Tips for Getting the Most out of Call-Only Ads in Google AdWords
Mobile optimized sites have been all the rage since Google’s explicit February announcement that mobile-friendliness will be used as an organic ranking signal starting April 21. However, Google has not forgotten about the original purpose of mobile devices — phone calls. In February, Google made it easier for advertisers to engage smartphone users with call-only ads.
Although call-only campaigns are fairly new to Google AdWords, there are certain steps you can take to get the most out of them in your PPC campaigns. This article provides insight into the setup, optimization, and reporting of call-only ads, based on data and testing we have done for our PPC services clients.
Setting Up Call-Only Ads
Before creating your call-only ad campaigns, you should start a conversation with your business or client to establish what a valuable call length is. Perhaps it typically takes the sales team 10 minutes to close a lead or sale, for example. By default, the call-only ads consider a call length of 60 seconds to be a conversion. For accurate reporting and cost management, you’ll want to set the conversion, count and conversion window at the right length for your business. Adjust the default settings using AdWords’ newish conversion interface.
Select the Phone calls conversion and select the Calls from ads using call extensions option. (In the future, I suspect this may read “Calls from ads.”)
From here you can set the call length for a conversion, count, conversion window and other settings.
Tip: We recommend adding time to the required call length based on average time on hold, transferring, and navigating through automated response systems.
- Scheduling: Unless you or your client consider a user being sent to an answering machine a valuable phone call, we recommend scheduling your call-only ads to run during hours the business operates, has sufficient staffing available to answer calls, or aligned with call-center hours.
PPC Management Tip: Scheduling can play very well into an account structure that has been segmented geographically. This way, you can create multiple call-only campaigns with ad scheduling that correlate with their respective time zones.
- Using call-only ads with mobile preferred ads: Call-only ads and mobile preferred ads won’t directly compete against each other, but they do occupy the same ad space. Google’s ad rank will determine which ad type will show. And if your mobile preferred ads have more historic data, it is likely they will outrank your call-only ads on most searches. So, it may be necessary to bid up on your call-only ads.
Mobile Tip: We recommend segmenting mobile preferred ads and call-only ads into different campaigns for more granular control of the different bid and keyword strategies of each.
- Targeted keywords: If there is sufficient traffic, we recommend adding phone call-centric modifiers to your call-only keywords, such as “phone number,” “call,” or “customer support.” This will help improve call-only click-through rates and can further mediate competition with your mobile preferred ads.
Reporting on Call-Only Ads
Data on call-only ads and Google forwarding numbers (unique phone number extensions that Google can add to an ad to allow for enhanced reporting like call length and caller’s area code) is not visible by default. Look for this data in Custom columns and Dimensions within AdWords.
- Custom columns: You can add custom columns to view metrics like: phone calls, PTR, phone impressions, and more. Unfortunately, these metrics do not seem to be available at the keyword level yet, but you can add call detail metrics at the campaign and ad group level.
- Dimensions: If you have opted into Google forwarding phone numbers, looking in the Dimensions tab can be a great resource for call-only reporting. Once in the Dimensions tab, select Call details from the drop-down. Here you get PPC metrics like: call length, caller’s area code, and if the phone call was received or missed.
Tip: If you or your client are not sure what constitutes a valuable phone call, getting an idea of average call length from this report can help provide insight.
Hopefully, this article has provided you or your PPC account manager some help taking advantage of the newest Google AdWords ad type, call-only ads.
Have you launched any call-only campaigns? Feel free to leave questions or your own tips in the comments. For help improving your search ads’ performance, give BCI a call at 1-866-517-1900.