A cursory search of the internet will establish that significant percentage of law firm websites greet their visitors with a pop-up window that offers to connect them with a live representative.
While live chat has the potential to increase the percentage of website visitors that become paying clients, they can also be annoying to users and now could have a negative impact on your site’s rankings in the SERPs. These types of pop-ups, known as “interstitials,” often cover up the main content of the site and can be difficult for users on mobile devices to dismiss.
Late last summer, Google announced that websites that use interstitials may not rank as highly after January 10th of this year. Specifically, the search engine stated that:
“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”
There are some situations in which a site could continue to use interstitials and not be affected by the change. These include the following:
- An age verification pop-up
- Logins on sites where the content is behind a paywall
- Banners that use a reasonable amount of space and are dismissed easily
How to Keep Your Potential Clients Engaged
Of course, one of the main benefits of offering live chat is user engagement and setting an appointment so that visitors become paying clients. Importantly, this update does not mean that lawyers should not offer live chat – they simply need to not do so with a pop-up that covers up their content.
This new ranking signal is consistent with Google’s focus on rewarding sites that provide content that is useful for people searching the web. As content is critical to both search engine rankings and the impression that your potential clients get when they visit your site, it is important for attorneys to ensure that the content on their site is well-written, compelling, and provides site visitors answers to their questions.
Call Lexicon Legal Content Today to Discuss the Content on Your Law Firm’s Website
The content on your website has a direct impact on your site’s position in the search results. Unfortunately for busy practicing attorneys, creating a consistent stream of high-quality, informative, and useful content takes a significant investment of time. The team of professional legal blog writers at Lexicon Legal Content is available to provide your firm or marketing agency with content in a variety of formats that will provide value to your readers and improve the quality of your site. To learn more about our services, call us today at 314.691.8602 or contact us online.