Search marketing is increasingly valuable for catching the interests - and perhaps cash - of online consumers, but marketers should consider that the traditional internet isn't the only platform through which consumers are searching.

The State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q2 2010 report from comScore suggests that Americans are resuming healthy buying habits in the recovering economic climate, and the internet is highly important to shoppers. Search marketing is increasingly valuable for catching the interests – and perhaps cash – of online consumers, but marketers should consider that the traditional internet isn't the only platform through which consumers are searching.

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers (59 percent) say that the internet is important to their purchase decisions. Of these internet users, 43 percent say the web's role in their shopping experience has increased in the past three months, and 16 percent say it has significantly increased.

Search has a broad reach among consumers, whether they are sitting at their desktops or on the go. Eighty-eight percent of American shoppers use search engines on desktops. At the same time, more than half (51.2 percent) search through smartphones, and 19.6 percent search through other mobile devices. 

These findings support Brafton's earlier report on RBC Capital Market's prediction that mobile searches will account for nearly 8 to 10 percent of overall queries this year. Marketers can't ignore the pervasiveness of mobile's reach.

Best practices – like creating and frequently updating relevant content – will help businesses come out on top of organic mobile search results. Additionally, investing in mobile paid search campaigns could pay off.

ComScore reports that 10 percent of smartphone users purchased items at retail sites via their phones, and these shoppers have spent an average of $121 dollars in the past three months.

Those looking to get an edge in mobile marketing may want to consult the Internet Advertising Bureau's mobile ad format guidelines.   

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.