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PPC tips and advice

Google's click-to-call phone numbers

At the end of January, Google announced the introduction of 'click-to-call' phone numbers as part of the AdWords campaign options, allowing advertisers to target users of Internet smartphones (such as a iPhone). This allows potential customers to phone the advertiser directly from the advert and for the number of calls to be recorded within the AdWords system.

After having been in beta for some time, Google is now rolling out the click-to-call facility to AdWords campaigns in Australia and worldwide. As our article in last month's newsletter noted, Google has recently been developing better options for AdWords advertisers to target Internet-capable mobile phone users, and the new click-to-call option recognises the fact that many mobile searchers would prefer to call from the advert, rather than visit the website to find the number.

To help better connect searchers with the right business, click-to-call ads and their corresponding phone numbers are based on users' locations based on the Google Maps 'My Location' feature. AdWords advertisers can add a location-specific business phone number in the mobile ads, so that users can click the number to call the business immediately. Ads can be served based on user location, so that for companies with multiple locations or stores, a potential customer will see - and can click to call - the phone number of their nearest location.

This new feature also makes it easier for advertisers to fully measure the results of their ads by allowing them to track how many calls they actually receive within the AdWords interface. Google says that the beta trial demonstrated that some of those advertisers who participated "saw the overall success of the ads increase dramatically and the click-through rates on search ads increased up to 30%". The advertisers' bid levels remain unchanged with this option so that the same cost-per-click (CPC) applies to both calls and clicks to the website, however with the more limited screen space for mobile search and adverts, it will benefit those advertisers who rank in the first 1-5 positions for a search term on AdWords.

Paid-search ads will become an increasingly important tool as companies attempt to gain space on the mobile screen. Mobile search traffic continues to climb, and more people have begun to use smartphones that allow them to browse the web easily from any location. Internal data from Google suggests that consumers with iPhones search 50 times more than those with prior-generation phones.

Click-to-call ads underscore Google's continued dedication to making money from the mobile web and it's likely that Google will offer additional ways to leverage mobile ads, such as through GPS and other location-based mechanisms, in the future.

This article was first published in the March 2010 edition of our monthly newsletter.

If you'd like more information about how click-to-call phone numbers can help the marketing of your business, please contact us now. Alternatively, please request a FREE website assessment and see what you could achieve with a successful search engine marketing campaign.