The time to think about getting a mobile site is yesterday. If you’ve been putting off having a mobile friendly site, you can’t keep putting it on your list of future projects. Yes, there is a cost for a mobile site, but it doesn’t have to be as bad as you think. And each day you go by without having one, loses more of your business to your competitors.

Consider these statistics

• 67% of users are more likely to buy from a mobile friendly site

• 52% of users said that from a bad mobile experience they're less likely to return

• 7 out of 10 consumers look online first for local business information.

It’s not just consumers that are relying on mobile more and more. The search engines, in particular Google, are paying a lot more attention to mobile.

Google's Push For Mobile

Google is now sending out reports from their Webmaster Tools to sites about issues they find with sites related to mobile. They offer suggestions on improving mobile usability issues they’ve found related to problematic pages and design issues. They also offer a free tool in which to examine a site from a mobile user’s perspective.

The importance Google places on mobile friendly sites carries over into its search results. Listings that go to mobile friendly sites are designated as such. It’s assumed this means they give it more importance as part of their algorithm.

If Google thinks you need a mobile site shouldn’t you listen? After all, they represent the vastmajority of searches done online.

Depending on your type of business the need for mobile might be greater. Restaurants, Realtors, travel destinations, have seen greater increase in mobile traffic. Yet, it’s very few businesses anymore that don’t have some portion of business that is from people on their mobile devices. The first step is to look at your analytics data if you’ve install any such software. And don’t just look at current data, but look at how much it’s changed over the last two years.

While looking at your data, look for the differences in people behavior based on device. Is your conversion rate lower on mobile and if this data isn’t available then look at time on site and number of pages viewed?

When doing research don’t just concentrate on your own site, but take a look at your competitors. Have they made the switch to mobile?

Types of Mobile Sites

There are basically two ways to have a mobile site. One is to have a site specifically for mobile. So when someone does a search your server detects their device and shows the appropriate version. With a responsive design you have a single site that conforms to whichever device is being used. There are advantages unique to each type, but in the end I prefer the responsive design. And so does Google.

"Responsive web design is Google’s recommended configuration when creating a #mobilefriendly site. With responsive web design, all devices get the same code and the same URLs, but the layout of the page changes based on the device."

If you do choose a responsive design take this in mind when creating each page. Too many photographs or too much text may create issues with a person looking on their phone. Forms can also be a problem, particularly if they’re long. Whittle them down to just the information you most need from prospects.

Cost Effective Mobile Sites

Hiring an agency to do your site can be costly. Yet there are other options that can significantly

reduce the cost of a mobile site. Many hosting companies such as GoDaddy and now offer site builder programs the produce templates that are easy to customize. You don't need a site that is flashy or particularly unique. The content of your site, no matter who does it, should be the content. What makes your business beneficial to prospects. I've used these programs for clients and the cost to create a site is just a few hundred dollars. Less if you're willing to do the work yourself.

Either find the time, or the money, to create a mobile site. Like a decade ago when it became imperative a business have a web site, they now must have a mobile friendly site.