Call-Only Ads – 5 Reasons Why They Should Be Part of Your PPC Strategy


She might be a little young, but she will never know what it’s like to not have a smartphone. The mobile landscape continues to expand and grow. Google statistics show:

  • 79 percent of smartphone owners use their devices to shop.
  • 82 percent of mobile shoppers are using search to help determine what they are going to shop for. Mobile users are mobile shoppers, and it’s all the more important to have your paid search ads front and center.
  • 70 percent of people searching on mobile will call a business directly from the search results.

Last month, AdWords announced a new ad format for phones with call-only campaigns. This is an “upgrade” from the call extensions that we have been using. While call extensions are an effective way to promote your business number in an ad, call-only campaigns have taken it a step further. And it’s specifically targeted for businesses whose focus is phone calls. But – even if part of your business relies partially on phone calls as opposed to clicks, it’s a strategy that you should seriously consider putting into your marketing mix.

And it’s easy to set up. When you create a campaign in the Settings tab, you simply select the Call-Only option:


And I know what you are thinking – but now I have to create more campaigns to support another new AdWords feature. Do I really need this? And what’s the advantage over call extensions? Why should I change over?

Here are five compelling reasons to migrate to this new feature:

1. Phone Number Is at the Top of the Ad

Unlike call extensions, the phone number is the first thing you see in the ad – and with the word “Call” incorporated. This ad format on a mobile device is more likely to get the user to take an action. It’s also highly visible with bigger font size and blue text:


2. Prominent Call Button


The call button is readily displayed next to the ad. This enables an immediate call to action for the user – they are one click away from contacting you, and you are one click away from a potential sale.

3. A Click = Phone Call

With call-only ads, a click is directly translated into a phone call. Instead of someone clicking on an ad and going to your site, you put the potential buy directly to someone they can talk to. Therefore, it’s crucial to maximize the value of each call. You can bid based on what the value of the call is for your business. For example, you can set a bid based on the ROAS for the call.

4. Direct Line to Your Business

Think of call-only ads as a direct hotline straight into your business. Ensure that when someone calls in, your call support team is well versed in the ad copy that is being used, so they understand what people are looking for when they call in. This is important because people are not relying on your website – they are relying on the person in your call center. What you are saying in your ad is the reason someone is calling in – so be sure that you have the right answers.

5. Ability to Create More Targeted Ads

It’s important to develop a strategy with call-only ads. Because the call to action is going to be the call itself, you are not focused on messaging that is promoting a call to action. This is very different from when you are generally writing ad copy, so it requires a different focus. Ensure your ad lets people know that they can reach you directly, and that they are not going to a website. Use messaging such as “speak to a rep today,” “call for free estimate,” or “talk with a consultant.”

Call-only ads are a great way to promote your business by targeting your mobile customers. Have you started incorporating call-only ads? Would love to hear from you.

Want to keep up with the latest news from AdWords? Google now has a features section that shows all of the new stuff from AdWords, and it’s broken down by month. The features section can link to blog posts about a new feature, or link you to the Help or Policy Center if the update is related to changes with AdWords.

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