When it comes to trends, none can compare to the explosion of mobile device usage and convenience they provide to today’s society. In fact, a study by Merrill Lynch has predicted that within the next few years, mobile phones will become the most commonly used devices to access the web across the globe. Research has shown that mobile searches are frequently geared toward finding local businesses; with 73% of these searches triggering additional action and conversions. Because of this rapid expansion, now is a critical time for business owners to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to build a strong mobile marketing campaign.

How Customers Are Using Mobile Devices

What’s most important in the mobile driven world? In short, speed and convenience. 77% of mobile searches are done either at home or in the workplace where users are likely to have a desktop computer available to them. Research is showing that these searches are increasingly likely to lead to quick conversions, with 3 out of 4 resulting in follow-up actions such as a purchase, store visit, referral, or additional research. On average, a mobile search leads to 2 follow-up actions with 55% of conversions occurring within an hour!

Overall, mobile device usage is happening everywhere, and it is happening fast. Users of mobile devices are searching mobile websites for anything and everything, and they are also using multiple devices. This means that not only is it important for your brand to optimize mobile websites and focus on mobile marketing, but it is also key that you go multi-screen by ensuring that your mobile optimization is compatible on smartphones, tablets, and other types of devices with a wide variety of screen sizes and resolutions.

Understanding Google Local Mobile Search

Another key component to mobile optimization is keeping up with changes in the way Google ranks search results. Google is increasingly moving in the direction of mobile, which means that mobile websites that are not optimized will suffer a lower ranking in search results. For example, Google recently announced a change to the algorithm for their mobile search that will favor websites that are compatible with mobile device usage. In addition, Google has been focusing their mobile search rankings more and more on local results. This means that having your business on local listings such as Google Places is a key factor in mobile optimization.

Moving Forward: Mobile Trends

Examining the trend of mobile device usage, we can see how quickly it is increasing over time. In May of 2013, mobile internet usage was at 15%, which was up 5% from the previous year. By the end of 2013, analysts have predicted that this number will be 20% or more. Not only is mobile growing, but it is growing quickly. With this kind of growth, it is imperative that your business explores options and generate a strategic plan for mobile website optimization as well as a mobile marketing campaign.