In SEO, we hear clients talk about rankings all the time. While rankings are important, user experience (or UX) can ultimately be the deciding factor between a potential client contacting your firm, or leaving your website. Everyone wants to be No. 1 in Google’s eyes, but what good is ranking first if your users have a terrible experience?
Things to consider when designing your website
A user searches a main keyword found on your site, finds your firm at the top of Google and clicks through to your website. You now have just a few seconds to grab that user’s attention and keep him or her from clicking back to the search results and moving on to the next site in the list. 94% of first impressions are related to the design of your website. If your site looks too cluttered or is too difficult to navigate, users aren’t going to stick around. It is imperative to have a clean design that functions well and appears user-friendly from the get-go.
User Experience and Conversions
The user experience of your site is crucial for conversions. In fact, 88% of consumers who shop online are less likely to utilize a site that presents a poor user experience.
Potential clients find and visit your website looking for the assistance of a law firm. Providing a site that is aesthetically pleasing, while also making it easy to locate needed information, helps ensure a positive user experience. A potential client should be able to answer the question, “does this site meet my needs?” within a matter of seconds. If you have laid the groundwork for an optimal experience, the user will find value in your business, and will be more likely to put their trust in your firm, and potentially become a client.
Contact information that is quick and easy to find can help people convert more quickly and prevent frustration for a user in having to search the site for contact information. A common practice is to add a pop-up (interstitial) to your website, placing the necessary contact information, or method, right in front of the user, which eliminates the effort of having to search for it. Some find pop-ups annoying, but they have been proven to increase conversions, in some cases by as much as 1,375%. Google announced that in January of 2017 they would release an update that will take aim at annoying popups that affect a user’s mobile experience. You can read more about this update, which is now live, and what steps you need to take to ensure you are using interstitials properly, here.
Make It Mobile
Whether through a smartphone or tablet, 65% of digital media is accessed on a mobile device. This means that you need to make sure that your website’s mobile experience is a priority. One tip we can offer is to think about designing your mobile site around interruptions. It is no surprise that people are usually on the go when they are using their mobile device. Frequent distractions and interruptions are a part of everyday life. You should take the time to ensure that if a user is interrupted during their session on your site, it is easy for them to pick up where they left off.
You can also read more about the mobile-first focus and what it means for law firms in this article.
Part of having a successful user experience is in the site speed. People expect information to be at their fingertips, and be there fast! Having a slower site speed, or even a delay of 1 second, can cause a 7% decrease in conversions. There are numerous ways to improve site speed and prevent delays. The first step is proper site hosting. Other things such as caching and image optimization should also be considered to help reduce your page speed load time. You can read more tips on how you can improve your page speed here.
Room for Improvement
Like anything else, Internet trends change quickly. The key to maintaining a great user experience is to keep testing and experimenting with different ideas. Trying out new trends, layouts, and features can be a great way to determine what works and what does not make for a great user experience. Even if some of your experiments fail, you are working your way toward improving your brand as a whole.
The next time you’re evaluating the success of your website, try to not get overly focused on rankings. Instead, look at your website as a tool used to gain the trust of your potential clients and prospects.
To start examining your website with a thoughtful eye, feel free to use our website self-assessment tool which covers various items related to a great user experience. By taking a careful look at your firm’s website design and thinking from the perspective of your users, you can bring your firm greater SEO success.