What is Mobile Friendly?
Being on the Internet + being found on the Internet = an effective marketing program.
Let’s assume your website and your profile in the SBM Directory are online and current. You send out e-mails to your clients frequently, keeping your name present in their minds. The first part of the equation is up and running. The issue becomes the second half of the equation—being found on the Internet.
Consumers, as we’ve said ad infinitum and will continue to say, search for lawyers online—either at the start of their quest or to follow up on referrals. They search on their desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and more frequently, on their smartphones. According to eMarketer, the number of smartphone users worldwide will pass 2 billion in 2016 and come close to that mark in 2015.
Smartphones are the smallest of our computers. The screen on my antique iPhone 4s is a mere 2 by 3 inches. The later models are bigger, however, the loaded content still must fit in a small space. Often the fit is not usable, requiring pinching, expanding, and scrolling to see it all.
Google, seeing the problem and wanting to retain its position as a useful service, has decreed that it’s changing its search robots, which will include a website’s “mobile-friendliness” as a ranking signal. This means that site pages that can’t fit comfortably on the smartphone smaller screen could see a downgrade in ranking.
Google says the change will only affect a firm’s ranking on smartphones and only applies to pages, not entire websites.
A mobile-friendly page is one where the text is readable without tapping and zooming, its tap targets are spaced conveniently and there is no unreadable content or horizontal scrolling.
A mobile-friendly site is good for the site-owner and the consumer and Google. Researchers say that almost half of all smartphone traffic (43 percent in the first quarter of 2015) is spent on searching. Search engines will send inquiries to the mobile friendly sites, increasing traffic to your website and pages.
E-mails should be mobile friendly also. Content should fit on the smaller screens making it easier for consumers to read your words while on the go.
How do you know if your website pages are mobile-friendly?
Ever efficient Google has created a website where you can enter your webpage URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or web address to test it. Visit the Google Mobile-Friendly Test page, enter your web address, and you will quickly know the results. If you fail the test, contact your web developer or website host to find out how to make your website mobile friendly. Your clients and potential clients will thank you.
Roberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section Newsletter.
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