mobile-first indexingLaw firms need to be aware of Google’s change to mobile-first indexing to avoid potentially negative consequences. This mobile-first index prioritizes websites that are mobile-friendly in response to the growing number of people who browse the web on their smartphones. This switch was first announced two years ago and started rolling out slowly. Google began the rollout with major websites, but the rollout has advanced enough where law firms are beginning to see the impact as well.

What It Means for You

As a law firm, this means that you need to ensure your website is mobile friendly if you want to maintain a high rank on Google’s search results. If your firm’s website doesn’t have the same content for desktop and mobile versions, you will see your rank drop. The good news is that you do not need to maintain an identical visual layout between the two platforms as long as users are able to access content from any device.

Check Your Website

If you have not already done so, take the time to see how your law firm’s website fairs with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. The tool is incredibly easy to use: Just enter the URL you want to check into the search bar and click “Test.” Wait a few seconds to minutes while Google fetches the page and runs the test. You want the message “Page is mobile-friendly” to appear in bold green letters and for the phrase “This page is easy to use on a mobile device” to appear right below it in normal font. If this is not the case, start working to optimize your law firm’s website for mobile users.

Improve Marketing for Mobile

Even if the results of your page’s Mobile-Friendly Test are positive, make it a point to evaluate your website for mobile marketing and optimize the overall user experience. Google is able to determine user experience on your page by the length of time users spend there and whether you lose traffic between pages, making ease of navigation a priority. You should also:

  • Opt for smaller blocks of text as these are much easier to read on mobile devices
  • Use bullet points, subheadings, and lists to your advantage in this respect
  • Pay attention to your choice of size and style so users do not need to zoom
  • Opt for size 14 at a minimum
  • Ensure you have mobile parity, meaning the content on your desktop and mobile websites is the same
  • Make it easy for visitors to find information
  • Check your website speed on a regular basis and compress files or reduce plugins if necessary

Speaking of mobile marketing, this is the ideal moment to make sure those who search for a “law firm near me” or “law firm [city]” can find you. Do this by optimizing your profile on Google My Business, using proximity targeting and geo-customizers, and including your local data on various platforms, such as phone number, hours, and address. By improving your mobile marketing, you will also ensure that your law firm is not negatively affected by Google’s mobile-first indexing.

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