I’ve said it before but I will say again with emphasis today, because I actually have a real world example to share.

Mobile website optimisation is no longer optional for any location dependent business. It is essential. If you are in retail or hospitality you are losing business every time someone looks up your web site on their phone and doesn’t like what they see.

Fifty per cent of searches on mobiles are done by very results oriented people. They want to find out right away where the business is, how to contact them, hours and in some cases what products are on offer.

If for example you are a restaurant, a menu is essential.

And the rule of thumb when it comes to mobiles sites is – “don’t make me zoom”.

Anyway, onto the real world example. I’d just finished lunch on a Sunday and I was in the market for homewares. One place I hadn’t checked out was a nationally recognised chain. I search for them and up came their site.

I was horrified to realise that their site was not optimised for mobile. I actually literally could not believe that a national chain of this size had not bothered with this. What were their IT people doing?

I tried to use their store locator, but they lost me as I zoomed in with my fingers to type in details to the field. I knew that in front of me was more scrolling hunting for the store once the search was complete. I have a very big screen phone, one of the biggest – 6.4 inches. I bought it specifically for the ability to browse web sites with ease. Well, to browse mobile optimised web sites with ease.

I chose instead to go to a competitor whose location I already knew. My spend on that day was $100. Not a lot you say? You’re right. But how many times is this happening? Imagine if it was happening to your business. Is it $100 a week you are losing? One hundred dollars a day? Five hundred dollars a day? It’s hard to quantify, but imagine in this case, 10 people made the search, with 5 of them seriously intending to purchase something. I don’t think a figure like that is unreasonable for a national chain, perhaps even conservative.

You can make a guess. Google analytics will tell you what devices access your site. If you look at the number of people accessing your site via a phone, you can know that 50% of them are looking to purchase. But you will never know how many of those visitors also looked at a competitor’s site and went there instead. You will also never know how much they were looking to spend.

People looking on phones want to make purchases. Don’t put up barriers to them by not having a mobile optimised site.

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A computer specialist who has had a long and varied career in IT, starting with the days of Novell, progressing through Microsoft on the way to Cisco and network security.Now running Revolution Web Design, to provide customers with great Web Design, SEO and digital strategy advice.