By Leah Messinger

The little guys just don’t get it. Online advertising leaders say mom-and-pop ad buyers are stuck in the newspaper age, when ads were designed to prompt a direct response to a specific offer. By the same logic, a mouse click should lead to an immediate sale. But it doesn’t always work that way.

“These folks base success not on ad clicks, but on cash in the register at the end of the day,” said Hilary Schneider, Yahoo’s vice president for local markets, on Tuesday. Despite the frustrating naïveté of local advertisers, Ms. Schneider said her company is more than willing to pursue them. Google also wants in on what promises to be a highly lucrative market.

The current U.S.