Google Further Enhances Mobile Ads with Click-to-Call and Google Voice

Google AdWords, Google’s advertising platform, really has their fingers on the pulse of the future of mobile search. Their latest targeting option allows phone numbers in an advertiser’s text-based mobile ads to be ‘Click-to-Call’. This is one of several changes Google has made to bring more business to their advertisers. The advertiser would be charged the same as a click to their website.

In the first half of 2010 Google added Ad Extensions including the Call Extension that created a click-to-call option beneath their mobile ads. A large number of accounts adopted these Ad Extensions to great success, but many less experienced search marketers haven’t gotten around to these features.

Google also offers their Google Voice service as a call-tracking option in AdWords called Call Metrics. Each tracked call would cost an additional dollar and would provide some basic call stats such as whether the call was answered, duration of call, and time. They have recently expanded this to all of their advertisers

Google has also announced that the call-rate (the likelihood that a user seeing the phone number chooses to call that number) will become a core componenet of the Quality Score for their mobile ads. To remove any confusion, advertisers that include their phone number in their ads as well as using the Call Extension will default to showing only the phone number in the ad.

Mobile is changing rapidly, but Google continues to provide their advertisers the options to keep up with these changes. I’m personally going to test using the Call Extension as well as ads with the numbers in the ads.

Google’s Official Letter
Dear AdWords Advertiser,

If you currently have a phone number in your ad text or have plans to start adding your phone number in an ad, this is an important notice that in the coming weeks, we will be launching a new enhancement to AdWords ads that will impact charges on clicks to these numbers.

To help our mobile users connect more easily with advertisers, all non-clickable phone numbers displayed in AdWords ad text will be automatically converted into a Click-to-call number. Currently when advertisers enter a phone number directly into their ad text instead of using Call Extensions, the phone number is not clickable and will not generate a call. This can be a frustrating experience for mobile users who attempt to initiate a call to this phone number.

The new Click-to-call enhancement ensures that all phone numbers shown in AdWords ads are clickable and allows users to easily place calls from their mobile device. If your ad text includes a phone number, you will begin to receive clicks and calls on this number once the enhancement is enabled in your account. As with phone calls placed via a Call Extension, you will be charged for clicks on your phone number that result in a call.

Please note that AdWords policy does not allow for phone numbers to be inserted into ad headlines. As with all Click-to-call ads, advertisers will be charged when a user either clicks on the headline or the phone number listed in the ad. Please see below for additional information regarding this change.

Which phone number shows?

If you are currently using both Call Extensions and a phone number in your ad creative, only the newly clickable phone number in your ad creative will show. This is designed to help reduce user confusion from seeing two potentially different numbers. If you would like your Call Extension number to display, simply delete all phone numbers from your existing ad text by following these steps. You’ll also receive an additional line of ad text displaying your phone number if the Call Extension is used.

Measuring results

You’ll be able to review how many calls you receive on the clickable phone number listed in your ad text for each campaign, ad group, keyword and ad on the “Campaigns” tab in your AdWords account. Just select the “Click-type” option under the “Segment” drop down and view your report. Please note that since these are not calls generated from a Call Extension, they will not be reported in the Extensions tab reports.

Recommendations for featuring a phone number

You can simply leave your phone number in your ad text and benefit from this change which will automatically make your phone numbers clickable and enable users to call you. However, to get the most value from click-to-call, we recommend that you remove your phone number from your ad creative and create a Call Extension with your phone number directly.

This has several benefits. With a manually created Call Extension your number will appear as an additional line of ad text which frees up space in your ad creative for other promotion. In addition, when you create a Call Extension, your phone number appears on a separate line in the ad, and you’re able to take advantage of other powerful enhancements such as Vanity Numbers, Call-only and Call Metrics reporting.

Google AdWords Advice for Dallas Small Businesses

As industry moves from one model to another in the marketing world, the way that businesses get their messages out to consumers is rapidly changing.  Print advertising is fading away as major publications such as the New York Times and the Detroit Free Press see their revenues from ad dollars shrink.  Companies like Google are seeing a surge in online marketing activity mainly through its proprietary program Google Adwords.  Many businesses still do not see the value in this type of marketing online and there are still misnomers about pay per click advertising in general.

Pay Per Click advertising myths

When a company hears that they will have to pay every time a person clicks on an ad that they have posted online, they may only see cost and turn to run.  In reality, it can be incredibly challenging to get someone to click on your ad and costs for online marketing in this way are drastically lower than traditional forms of media in comparison to how effectively a market can be reached and the data Google produces from its campaigns.  It is also common for companies to think that individuals don’t want to click on ads and would rather be a unique visitor to a page or click on organic search results.  In fact just as many people click on three line text ads that appear next to organic search results as those who click on organic results alone.  Still more entities believe that the more they pay, the more exposure they will get online yet in the case of Adwords, this could not be further from the truth.  Google works to balance its own needs with the needs of advertisers as well as those of consumers using their service.  The company willing to bid the most for an ad to appear may not necessarily be the most relevant for the user’s search query.  The position that an ad has on a results page is decided based on a variety of factors one of which is how much an advertiser is willing to pay however this is not the most important factor. 

Google uses “Keyword Quality Score” as a means of determining which ads appear higher or lower, this also includes the bid per click as a factor.

Businesses do not have to be end users

While Google provides a very unique and effective opportunity with its advertising services, the Adwords system is very complex and detailed.  A person could spend forty hours a week working with it and learning about it and still not completely understand it.  This is where Mike Stewart, director of Dallas (PPC) Pay-Per-Click Campaign Set-up & Management Firm SMBSEO comes in.  His company specializes in online marketing and Google Adwords consulting.  The business offers advice on how to optimize campaign ad text and keywords, improve quality scores and average position on page, as well as a variety of other aspects of Adwords accounts.  Tutorials offered by the company can take users through the Adwords interface step by step to increase keyword click through rates and other important factors that maximize ad dollars. SMBSEO’s pay per click management services are not only transparent in reporting and results, the company is also one of the few firms in Dallas to provided paid search management campaign building on behalf of the client without retaining ownership of the work provided. This is a distinct advantage of working with holistic search marketers who view search engine marketing as a service and not a product.

As the advertising world changes, more and more companies are moving to the web to showcase products and services.  Benefits of online marketing include far better tracking of user preferences and behavior, lower cost, and greater exposure to target markets.  Companies like SMBSEO provide cutting edge online marketing consulting advice for businesses that want to use newer services such as Google Adwords but don’t have the time or knowledge to get things rolling.