Companies must find the best way to keep their branded content in front of smartphone-toting target audiences.

The latest data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project found that, for the first time in history, there are more smartphone owners than individuals with cell phones or no smartphone at all. Now that 56 percent of Americans are toting internet-enabled mobile phones, marketers must choose which action plans they’ll use to engage their prospects. Will they adjust their content for mobile SEO value, create a new strategy altogether or wait to see what others do.

A recent Brafton video suggests it’s in brands’ best interests to get in on the ground floor. Data from the Mobile Marketing Association says that for every $1 marketers spent on mobile promotions, they will get $20 in returns. Within the next two years, the amount companies spend on mobile content marketing and promotions is expected to total $20 billion by 2015. That would produce a return of $400 billion.

So what’s the best path for mobile SEO success? Accommodate internet users looking for products and services on smaller screens.

Kentico Software recently polled more than 300 U.S. consumers about their purchasing habits and found that 85 percent enter the sales funnel after searching for companies, products and pricing on their smartphones. However, 44 percent will never go back if the pages aren’t optimized for mobile viewing or don’t look pretty on their devices.

“When it comes to making and breaking customer relationships, it’s all happening on mobile devices.”

“If [companies’] sites aren’t mobile friendly, people who are out and about will forge new brand relationships with competitors, and they’ll take these relationships back home with them to their computers,” said Kentico CEO and Founder Petr Palas. “When it comes to making and breaking customer relationships, it’s all happening on mobile devices.”

Marketers still need to focus on SEO and social media marketing to capture mobile audiences’ attention and direct them brands’ homepages where they can convert. Companies must publish website content that gets in the first few SERP positions for queries and post social updates that surface in News Feeds and stay in front of on-the-go customers.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.