Getting an inbound phone call from a prospective customer is second only to a face to face meeting as far as getting new business is concerned. Couple that with the fact that, for most companies using AdWords, at least 50% of their audience is on the move and using a mobile device rather than a PC at their desk. According to Google a phone call direct to a business is three times more likely to convert than a click which takes the searcher to a website.

So, it makes a lot of sense for those businesses to get people who are searching on Google for the very product or service that they provide to encourage those searchers to use the actual device they are searching on – their mobile phone – to call the business straight away.

Within the AdWords interface, there are two ad options which encourage direct, inbound phone calls from an ad.

The first is a Call Extension – When a Call Extension Ad is shown the searcher can click on the headline or any of the ad extensions and be taken to specific landing pages on the advertiser’s website as usual. However, if the searcher clicks on the “Call” button in the ad the dialler on their phone appears, and they can call the advertiser directly from the ad.

The other method is to use Call-Only ads which also show a Call button, but with Call-Only ads, clicking anywhere on the ad brings up the dialer on the phone and again connects the searcher with the advertiser.

Until recently, it was difficult to decide which type of Ad was better and testing (as always) would be the best way to find out.

However, a recent announcement by Google may sway the decision towards option two – the Call-Only ad.

Now, an additional three new Ad Extensions are being made available for Call-Only ads.

Ad Extensions expand ads with additional information—giving people more reasons to choose your business. They typically increase an ad’s click-through-rate by several percentage points. When Google displays your ad extensions, it makes your ads stand out as they are more significant and your use of ad extensions has a bearing on where your ads appear on the search results page.

The extensions which have been added to Call-Only ads have been around for a while for normal click-to-website ads.

The new extensions for Call-Only ads are:

Location Extensions – Google takes this information from your Google My Business account

Structured Snippets – Which allow you to say more about your products or services

Callout Extensions – With up to 25 additional characters of text and the possibility that

Google will display up to three of your Call Extensions then you can virtually double the size of your ad – which on a mobile device means that your ad will fill the searcher’s screen.

For the first time, you’ll be able to show ad extensions with Call-Only ads to promote more relevant information about your products and services and give people more reasons to choose your business. In early experiments, Google found that implementing new extensions to Call-Only ads improved click-through rates by 10% on average.

If you already have Location, Callout, or Structured Snippet extensions set up at the account-level, then you don’t need to take any extra steps – the extensions will automatically be eligible to appear with your Call-Only ads. You can also tailor the messaging on your extensions at the campaign-level to help them work better with Call-Only ads. Examples suggested by Google are, highlight your fast call center service or offer a special discount when customers book an appointment over the phone for the same week.


David Browne

Author: David Browne

David Browne’s Google AdWords campaigns have been described by the big cheeses at Google HQ as an “art form” – which would make David an artist. David honed his skills at the helm of the very successful Scottish Shutter Company, but having handed over the reins to his daughter and son-in-law he now runs his own digital marketing consultancy and is a co-founder of Barefoot Digital.