The easiest way to decide if mobile advertising is right for your business in 2017 is to let the statistics do the talking…

  • More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the U.S. and Japan. (Google, 2015)
  • 34% of online retail purchases now happen on mobile devices. (Google, 2016)
  • By 2019, mobile advertising will represent 72% of all U.S. digital ad spending. (Marketing Land, 2015)
  • On mobile alone in an average week, YouTube reaches more 18+ year-olds during prime time TV hours than any cable TV network. (Google, 2016)
  • Local searches lead 50% of mobile visitors to visit stores within one day. (Google, 2014)
  • 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases. (Search Engine Land, 2014)


  • 70% of people dislike mobile ads. (HubSpot, 2016)
  • Mobile ad blocking has increased 90% year-over-year. (HubSpot, 2016)

What does this all boil down to?

Well first of all, mobile is likely an easier path to reach your customer than desktop. It’s not only where customers are searching, but it’s where they’re purchasing, too. This is even more true for local businesses. While mobile search engines are where consumers are, they’re also spending a lot of time in applications and services such as YouTube. And, although mobile advertising is only expected to grow in the next couple of years, so is the dislike of consumers being disrupted by ads on their mobile phone. Already, a number of mobile ads are being blocked.

Considering all of this… the pros likely outway the cons. While many consumers dislike and even block mobile ads, it could still be a good return on your investment if you’re able to reach and convert enough customers with mobile advertising.

But, it’s important to dig a little deeper before adopting a mobile marketing strategy.

Before You Invest in Mobile Advertising, Consider This…

Determine How Much of Your Website Traffic is Mobile vs. Desktop
Google Analytics easily allows you to understand where your traffic is coming from — desktop or mobile — and what mobile devices they’re using such as phone, tablet, etc. From within your Google Analytics dashboard, visit Audience and then click on Mobile. In the Overview, you’ll be able to see how much traffic is coming from mobile.

There are a few things to consider. If your mobile traffic is really low, consider if your website makes sense on mobile. Is there a lengthy signup process that requires personal information and multiple steps, that is just easier for consumers to do on desktop? Then perhaps it doesn’t make sense for you to target mobile traffic. Do you have a lot of mobile traffic but a high bounce rate? This can indicate your mobile experience is lacking or you’re missing a mobile responsive design. Make sure your mobile experience is clear, quick and easy to use before you invest in mobile advertising.

Understand Your Target Audience’s Mobile Use
According to ReachLocal, below are some demographics of consumers using mobile phones. Are these demographics that fit into your target consumer? It’s important to have a buyer persona for your business and understand who you’re targeting online before starting any advertising strategy, including mobile advertising. You can do additional target audience research within comScore’s U.S. Mobile App Report.

  • Smartphone users earn a median salary of $61,000 (Android) and $85,000 (iPhone).
  • Consumers aged 25-34 are the biggest app audience, though usage is pervasive amongst most age groups.
  • The median age of all app users is 40.

If You’re Ready to Invest in Mobile Advertising, Do This…

If driving mobile traffic to your website makes sense, you’ve optimized your website for mobile traffic, and you know your target audience is using their mobile phone in ways that will drive traffic to your business, then now you can focus on the following when launching your mobile advertising strategy:

  1. Create a compelling coupon or offer: The competition out there is fierce. If you can create an even better reason for your mobile advertising traffic to convert, then this will likely turn into an even higher return on your advertising investment.
  2. Sign up for services that can optimize your mobile campaigns: Want to track your campaigns across multiple networks and publishers? Want deeper mobile analytics? Want to launch mobile SMS campaigns? This list of 10 best mobile advertising tools to promote your business will help.
  3. Consider Many Different Mobile Platforms: Google AdWords is a great start for mobile advertising campaigns since Google drives 95% of all paid search ad clicks on mobile. (Business Insider, 2016). But it’s also worth trying mobile Facebook, Twitter and YouTube ads, or different strategies such as native mobile advertising, where ads are shown within relevant mobile content.

If you’re ready to dive into a mobile advertising strategy for your small business in 2017, then make sure you do your due diligence in research and campaign optimization. And most importantly, find the right analytics tools to decide how this type of advertising works for your business. If you test it out and it doesn’t seem to make sense for the amount you’re spending, don’t be afraid to skip it. Just because mobile phone use increases and the statistics make it sound like it’s right for small business, doesn’t mean it’ll work for your small business and product. So, let the data do the talking.