In the past year, there has been continued growth in the use of mobile usage – and in mobile marketing. And in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, mobile will continue to become a more prevalent tool for collecting and sharing information, socializing, making decisions, and buying. In fact, according to a new study by eMarketer, by 2013 the majority of mobile phone subscribers will have a smartphone.   That’s why it’s so important to consider the role mobile may play for the future of your business. To help you stay up-to-speed on the latest trends in mobile and how they affect your business, we put together this roundup of stats.

1. At of the end of 2011, 101 million people in the U.S. were using smartphones.
Why this matters: This is a 60% increase in mobile usage from the end of 2010, which also showed a 60% increase from 2009, demonstrating rapid growth. Incorporating mobile into your marketing can help your small business stay connected to your potential consumers.

2. 80% of all searches on smartphones are for local businesses and services.
Why this matters: People are searching for your business type or service when they are on the go. That’s why having a mobile Web presence is so critical for any local business. Having a mobile-optimized site can help you connect with mobile consumers. Claiming your business location on large search engines, local search directories, and social media can help potential consumers find you. And, including mobile in your search advertising can boost your visibility in the search results, generating new leads.

3. 22% of small business owners and decision makers plan to increase their mobile marketing efforts in 2012.
Why this matters: This statistic could also read, “Your competitors are dedicating resources to mobile marketing.” In order to stay competitive, you should too.

4. Between January 2011 and January 2012, mobile access to the Internet doubled.
Why this matters: As mobile Internet usage continues to grow, the importance of mobile marketing will only continue to grow with it. More consumers will look for your business on their mobile devices in addition to their desktops. More opportunities to connect with mobile customers will arise. That’s why right now, you should be investing in your mobile Web presence and in a mobile marketing plan.

5. Of all the mobile searches for local businesses, 52% of search clicks resulted in calls.
Why this matters: It’s one thing to say that more people are using mobile to search for local businesses. However, knowing that these searches generate leads and conversions even further demonstrates the value of investing in mobile marketing.

As you can see, mobile has significant opportunities for the future and growth of your small business. How do these statistics affect the way you market your small business? Are you already utilizing mobile marketing and a mobile-optimized site to attract and connect with potential consumers? Leave us a comment to share your opinion.

About the Author Tara Banda writes for the ReachLocal blog about how small business owners can reach local customers through online marketing. You can connect with her on Twitter.