Currently, there are 6.8 billion people living on the planet.

And about 4 billion of them own a mobile phone.

There's no denying that more people are using their mobile devices to access the Internet than ever -- in 2013, statistics revealed that the mobile phone surpassed the PC as the most common way to use the Internet.

And as more people use their smartphones and tablets to browse the web, the way businesses find new customers will continue to evolve through one channel -- mobile search. Currently, 50% of all web searches are made on mobile devices, and this number will undoubtedly continue to grow. Knowing this, there's no reason not to optimize your business' website for mobile search.

Here are just some of the many ways that taking advantage of mobile search can help your small business:

Mobile search leads to sales.

When people search for businesses on their mobile devices, it's usually to learn more about a product or service before buying it. This may explain why 9 out of 10 searches on mobile devices result in customer action and more than half of searches lead to a sale.

Mobile searches deliver fast results.

You'd be amazed at how quickly a mobile Internet search can prompt customer action. Studies have shown that after 70% of mobile web searches, a customer will take action in an hour or less.

Mobile search is increasingly local.

One of the most popular ways to use a mobile device's search capabilities is to search for local businesses -- in fact, 95% of all smartphone owners have used their device to search for local information and businesses. Approximately 61% of those users called a local business after making the search, and 59% visited the business itself shortly after.

Taking advantage of mobile search makes your business competitive.

To make your website successful in mobile search engine rankings, it's essential to use responsive web design. Responsive web design allows your website to detect the type of device on which it's being viewed, and optimize its display for that particular device. It's been repeatedly proven that websites with responsive web design are better received by customers -- yet a shocking 93% of local businesses still don't have their websites optimized for mobile displays. Making your business' web page responsive to mobile devices, therefore, will essentially guarantee results.

How has mobile search helped your small business? Share your thoughts in the comments below!