It’s come to be expected these days that when you’re on the go and looking for a business’s phone number in the search results, you can access that number and call it on your smartphone with just one or two clicks.
In fact, research from Google indicates 70 percent of mobile searchers said they click to call businesses from the search results. And nearly half of those surveyed said the lack of a call option would lead them to be frustrated with the business and more likely to turn to another brand.
Even in the web-based world we live in, person-to-person interaction on the phone is still essential. Data from Google suggests the phone call falls into both the research and purchase phase (top and bottom of the acquisition funnel).
Google data in 2013 examined categories such as local services, auto, tech, travel, finance and beyond to see how likely people would be to use a click-to-call feature for services in that industry. And the response rate was high for many categories.
But, what about other types of businesses – those brands that may not have a physical location? Does click to call make sense?
1-800-FLOWERS.com designs and delivers flower arrangements and gifts across the globe 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Recently, the company gave special focus to tracking click-to-call conversions on its AdWords account.
The results showed up to a 10 percent lift in overall AdWords revenue coming from click to call.
Additionally, 1-800-FLOWERS.com used the new AdWords feature that estimates cross-device conversions (estimated cross-device conversions is one component of “estimated total conversions”) to uncover a 7 percent increase in overall conversions when looking at conversions that started on one device and ended on another. In addition, the company found a 4 percent increase in total mobile conversions after counting conversions that started with a mobile ad click.
I wanted to know more about the success they were seeing, so I caught up with Amit Shah at 1-800-FLOWERS.com, who is the vice president of mobile and social, to learn more about the lessons learned when implementing click to call in their AdWords campaigns, including best practices.
“Click to call should be an integral part of any e-commerce or lead generation search engine marketing campaign,” Shah said. “While a robust call center maybe a prerequisite for enterprise clients, small and medium sized businesses can leverage this feature even without 24/7 customer service agents.”
Shah offered three lessons the team at 1-800-FLOWERS.com learned when focusing on the click-to-call aspect of conversions:
- Make sure the instrumentation is in place to know how many conversions are happening on the phone channel. “Optimization and scaling of any CTC campaigns requires a clear documentation of conversions happening via the phone once the customer acts on the SEM ad. A lot of poor decisions we see on CTC campaigns are a direct result of not having the proper instrumentation in place to accurately measure conversions.”
- Understand the segmentation of your traffic. “Are your customers looking for information or looking to purchase? CTC campaigns should address each segment differently to make sure that the intent is matched. For example, if a customer is looking for a business account they should be directed perhaps to a B2B specialist instead of a regular sales agent because their needs might differ. The ability to run different phone numbers by campaign in Google AdWords is a fantastic feature that facilitates such micro targeting.”
- Train the customer service agents to understand the use case. “SEM CTC's are unlike traditional print or even online display campaigns that have a click to call action. Generally, SEM CTC campaigns have a more urgent intention so the agents need to be trained for speedy outcomes.”
With click to call, Shah said that in the end, it’s all about providing a seamless experience for the user.
"If someone is searching for roses for the upcoming Valentine's holiday and has a question about delivery to a business location, the customer can quickly search on Google, use the CTC extension on the ad copy and get the question answered before placing the order," Shah said. "True seamless experience!"
For more information on how to get started with click to call, check out Google’s help files, here.
The Original Search Marketing Event is Back!
SES Denver (Oct 16) offers an intense day of learning all the critical aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and paid search advertising (PPC). The mission of SES remains the same as it did from the start - to help you master being found on search engines. Register today!