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Why a Mobile First Law Firm Web Design is Critical

by Kevin Vermeulen • December 6th, 2022 • Digital Marketing | Blog

In 2017, mobile web traffic surpassed desktop web traffic for the very first time. Since then, that trajectory has continued and there is no going back. We are living in a mobile world where mobile device usage has skyrocketed. How does the rising importance of mobile affect search traffic and what does it mean for your law firm’s website? Here are the statistics you need to know.

As of March 2021, Google switched to mobile-first indexing for all websites. Most websites had already made the necessary changes, including optimizing load times on mobile, adjusting video and image quality for mobile, and ensuring that primary content is the same on desktop and mobile. To help you to further understand the digital landscape, take some time to review the following findings from this study by SEMRush

Global Internet Search Traffic Trends: Desktop vs. Mobile

Mobile Comes First

92.1% of internet users rely on a mobile device to access the web. This means mobile-optimized sites are no longer a nice to have, but a necessity.

Global Search Traffic is Mainly from Mobile

Slightly over 53% of web traffic comes from mobile. 2017 was the first year mobile usage surpassed desktop, and mobile usage of the internet has only been increasing ever since. Imagine missing out on half of the users who view your site because it’s not optimized for mobile.

Desktop Users are Spending More Average Time on Site

Visits on desktop devices were 40% longer than those on mobile devices in 2020. However, users are typically spending less time on sites across the board, perhaps due to shorter attention spans.

Bounce Rates are the Opposite

The average mobile bounce rate is 67.4% while the average desktop is only 32%. This means that users are a lot more likely to leave a mobile page, so your site must have strong law firm web design that’s optimized for mobile in order to have a low bounce rate.

Sites and Domains are Losing Rankings and Search Traffic on Mobile

In the study conducted by SEMRush, a lot of sites and domains lost their visibility in mobile searches. Out of all the pages that make it into the Search Engines Results Pages (SERPs) for the analyzed keywords, only 11% maintained the same rankings across both desktop and mobile search.

It’s important to note that dropping out of top positions on mobile will have a much more dramatic effect on traffic than it will on desktop simply because of the reduced real estate available on a mobile device screen.

Desktop Users are Seeing More Google Ads and Featured Snippets

There were shifts in how often certain SERP features appeared across mobile vs desktop devices. Differences in device don’t seem to matter across Top Stories, Local Pack, and People Also Ask features. That being said, desktop users were twice as likely to see a Google ad or a Featured Snippet, while mobile users saw 12.5X more images and 3X more videos in organic search.

Users Favor Mobile

58% of internet users feel more favorably about organizations if they have a strong mobile site. The bottom line is that having law firm web design that isn’t optimized for mobile will hurt your relationship with your audience in the end.

Key Things to Consider in the Mobile-First Era

Search experiences will be increasingly mobile. In order to future-proof your website, here are three actions you can take:

  1. Understand insights provided by your competitors and industry trends. It’s important to gather industry averages and benchmark your competition. This will help you understand where you’re falling short and take action. 
  2. Review your own mobile performance and take action when needed. Get updates on your mobile performance as often as possible, even daily. Look at your ranking for important keywords and target locations. In particular keep a pulse on metrics like visibility and share of voice. Run a free website audit to check out your mobile compatibility score. 
  3. Create cohesive touch points across devices. Never assume that users will engage only on one device. As they build a relationship with your law firm, they’ll likely leverage desktop and mobile. Make it easy for people to switch back and forth and to access valuable content no matter their platform. 
  4. Test, test, test. With anything you do, you should always test on a mobile device. So, if you create a new page, make sure to view that page on mobile to ensure user experience is still sufficient.
  5. Turn off pop-ups. One of the easiest ways to ruin user experience on mobile devices is by having pop-ups present that will not render correctly.
  6. Make the text large enough to read. Keep in mind how small mobile screens are and optimize your text size so that it is easy to read on a small device.


Business is becoming more digital in general. Mobile will become increasingly important in your online efforts, and combined with Google’s latest indexing, it may even become difficult to be found without optimizing for mobile. Review these trends to understand where to place focus and resources, and reach out to us to learn more about creating an aggressive mobile strategy that will keep you at the forefront of search results with your potential clients.

This post has been edited and republished from Mar. 23, 2021.


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