This is a question that many small business owners are beginning to ask.  Is the investment in a mobile presence necessary? 

According to Google, 40 percent of searches currently being done are done on mobile devices.  People are buying smart phones and Internet enabled devices, such as tablets, at an increasing rate.  Mobile search is becoming a powerful tool that consumers use to make buying decisions.  Statistically, 70 percent of the people searching for a product or service using a mobile device will buy in the near future.  This exceeds the buying probability of desktop and laptop users, who often do more research than active buying.

So, for most small businesses, the answer is "yes".   To meet this search demand, most businesses could benefit from having a mobile website that is designed correctly and loads fast.

What features should a mobile website have?

Features such as Click-to-Call and Click-for-Directions or Navigation are two of the important features for any good mobile website.  These make it easy for consumers to call or find you.  These two buttons will be a must as web searchers develop their expectations on how a website should perform for them.  Another especially good feature for a service-based businesses is Click-to-Email, which adds yet another means of easy communication with the service or merchant.

Internet users are also looking for a site that renders quickly and properly.  Mobile sites that take more than a few seconds to load are often abandoned or deleted by the user.   A site that is readable with pinch-to-zoom is also a key element one should look for from a mobile website designer, however, that shouldn't be the only way to read the content.  The mobile site should be easily readable in it's natural resolution.

How should information be presented?

A Mobile website content needs to be quick, logical, and to the point.  Mobile users normally want fast information and ease in communication.  Therefore, having a straight forward site is usually the best practice. The communication factors like finding directions to your place the need make a quick call for answers to questions can dramatically improve the visitor's impression of your business.

How about hosting for a mobile site?

Many mobile websites require special hosting and a little maintenance at an additional monthly cost.  Some mobile websites require special platforms where the features such as Click-to-Call and Click-for-Directions can run smoothly.  Most hosting companies for Joomla websites already have those capabilities built in.