What website design and marketing trends will be worth your investment this year? We asked five experts, “What do you foresee as the biggest trends for law firm websites in 2018 — and what’s worth paying attention to?” Here’s the forecast from Drew Barton, Andy Cabasso, Karin Conroy, Steve Matthews and Mike Ramsey.
The most significant website trend legal professionals should keep in mind is the continued shift to mobile-optimized web design and development. More and more people are using their smartphones to access the internet, and your website needs to be ready for these mobile visitors. Ignoring this shift not only means your visitors get a poor user experience, but it also can hold you back in search engine rankings.
One way to stay ahead of the game is to get involved with the AMP initiative. Short for “Accelerated Mobile Pages,” AMP can dramatically improve your site’s mobile performance and speed by minimizing large design elements and advertisements on a page. It’s not just a “nice to have” element, either. On a search engine results page, the AMP icon serves as a welcoming beacon to the 62 million Americans (that’s 1 in 5 people in the U.S.) with slower internet connections or limited cellular data plans. Since loading a full-size webpage requires significantly more data than an AMP-optimized page, users in this segment are more likely to click on results featuring the AMP icon. If your site does not support AMP, you could be missing out on reaching potential clients.
Drew Barton (@drewbarton) is founder and president of Southern Web, an award-winning agency specializing in web development and digital marketing. He is the author of “The Buyer’s Guide to Websites: What You Need to Know to Get the Website of Your Dreams.”
More and more law firms are taking the approach that their website is not just an online business card or advertisement for the practice. Rather, it’s an essential part of the firm’s business and productivity. Firms are, and will increasingly be, using their websites to do things like accept client payments, host intake forms, schedule appointments, link to their client portals, and integrate with their practice management software.