Website performance isn’t exactly top of mind when considering how to run your law firm, but it should have a prominent role in your digital marketing strategy as Google rewards websites that perform well.
How quickly the pages of your law firm’s website load and how they are displayed are measured by Google’s website performance score. Although the average internet user expects a page to load within two seconds, Google measures the load time of your web page in milliseconds and rewards better performing sites to those providing a less acceptable user experience (UX).
Website performance involves many factors and is complex, but the good news is that your website can achieve an impressive performance score on both desktop and mobile devices without a considerable investment of time, money, or resources.
Why Website Performance Matters
Make no mistake, Google penalizes websites that do not perform well. The effects of poor website performance can have a drastic negative impact on the growth of your firm. Not only will a slow website cause visitors to continue their search for an attorney, but the visibility of your site will also decline.
The speed in which images, videos, and other content loads and are displayed, as well as the impact of java scripts, plugins, and other coding used to operate and manage your website’s functionality has a direct impact on how your site ranks in search results. If your site has a poor performance score, your firm’s pages will appear lower in search engine results, reducing your firm’s visibility and the number of qualified visitors.
The User Experience Measured in Speed
No amount of time or effort spent getting people to your site will turn a lead into a client if they don’t have a positive user experience (UX). This is one instance where first impressions really matter.
Load time is the most significant factor in retaining visitors. With every additional second it takes your website to load, you’re losing leads. This is referred to as bounce rate. Marketing studies have shown that every additional second of load time more than doubles a page’s bounce rate.
Google places significant emphasis on the UX and it starts with your Performance Score. Here are several strategies to help increase your site’s performance.
Site Presentation – Design and Functionality
It’s exciting to have a site that’s branded to your firm; however, if design inhibits UX, no one will see it! The design of your site goes beyond appearance.
The main components seen on your website are text and images. Image files can significantly slow down the speed of your site; therefore, they should be selected with care, used strategically, and optimized for web display.
Too many bells and whistles in the form of features and functionality may seem cutting edge and visually impressive, however often the coding required to operate and manage these perks significantly drain the optimization of your site.
Another often overlooked aspect of design and functionality is how your site presents on the myriad of desktop and mobile devices. Today there are so many variations and versions of browsers and devices to access the web. For compatibility sake, it’s best to keep your website’s design and functionality as streamlined as possible.
Testing Your Site
Curious how your legal website will rate? Head over to Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool for a free analysis.
Simply type in your web address to access a detailed performance diagnosis for both desktop and mobile devices. PageSpeed Insights provides a free report with detailed metrics about site accessibility and opportunities for speeding up your page.
While website performance certainly wasn’t covered in law school, it’s crucial to generating online leads and growing your legal practice. Call Bardorf Legal Marketing if you would like to boost your law firm business and learn effective and affordable ways to market your legal services on the web.