With an increasing amount of mobile users in the US, it’s no surprise that building a strong mobile presence is becoming more and more important. An enjoyable and user-friendly mobile experience is critical for a brand’s credibility, and if you don’t have one yet you’re missing out on opportunities to generate more sales.

For most small businesses, budget is the determining factor for nearly all website-based purchasing decisions, and rightfully so. When you’re allocating resources, you want to make sure that they will be as effective as possible and foster the strongest ROI.

A business man using a mobile app

Across all industries, and for both B2B and B2C, creating a mobile website for your brand will be one of the best investments you can make for your small business — here’s why:

1. SEO

Google recently announced via webmaster tools that they may not be indexing sites in their search results for mobile devices that aren’t optimized for mobile. If a larger portion of your website visitors are on mobile devices, optimizing your site for their use is a necessity. Consequently, if you’re not optimized, it’s going to hurt your SEO ranking, and you might not show up in search engine results. Losing roughly 20 percent to 50 percent of your organic traffic isn’t an acceptable loss for most small businesses.

By building a mobile site, you’ll ensure that you’re appearing in search results and your website’s organic traffic will improve.

2. An improved user experience leads to more conversions

All businesses want conversions, because ultimately they are what lead to a sale. A website that is optimized for mobile will provide a user-friendly conversion process, making it much smoother and faster for your users to convert, eliminating any frustration or unpleasant experience.

Without a mobile site, you may be able to still get your audience to visit your page, but they aren’t going to complete the conversion process if it becomes difficult. Buttons that are too hard to click on a small screen, images that are too big and have to be zoomed out to see, and forms with boxes that are problematic to type in are going to frustrate users, and make them leave your site.

By having a mobile site that provides a great user experience, you’re going to find your brand getting more conversions.

3. Your phone number is more accessible

When you’re on your phone or tablet looking for a business that can provide you with the product or service that you want, you want to be able to reach that business without much effort. Having your company’s mobile number in plain sight makes this process much easier for users. More importantly, with mobile sites, you’ll be able to create a click-to-call button so that users can literally click the number, and be connected directly to your phone line. By streamlining this process, the likelihood of a sale is going to be substantially higher because users will be directly connected to your organization. With a desktop site, users on mobile devices wouldn’t be able to do this—they would be seeing an image, not a click-to-call button, and dialing your number would become a much more complicated process then it needs to be.

mobile shopping

4. The shopping process begins on mobile

According to eMarketer, mcommerce sales are expected to increase by 32.2 percent from 2014-2015. Since the shopping process begins on mobile devices, being invested in the very first steps a user takes with your online presence is crucial for helping your business grow. If users become frustrated with the initial engagement on your site because they can’t access it appropriately on their device, they aren’t going to continue trying to buy from your company on a different device.

Consider a mobile website to be at the “top of the funnel” in the buyer process. If you don’t achieve what you need to at the top of the funnel, users won’t make it through the rest of the funnel where other, more intricate marketing tactics come into play.

5. Facilitate app downloads

If you have an app for your company, it’s important to remember that your business is one of millions in the app store, and there is a good chance that you aren’t being seen by many users, especially users within your target demographic. Gaining visibility and downloads for your app can be started by building a mobile site that drives users to the app store. If your site is optimized for mobile, users can click a button that you integrate into the homepage of your mobile site that will bring them directly to the app download.

As users switch from one platform to another, as long as your app provides value, brand loyalty and brand recognition will be much stronger, because you’ll be able to introduce consistent themes across both platforms, and implement features such as push notifications that will enhance the user experience.

You want to be where your customers are

Ultimately you need to be accessible online where your customers are in order to build out your brand presence. While looking at industry averages can be helpful, it’s also important to take a look at your own analytics and see what devices your users are using to interact with your website. If a sizeable percentage is coming from mobile, create a presence for your users and facilitate the best experience possible for them.

Mobile websites hold a lot of value and potential for small businesses, and can easily give you an advantage over competitors who are not yet in the space.