options to upgrade mobile view of web site ?? or leave alone

topUKlawyer used Ask the Experts™
web site design:

I have a small website which I maintain myself. Bit of HTML and bit of CSS modified from various books etc.


Yes I know I could afford to hire someone but I like tinkering. I have used some basic media queries to feed the mobile version as it were.

"website grader" says my mobile effort only scores 15 out of 30

The mobile version is lacking a bit of style

I own the domain and host the site with fasthosts.  
I upload files via an old copy of dreamweaver.

The site is reasonably responsive and it is very fast to load but lacks a bit impact. (but google says it is mobile friendly)

It has fallen down the ratings for "Solicitors Syston"  in the last couple of years as some big names have come into the town.

I am tweaking the SEO

However I am in the lead with Google Reviews. yay!

Given that I don't want to spend £5 to £10k on a full site redesign-(I like the elements, header style etc) what would be your advice.
ps:  I am only a year or three away from retirement and business is pretty good anyway.

Should I

1 ask a local designer to sort out the CSS for the mobile site

2  use an app like duda mobile or go mobi to create a mobile-only version and leave the desktop untouched.

3 use Divi (wordpress) I have tinkered with this-I can get what it does and cope with it-I have six months of a subscription left.

4  leave it alone

5 get out more

6 None of the above
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Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information Systems

A local designer probably won't charge as much as you think just to rework the CSS, and a good one will bring his or her own ideas to the table.  In either case, it probably will be free (or nearly so) to talk to a few and let them quote a price.

That said, if business is good, and you're certain you're retiring anyway, I'd leave it as-is.  There's no point breaking something that works - and with which extant customers are familiar - just for vanity.
Chinmay PatelChief Technology Ninja
Distinguished Expert 2018

I liked the option no. 5 the best :D....

on a serious note... I don't think CSS change should cost you anything above 500 to 1K - I mean you can get entire templates for far less price on themeforest.net (No... I am not a salesman of themeforest.net... and nor I get any commission - *sigh*) but as you said things are all good under the hood.. then I think Paul is right. You don't need to change anything.
Developer & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013
The reason for your rankings going down will have little to do with your mobile version if you are seeing Google shows it as ok.  Changing the design and leaving the content as is will be an exercise for you to better your hone your tinkering skills but that is it. You are in a very competitive sector and going up against big budget advertising and that plays a role in your rankings.   As example, assume there are 21 people that sell widgets. The first person  to sell these widgets has been doing very well for the past 19 years because they where the first to be online but does not spend very much money on any other marketing.   But now there are 20 more competitors and 15 spend a little money on marketing and 5 spend a lot of money on marketing.  The effect of the spending is an increase in top of mind awareness.  

Today, when a search is done for widgets, a viewer will see 10+ results on a a page and are going to be more likely to click on those names that have a higher top of mind awareness. Each of those clicks from a search counts as a vote for that site. Now that site that spends money  on both off-line and on-line advertising will start to move ahead in search results.  

The point is, on-page seo once may have played a factor many years ago and there were a lot less factors that went into raising your rankings making those items such as on-page seo something to pay more attention to.  Today, that is just expected and there are many more factors at play so the point is, just paying attention to updating your css alone is not going to make a big difference in your site's rankings.

Your local area is another factor.  I am not from the UK but a quick search shows the population to be just over 11K.  When your market area is in a lower population density, that makes it much easier for you to stay higher on the rankings and the amount of effort you may  need to put in will be somewhat easier than if you were in a larger, higher population dense area.

Looking at your competitor, http://www.richandcarr.co.uk. This site comes in just above you based on your search term. With more offices, that means more people are searching for this office and clicking thus voting and that is what I am talking about for top of mind awareness.

The key is, you are still towards the top of that first page for the search term you are interested in and trying to spend effort to move up may not be worth the effort.

Another factor though regarding mobile is local.  I think people have realized that Google/Bing know the area they are in and the search terms actually used are not going to be qualified with an area name. You may find actual search terms are now more like, "Solicitors near me" because of the way people interact with their devices.

If you do want to update your site, working with Divi is a good option. But also check out squarespace/wix or weebely. They will be much easier to use and you don't have to concentrate on knowing html or wordpress. These are good options for a small site. If your real goal is to be a better tinkerer, then I suggest reading up on using a mobile first css framework like https://getbootstrap.com/or https://foundation.zurb.com/ and design your site using their grid's https://getbootstrap.com/docs/4.1/layout/grid/. It's not easy at first to wrap your head around designing a page with 2 or 3 views at one time, but it will come to you.  But I do suggest sticking with one of these grids even if you don't use the other components that are part of the library as they have already done extensive work so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
Your actual website won't be long to redo using Bootstrap and this is very easy to do with a little knowledge.

SEO is looking for content, so make sure the text have the good keywords.
Social Network is a big player too, you may only have a Facebook page without website and do a lot of business...

You can check on Udemy they have great courses about SEO, social network and Bootstrap for free or not expensive.


Thank you all for your helpful contributions

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