The Factors That Can Affect Mobile Website Speed (And What Attorneys Can Control)
Our message here the past few weeks has been this: If you want to build your practice, you need a fast mobile website. In discussing how to get your firm’s mobile site running at peak performance, we’ve been drawing from the insights of a new FindLaw white paper, “Seconds Matter: The Real-World Risk of a Slow Mobile Website.”
It should be clear by now that mobile speed is valuable, both to legal consumers and to search engines. That is why it is crucial to make certain that your firm’s mobile website is designed to load as quickly as possible.
But as we’ve noted, speed is not a simple thing to measure. It’s the product of many factors, visible and invisible. If you’re going to improve your site’s performance, it’s important to know which factors you can adjust, and which ones you can’t.
Fine tune your mobile website’s engine.
One way to think about your firm’s mobile site speed is to compare your site to a car. A vehicle’s miles per hour can be affected by horsepower, the car’s weight, engine size and turbochargers. These are all factors that can be controlled by the manufacturer. Then there are factors that are outside the manufacturer’s control: road conditions, driver capabilities, weather, traffic and so on.
The story’s similar with your law firm’s website. There are several factors that influence how fast or slow a mobile website loads. Some are apparent to your site’s visitors, some aren’t. Our last two posts have looked at those factors, and what you can adjust to speed up your site’s rendering on consumers’ mobile devices. Those factors include images and the ways your tech vendor or site designer has coded your site.
There also are factors you can’t control—factors that could literally be in the palm of legal consumers’ hands. Perhaps their mobile devices don’t render sites as quickly as they should. Perhaps a particular consumer is just browsing, but not ready to buy. These are factors you can’t really influence and they could affect your site’s end-user experience differently from time to time.
What’s a law firm to do?
Aside from the factors outlined in this post, one thing you definitely can control is how you evaluate the speed of your mobile website. A holistic view is essential. Since there are so many factors that affect website loading speed, it is useful not to focus on just one or two metrics. Using a variety of evaluation tools and measurements can help you determine whether your mobile site needs an overhaul or just a simple tune-up.
So as you and your vendor work together to improve your website’s performance, be certain that you’re both seeing the whole picture. True success will come when your website is able to strike a balance between addressing the search visibility needs of your firm and the specific needs of legal consumers.
In summation: When it comes to your firm’s mobile website, it pays to tweak the variables you can, understand the ones you can’t, and keep a big picture view when you measure your site’s speed. In any case, evaluating and ramping up the speed of your firm’s mobile site is something you should do as quickly as you can. Potential clients certainly won’t wait.
For a closer look under the hood, FindLaw’s new white paper on mobile website speed can get you and your firm up to speed. It’s free, and it provides the usable information you need to get going, without bogging you down with techie minutiae. When it comes to law firms’ digital marketing efforts, speed is of the essence.