Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Mobilegeddon" - What Is It? And Will It Affect Your Law Firm Blog Content?

If you are a practicing attorney or law firm marketing director you may not have heard the term "Mobilegeddon." If you are an SEO professional, then you definitely have.

What Is Mobilegeddon?

The moniker refers to an algorithm change from Google that is intended to skew certain search results toward web pages that are "mobile-friendly." This change took place yesterday, April 21st.  A few important caveats:

*This only applies to searches on mobile devices (phones). This means that anyone who searches on a computer will see zero change.

*The change applies to web pages--not entire sites.

The Cliff Notes idea is that individual pages that read well on a smaller screen are likely to rank better in searches that are conducted on those small screens. Interestingly, according to Google, a page is either mobile-friendly or NOT mobile-friendly. There is no gray area.  You can test whether your pages meet the standard or not by putting in the URL at Googles's handy testing site: HERE

Will Mobilegeddon Affect Law Firm Blogging or Content Writing?

The most common legal answer applies here: "It Depends." On one hand, law firm webpages and stand-alone blogs will be included in the changes. So some attention must be paid to the details. However, this is not a content-specific change. The information provided by Google does not suggest adaptations that should be made to the text on your pages.

Whether on a phone or a computer, content itself remains the heart of a page--and the critical component to your Google ranking. Before and after Mobilegeddon, it is essential to have useful, interesting, readable, original words on your website and blog. That will improve your search ranking, draw in readers, and increase the chance that those readers are converted into clients.

However, this algo-change should be used as a critical reminder that online writing is a unique beast. Reading content online is not identical to reading a book...or a brochure...or a newspaper article. Those differences must be considered when managing a blog, adding new pages to your site, updating pages, or creating a new website altogether. The increased focus on mobile readers only amplifies that need. What are some of those mobile-friendly writing styles:

* Slightly shorter posts - after all, it is difficult to read a blog post that is 2000 words when scrolling on a 3 inch screen. However, do not confuse this with assuming that longer pieces are never appropriate. They still have their place, but peppering material with shorter options may be worth evaluating.

*Clear, bold headlines - mobile-users skim headlines. Even desktop users do (which is why headers have always been important). But for the mobile-reader, the headline is even more critical because it very well may be the only thing read on the page.

*More bullets, paragraph breaks and word emphasis - Think of the skimming mobile-user. If they get past the headline/header, they are still unlikely to dive quickly into a dense paragraph. They will likely look for the easiest read--bullet or emphasized text.

The bottom line: Mobilegeddon does not require major or automatic changes to your legal content strategy. However, if you are a lawyer or firm marketing director, be sure to have a discussion with the team that handles your website/SEO to ensure they are doing what they can to make your pages mobile-friendly.

Photo Credit: midwestnerd via Compfight cc