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Tracking Phone Calls To Your Business: AdWords Call-Only Campaigns

If your business values phone calls as much or more than website clicks (maybe people call to order from your restaurant menu, or to get a quote for a service you offer) then Google has created a new AdWords campaign format just for you. On February 20th of this year, Google introduced a new way for businesses to reach potential customers: Call-Only campaigns. Chances are, you’ve been relying on call extensions in your Search campaigns to get your phone number out to potential customers (more on call extensions below). Call-Only campaigns take things to the next level, prominently showing your phone number, business description and a call button on any mobile device that can make phone calls. This means that at the very moment that people are searching for the products or services you offer, your business information appears, and most importantly, people can click-to-call straight from your ads. In real terms, this means that you are capturing potential customers when they are ready to take action, and every click you pay for can be a direct phone call to your business.

As you know, in the age of smartphones people are engaging with businesses in new ways. Your customers are now looking for products and services while they’re enroute, when they’re in the car or on the bus, and they are able to place a call at that moment. A Google/Ipsos study (“The Role of Click to Call in the Path to Purchase”, September, 2013) showed that 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from their search results. Traditional AdWords Search and Display campaigns push mobile device customers to your website, where they have to find your business phone number to make the call. Now they can call directly from your ad, which is much more expedient for them and makes sense for you too, because Call-Only campaigns allow you to design a strategy that maximizes the value of every call your business receives. Since clicks on your ads will only generate phone calls, you will be able to determine specifically what a call is worth to you and bid accordingly.

For the right kind of business, Call-Only campaigns may be the ideal online marketing solution, a fundamental part of your overall marketing package. For instance, if your restaurant has a take-out or delivery offer, you can set up your Call-Only ads so that when one of your ads is triggered, the potential customer can click the call button and go straight to your ordering line. Or if you offer landscaping services or you sell insurance, customers can easily call for a quote, and because you have placed a value on what that call is worth to you, you can track and meet your ROI goals.

Call-Only Campaigns: The Nuts & Bolts

Here at Lunar Logic, we’ve been experimenting with Call-Only campaigns on a couple of client accounts and here are some things you should know …

Call-Only campaigns are currently available for the Search Network only and use cost per click (CPC) bidding, just as other Search Network campaigns do. If you’ve worked with a Search campaign before, you know that CPC bidding allows you to set your bids exactly so that you’re seeing return on your investment.

Call-Only campaigns use your existing phone information, so nothing has to change on your end. You can share those numbers across ads within an ad group or across an entire campaign, so for the purposes of tracking calls, you can set up different ad groups with different phone numbers. You can also set the phone numbers so that they show only when your business can take calls.

As you can see in the image above, the usual ad title is replaced with a phone number in a Call-Only campaign.

But Call-Only ads are also flexible in terms of how they appear on a device. You have the choice to hide any line in your ad so that it looks best on a variety of mobile devices. You can also tailor your ads for phone calls with language like “Call To Make An Appointment” or “Get A Quote Now,” to let people know they don’t have to visit your website in order to do business with you.

How is a Call-Only Campaign Different Than Using Call Extensions or Website Call Conversions?
AdWords developed call extensions as an option that allows you to show a phone number in a standard text ad in Search campaigns. These enhanced text ads typically receive more clicks, and Google reports that the click-through rate increases by 6 to 8% over non-enhanced ads. Call extensions also factor into how your Ad Rank is calculated on those text ads. If two competing ads have the same bid and quality score, the ad with the most relevant extensions will likely appear in a higher position. Unlike ads in a Call-Only campaign, which are specific to mobile devices, you can target call extensions to all devices. If you use call extensions with a Google forwarding number, which will enable call reporting for non-mobile click-to-call activity, you’ll be able to measure conversions and find details such as phone-through rate and average cost per phone call at the campaign or ad group levels. However, your ads must receive a minimum number of clicks to show call extensions, and a minimum number of calls to show a Google forwarding number.

For companies that value both website visits and phone calls, call extensions have been a nice option in Search campaigns. However, AdWords recently announced that they will be eliminating call extensions as of June 2015, in favor of Call-Only Campaigns.

Website Call Conversions is another way to identify and measure phone calls from your website, or as Google explains it: measuring clicks that lead to calls. Website Call Conversions rely on a JavaScript tag that swaps out the phone number when it comes through an ad, replacing it with a trackable Google forwarding number that is dynamically inserted on your website. If someone clicks on your search ad, which takes them to your website, and they then call the phone number they find there, Google Call Conversions can measure these calls, whether the person has clicked on the number or dialed it directly from their phone. In this way, you can see what keywords and ads drove the customer to your site and inspired them to make the call. You can also assign different values to calls that originate from different pages on your site, which allows you to further fine tune your AdWords campaigns.

Website Call Conversions require more setup and some additional IT skills in order to get the JavaScript tags in the right places and functioning correctly, but if you have a good web presence that you value and you also want to track phone calls, putting in the extra time to set up Website Call Conversions can work in your favor.

In conclusion, if your business places extra value on phone calls, then a Call-Only campaign may be a perfect addition to your marketing plan. Here at Lunar Logic, we’ll continue to experiment with this new campaign format and report back as it develops. Keep in mind that call extensions will be going away in June, so you will need to either go the extra mile to set up Website Call Conversions or establish a Call-Only campaign to track phone calls to your business. If you have questions about that process, or need help to set up either option, be sure to contact us.

Image Credit: http://tinyurl.com/h9agvk6
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