local advertisingOkay, so that might be a little bit of an exaggeration but hear me out. Recently the internet has been a buzz with how local marketing is the future for small businesses. According to eMarketer, online local ad spending is projected to increase from $21 billion this year to $36 billion in 2014.

There have been tons of blog posts about how to leverage local marketing for your small business or how the new Google local search engine results page (SERP) will affect local searchers.

I agree with most of the advice given. Make sure that your business’s contact information is up-to-date. Encourage happy customers to leave reviews for your business. Include photos and other enhanced content to attract potential customers. This is all sound advice but don’t get discouraged when you follow it and your business doesn’t seem to be making any progress in its local search rankings. Do you want to know why?

Because more and more people are looking at screens that look like this:

local search marketing local search marketinglocal search marketing

And less and less are looking at screens that look like this:

google places

As mobile search continues to increase your ranking on the local search engine results page will be less and less important. What will become more and more important is that your business actually shows up in these mobile applications. That your address, phone number and business description are correct. That you have lots of reviews from happy customers. That your listings are enhanced with photos, so that when I click on more details I immediately get a feel for your store through my mobile phone.

So take the advice of all the local search marketers out there. Make sure your local listings are in all the local search sites, use photos and get reviews. But don’t get discouraged when you aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for on Google Places or Yahoo! Local. There’s a whole other world out there, and you are setting yourself up to benefit greatly!