By Adrienne Erin

If your website hasn’t been optimized for mobile, or it doesn’t use a responsive design, you are bleeding customers every day it remains that way. It has progressed to the point where nearly everyone uses a smartphone or tablet to browse the Internet. In fact, most people don’t even bother with a laptop or desktop computer anymore – modern smartphones are just as powerful in many cases.

Did you know? According to comScore, there are now 143 million smartphones and 71 million tablets in use in the United States. In addition, 91 percent of adults in the U.S. now own a mobile phone, while 61 percent of those mobile phones are full-featured smartphones. Furthermore, nearly half of all consumers polled have stated they will not return to a website if it does not load properly on their mobile device.

What Makes a Site Mobile Friendly?

The problem is, smartphones and tablets use smaller displays than the average computer. They also rely on touchscreen navigation, which makes it difficult to browse a website that was inherently designed for higher resolution displays and mouse and keyboard navigation.

The ideal strategy is to use a responsive design, which will detect the active device’s resolution and automatically load the appropriate site version. As an alternate strategy, some web developers will create two completely different versions of a website, with the mobile version being assigned a slightly different domain.

Want a great example of a mobile friendly site? The popular restaurant chain Chili’s actually has a mobile site that works great on tablets and smartphones. If you check it out, you’ll notice the navigation buttons, icons and typography have all been structured to look good on a mobile device.

Even a small business such as HydroWorx, a company that specializes in niche therapy pools for aquatic rehab, can benefit from a great mobile-optimized site. Of course, there’s an option to browse the full desktop version for viewers who would rather see that.

Five Reasons Why You Need a Mobile Site, Yesterday

Still not convinced? Here are five more reasons why you should get a mobile website up and running immediately.

1. Your customers past, present and future have smartphones and tablets and use them regularly.

2. Non-optimized websites look terrible on mobile devices, yours included.

3. Mobile phone usage is still growing, as more and more people are relying on mobile devices for daily use.

4. Mobile phones are generally used on the go, which means they fuel impulse purchases. What kind of business are you missing out on?

5. Mobile devices and tablets are the future; offering a mobile site will future-proof your business.

By 2015, mobile marketing in the United States alone will generate a total of $400 billion, compared to just $139 billion in 2012. That statistic puts the remarkable growth happening right now in the mobile market into perspective.

Don’t waste another day and miss out on tons of potential customers. Get your mobile site up and running immediately.

Adrienne Erin is a social media marketing writer who loves picking apart campaigns to see what makes them tick. To see more of her work, visit Design Roast or follow @adrienneerin on Twitter.