The Internet isn’t for your desk anymore. Customers are increasingly on the go – in a permanent trend that business owners, marketers and advertisers can’t afford to ignore.

Mobile device ownership is growing so quickly that stats become outdated by the time they’re published. But it’s current to say that more than half of mobile phones are browser- and app-enabled smartphones, and more than 20 percent of Americans own an iPad or another browser-enabled tablet.

Mobile Internet users have a number of traits that make them especially interesting to marketers. They can be geo-located and served ads and special offers based on their locations. They also tend to be younger – 60 percent of those between 25 and 34 own smartphones. They are better educated, and in some cases wealthier – nearly half of iPad owners come from $100K+ households, according to comScore.

Users of iPads, especially, are online consumers, too, making up nearly 70 percent of mobile shoppers, registering higher conversion rates (1.5 percent for iPad vs. 0.6 percent for other mobile devices, according to RichRelevance), and also buying more expensive items.

Special Considerations for Smartphone Advertising

Given all of these attributes, advertising on mobile devices becomes particularly compelling, with creative and offers specifically tailored for mobile users.

At Altitude Marketing, it has become routine to set up completely separate online advertising campaigns for smartphones and iPads. These options provide our clients with compelling ways to interact with customers and prospects on the move.

At Altitude Marketing, it has become routine to set up completely separate online advertising campaigns for smartphones and iPads.

For example, Google, through its AdWords interface, enables us set location extensions (click-to-navigate to your store address, for example), call extensions (click-to-call your regular number or a trackable dedicated number), site links (areas of your site designed especially for mobile access) and mobile app extensions (link to any app in Apple’s App Store or the Android Google Play store).

iPads and Other Tablets

Tablets deserve their own device-specific ad campaigns, even though their users can’t take advantage of click-to-call options. You will want to track tablet campaigns separately simply because they typically provide higher click-through rates, conversions and profits than general online campaigns. This gives you the opportunity to budget separately for tablet campaigns and to adjust spend and priorities accordingly.

In addition, some forward-thinking companies are now providing tablet-specific content to bring some “wow” factor to the tablet format. Nikon, for example, runs an iPad ad for its CoolPix line that includes embedded videos and interactive touchscreen product navigation.

Mobile-Ready Site Design

One final consideration: When mobile users click through to your website, they should ideally see a mobile-specific site that makes it easier to navigate, read and use on the smaller screen of a smart phone.

At Altitude, adding this “responsive” design has become standard operating procedure. With responsive design, elements of a website are automatically resized and reorganized depending on how the site is accessed. And because responsive design does not require the creation of an entirely separate mobile website, it is an economical and forward-thinking solution.

Mobile devices have already changed the Internet landscape. There is no turning back.

Mobile: It’s Not the Future. It’s Now.

Mobile devices have already changed the Internet landscape. There is no turning back. The upshot is a net positive for savvy business owners and marketers. Mobile devices offer numerous advantages for advertisers. And if you make sure your business is well-positioned to take advantage, you can reap the benefits sooner than later.