Since Dec. 2010, Google has allowed placement of phone numbers in AdWords text body. Their rational was that most people seeing the ad know they are one click away from the advertiser’s site, where they can find all the information without bothering anyone. They thought people would be unlikely to call instead of clicking the mouse.
Others thought that displaying a local phone number, especially if it is for location based services such as a dentist, have their own benefits.
Google realized they might be losing money, if people do call instead of clicking on the ad, so they’ve added Call Extensions. Those are types of ad extensions that allow advertisers to include additional information about their businesses and specials in their text ads. Call extensions works differently whether or not you’ve enabled Call Metrics.
Call metrics allows advertisers to track phone calls that come from the ad. This is done by generating a specific phone number for this specific ad. With the popularity of mobile gadgets there’s a growing benefit for advertisers to receive calls from mobile users. In this platform, calls generated, duration of the call and the area codes of the callers are noted so advertisers will have information about the location of the calls. The Call Metrics is free to use, but by setting it up the advertiser started paying for the calls as they did for the clicks.
There are metrics available to see how effective it is and how many people call instead of clicking. If you did enable Call Metrics, Google assigned a custom phone number to the ad and displays it on both desktop and mobile devices. Vanity numbers (which include letters and numbers) are also allowed.
But In July 2011, Google announced click-to-call enhancement in AdWords ads which will affect charges for the ad. All non-clickable numbers in the ads will be converted to a click-to-call numbers, and they will start to incur extra charges when the number is clicked.
If you didn’t enable Call Metrics, your phone number will appear as a clickable phone number for users of smartphones using Google search, voice search, Google mobile apps or Google maps.
If you are using Call Metrics, and you have a phone number in your ad text, only the newly clickable phone number in you ad text will show. That is done to reduce confusion for users not knowing which number to click.
If you would like your Call Extension number to display, you need to delete your phone number from your ad. You will receive an additional line of ad text. The phone number will still be displayed without the need to take up text space.
If you didn’t use Call Extension and you have a phone number in your ad, it will convert to click-to-call automatically. You don’t have to edit your ad to make the phone number clickable. But, if you want to maximize your ad space, you should consider using Call Extension to free up more space. You will be charged for the calls either way.
- Google: AdWords
- Google Groups: Adwords Help Guidelines
- PPC Hero: Google Announces Click to Call Enhancements in Adwords Ads
- PPC Boot Camp: Important Change to phone numbers in AdWords Ad Text
- Warrior Forum: All About Google AdWords Call Metrics
About Basil Puglisi
@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.