Some businesses fear mobile searches and smartphone shoppers, but their habits provide a view of content marketing's future.

People have been predicting the dominance of mobile for some time. It’s not hard to see this as the logical conclusion to the rise of smartphones and tablets, at least for search. By 2013, 49 percent of searches were conducted on a mobile device, according to a Telmetrics study. However, it isn’t safe to say all websites should be exclusively mobile-oriented.

For example, a recent survey by ShopVisible discovered 30 percent of ecommerce traffic is driven by mobile users. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that the conversion rate for mobile customers was significantly lower than for desktop users. The same study pegged smartphone conversions at 0.5 percent, while tablets were at 1.6 percent. Users on desktop computers converted at a rate of 2.5 percent.

The best of both worlds

It’s clear mobile search is increasing, but how can a content marketing strategy strike the right balance between the old and the new? There are a few things to keep in mind, including:

Knowing your audience. Fretting about how to choose one over the other is pointless if it’s clear your ideal customers exist in a very obvious demographic. For example, B2B companies will probably perform significantly fewer searches for business partnerships on mobile devices than customers looking for consumer goods.

Optimizing for Knowledge Graphs. Mobile users are very likely searching for nearby establishments. A comScore study estimates nearly one-third of mobile searches are local in nature. When these on-the-go searchers query Google, they want information more quickly than if they’re sitting at home. Location information, images and map optimization will give customers what they’re looking for on Knowledge Graphs without even having to leave SERPs.

40 percent of Americans use their smartphones for social networking, including 67 percent of people ages 18-29.

Including social media. Facebook isn’t just for desktop computers. Take advantage of the fact that social media is extremely popular on mobile devices – about 40 percent of Americans use their smartphones for social networking, including 67 percent of people ages 18-29, according to a Pew Research Center study. If content is shareable and viewable on social platforms, it stands a much greater chance of being seen and clicked no matter where customers are browsing.

One benefit of the rise in mobile search is that smartphones and tablets are becoming a lot more technologically sophisticated. The better these machines are, the less web marketing strategists will have to struggle to make sites look optimized for mobile. Look at searches and content viewing on smartphones as a glimpse of the future when desktops and mobile devices merge, rather than a challenge to overcome.

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.