The rise of mobile web browsing has left many brands unsure how to proceed, but the most important strategy is just to avoid alienating mobile users.

Even the most successful online brands understand their marketing can’t sit still. With constantly shifting priorities for semantic search, social marketing and brand awareness, companies must always be tweaking and optimizing, or they’ll soon be left behind. Unfortunately, even the best brands know they should be making improvements, but they don’t know how.

Case in point: Ascend2’s Website Marketing Optimization report asked marketers what their most important website objectives were. The top answer, from 60 percent of respondents, was “increase lead generation.” Additionally, 50 percent wanted to see jumps in traffic and visitors, while 42 percent wanted to see better visitor engagement.

Only 54 percent understand how mobile fits in the customer journey.

While 72 percent of the surveyed marketers said their current sites were somewhat successful in achieving these goals, only 8 percent could confidently say their web campaigns were very successful. Without knowing how to proceed, companies won’t be able to improve themselves.

The answer is mobile, but what’s the question?

A lack of success, or a lack of confidence, may be due to a mobile misunderstanding. Brands appear to be completely sure reaching mobile customers is important, but they’re often stymied about how to carry out relevant strategies. According to the Econsultancy 2014 Digital Trends briefing, 89 percent of marketers know what proportion of their traffic comes from mobile, and 84 percent know what types of devices their customers are using.

Just 39 percent can track customers as they  move across different devices.

However, only 54 percent understand how mobile fits in the customer journey, and 39 percent can track customers across different devices. Clearly there is a disconnect between what companies know they should be doing and what they actually carry out. This mobile paralysis reflects a fear of what mobile means for web marketing, but brands don’t need to worry as much as they are.

By and large, the changing mobile landscape simply means people are switching among devices throughout the day, for many different purposes. As Brafton reported, most people now use their smartphones at home, even when a desktop PC is readily available. Tracking customers across devices and fitting mobile into a buyer’s journey is less important than making sure content and media are viewable on mobile devices, period. A click is a click, and a conversion is a conversion, so more than anything else, marketers shouldn’t be limiting themselves only to users who come to a site via mouse clicks and desktop screens.

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.