Click-to-call best practices: useful tips for optimizing your mobile campaigns

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 | 10:41 AM

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This January, we launched a Click-to-call functionality for mobile ads that enables advertisers to directly connect with potential customers over the phone. In less than a year, Click-to-call (CTC) ads have come a long way and hundreds of thousands of advertisers are using the ad format today. In fact, over the past three months we've seen the number of Google advertisers using phone extensions on mobile grow 28% month-over-month, globally. What’s more, Click-to-call ads on both Google Search and Display Networks are generating millions of calls every month on mobile.

We’re excited to see this response to Click-to-call ads and we’re only just getting started! Since the initial launch, we’ve continued to innovate on the CTC platform by developing a variety of new ad formats to help advertisers reach their marketing objectives. In recent studies we found that when compared to ads without phone numbers, Click-to-call ads drive a 6-8% average increase in click-through rates. To help you maximize the power of Click-to-call, we’ve put together the following best practices for our recent CTC enhancements so that you can easily choose the ad format that best fits your campaign goal. Please note that while these ad formats are eligible to show on the Google Display Network, these tips are specific to campaigns that are targeting and are opted-in to show on high-end devices with full Internet browsers.

Drive calls to a centralized number with Phone Extensions

Whether you are national advertiser with a call center or just want to drive calls to a specific phone number, the Phone Extensions ad format can be a useful tool. Phone Extensions enable you to include a phone number in your mobile ad that will remain the same, regardless of where the ad is showing.  For example, if you have a national 1-800 number, adding it to your Phone Extension will result in the ad displaying that exact number to users located in California and to users located in New York.  Giving customers the option to instantly make contact with you is a great way to drive qualified leads as well as scale your business. To learn more about this ad format, please read the Phone Extensions announcement.

Focus on phone calls with Call-only Creative
Many businesses value phone calls and website visits differently. If you specifically want to connect with your customers over the phone, you can now use the Call-only Creative to create campaigns solely focused on driving calls to your business. An enhancement that works with Phone Extensions, the Call-only Creative ensures that your phone number is the only clickable part of your mobile ad. Since a call costs the same as a click to your ad, you can completely focus on fostering phone interactions with your desired audience via your mobile campaigns. To learn more about this ad format, please read the Call-only Creative announcement.

Measure performance with Call Metrics for Phone Extensions and Call-only Creative
For more insight into the performance of your Phone Extensions and Call-only Creative ads, enable the AdWords Call Metrics feature.  Using a dynamically assigned Google Voice number, Call Metrics provide campaign-level statistics on the number of phone leads generated by your AdWords ads including call duration and caller area code. Currently, Call Metrics is only available to a limited number of US advertisers, but we plan to bring this feature to more advertisers in the coming months. To learn more about Call Metrics, please visit please visit Google Ad Innovations.

Help customers remember your phone number with Vanity Phone Numbers
Do most of your business transactions take place over the phone? If so, including a vanity phone number in your ads can help customers remember how to contact you when they need your products or services. An enhancement to Phone Extensions, Vanity Phone Numbers allow you to display an alphanumeric phone number in your mobile ad. As seen in the image above, instead of using 1-800-836-3464 in their mobile ad, 1-800-VENDING can use their actual business name. To learn more about this ad format, please read the Vanity Phone Numbers announcement.

Reach local customers with Location Extensions
Trying to connect with the on-the-go and ready-to-buy local consumer? Adding a location specific business phone number to your ads can help you effectively engage with this audience. Let’s say you own a chain of pizza restaurants and you want to ensure that customers can instantly reach the pizza place nearest to them. Since Location Extensions ads are served based on a users’ location, hungry patrons will click and call the closest restaurant instead of the one across town. As an additional benefit, this ad format displays your address and business location on an expandable map and can help navigate customers to your store.  For more information about this ad format, please read the Location Extensions announcement.

We hope you’ll find these tips useful and we look forward to developing more Click-to-call features for you in the future.

Posted by Surojit Chatterjee, Google Mobile Ads Product Manager