Considering how important mobile traffic is to online marketing, brands aren't allocating as much of their digital budgets to smartphones as they should.

It’s easy to take mobile marketing for granted. Most business owners do. According to the State of Search study conducted by SEMPO, 8 out of 10 marketers consider mobile to be a significant piece of their entire strategy, and yet only 3 percent of digital marketing budgets go toward smartphones and tablet optimization.

Part of the reason mobile content marketing doesn’t get the attention it deserves is that it’s been historically overshadowed by other trends. Yet its growth is comparable to similar phenomena. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, the value of the entire web marketing industry increased 15 percent in its first four years of existence (1993 – 1996). While it was a bit smaller, mobile marketing’s value has grown at a similar rate: 123 percent from 2010 – 2013.

For reference, television advertising only grew 98 percent in its first four years. No one downplays TV’s impact on marketing, yet mobile isn’t the center of focus the way it should be. Smartphone penetration is expected to surpass 75 percent of Americans by the end of 2014, so what should brands do to catch up by the end of the year?

1. Measure accurately

A site that receives a lot of mobile visitors isn’t in trouble if users only stick around for 30 seconds – and the average time on site hovers around one minute for desktop users. Web browsing is significantly truncated on handheld devices, and this can register as higher bounce rates, fewer pages per visit and slightly decreased engagement.

2. Focus on content

Sites may have great desktop UX, but smartphone visitors] are quick to leave if they find the design arduous. Make sure pages are organized and direct readers to calls to action, as people on smartphones only care about getting information quickly and succinctly.

3. Be responsive

If a company doesn’t want to create a separate mobile site, it can make sure pages are responsive. Without easy scrolling, zooming and clicking, sites aren’t of any use to mobile visitors. Some companies get more than 50 percent of their traffic from mobile devices, and difficult navigation will deter visitors and leave money on the table.

Google certainly seems to be catering to mobile marketers. As Brafton reported, the search engine has been making interface changes to improve the mobile browsing experience. As Google goes, so goes the internet, and brands that fail to fall into line will  see their online strategies suffer. 

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.