the grade average.
The Hemingway App is an excellent resource for writing online and mobile content. It identifies difficult and hard-to-read sentences. The app also suggests simple words to replace harder-to-read words. Grammarly and Ginger are other apps that suggest simpler ways to say the same thing.
6. Three Sentence Paragraphs
Long paragraphs blur together on a small screen. Shorter paragraphs are easier to read and look better on the screen. The ideal target for mobile content is two to three sentences per paragraph.
However, short should not mean boring or uninformative. On the contrary, each sentence should convey something the reader needs or wants to know.
Drop unnecessary words. Avoid negative words, weak verbs, and passive sentences.
7. Pay Attention to the Reading Level of Content
Research has found that individuals slow down when reading long or difficult text on mobile devices. Yet, there were no practical differences in reading comprehension scores between a mobile device and a computer. However, readability impacts mobile comprehension more than desktop comprehension.
Readability describes whether the content is easy or hard to read. The Flesch-Kincaid reading-level formula “grades” content based on word count and language. Creating content that is easy to read and understand can increase comprehension on mobile devices.
8. Images Speak Volumes
An image may replace several sentences of content and convey the same message. On a mobile device, images break content into smaller sections.
Place important information before and after images because images attract the eye. Therefore, people are likely to read the content above and below an image.
However, some images do not work well on a mobile device. For example, a chart or graph may look great on your law firm blog, but it could be distorted if the blog is viewed on a smartphone.
If the image is distorted or does not work on a mobile device, consider replacing it with a better image.
9. Whitespace Is Not Dead Space
Using whitespace correctly makes mobile content more readable. However, automatically hitting the return key after two or three sentences can make your content harder to read and understand. Abrupt breaks cause the reader to lose interest because the content is choppy.
Subheaders are a great use of white space. They transition the reader to the next topic while breaking up the content.
10. Vary Your Content
Mobile users do more than read text on a screen. They crave different types of content. So adding different types of content to your law firm’s website that works well on mobile devices attracts more views.
For example, a person may click on a short video that answers their legal questions instead of reading a blog. Likewise, the person may view an infographic instead of reading a blog. Interactive tools are also popular on mobile devices.
A person spends an average of 15 seconds on a website. You must make the most of that time. People who leave your website may never return.
The more types of content you have on your website, the longer you can keep a person on your website. The longer a person is on your website, the more likely that person is to contact your firm.
Bonus Tip – Test Your Website on All Platforms
Many law firms forget to view their websites on all types of mobile devices. However, this is the best way to ensure that your website is easy to use and functional across all platforms.
For example, an image that you add to a blog might look great on your computer. However, when you view the image from a cell phone, the image is distorted and difficult to view. Likewise, a bullet list might appear one way on an Android, but looks much different when viewed on an iPhone.
When you make any changes or add anything to your website, view the page from several different devices. You may have more traffic to your website from mobile devices than desktops. Ignoring this fact could result in losing business.
Keep It Simple and Informative
Content must provide useful and helpful information in a simple, easy-to-read format. This type of content can result in higher retention rates for law firms. Optimizing your content for mobile devices is as important as developing a built-to-convert website, building a strong backlink portfolio, and other essential components of SEO for lawyers.
At LawRank, our lawyer SEO specialists know the best practices for not only writing compelling content for your law firm’s website but optimizing it across all platforms to get prospective clients to stay on your site longer and contact you to ask for your help. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free call to learn more about our law firm SEO services and how we can help.