Consumers on the go connect to the web with their cell phones, but recent data shows just how common it is for Americans to sign online via phone.

Consumers on the go connect to the web with their cell phones, but recent data shows just how common it is for Americans to sign online via phone. The Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that the 82 percent of adult U.S. consumers who own cell phones are increasing their web activity via the devices, which gives marketers more opportunities to reach busy potential buyers.

The study shows that mobile phone usage for web activities is quickly rising over last year. Thirty-eight percent of Americans rely on their phones to access the internet compared to just 25 percent who used mobile devices to go online in 2009. Moreover, 34 percent use their phones to send or receive emails, up from 25 percent last year. Twenty-three percent of respondents also use their mobile devices to check social networking pages.

Not only do consumers go online with their phones, but they do so frequently. Twelve percent of respondents said they access the mobile web about once a day, and 43 percent said they access the internet through their phones several times a day.

With this in mind, the stakes for using mobile marketing to boost brand awareness and drive sales are higher than ever. Marketers should devote larger shares of their budgets to mobile paid search. RBC Capital Markets reports that mobile searches will account for 8 to 10 percent of overall search queries in 2010, and those who act quickly stand to gain a competitive edge in this developing market.

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.