Auto-dial: How Google call extensions can improve your ROI

Auto-dial: How Google call extensions can improve your ROI

If your business relies heavily on incoming phone calls, Google ads that incorporate free call extensions can be a hugely effective tool for driving and tracking engagement.

As indicated by their name, ad extensions “extend” extra information about your ad, making it easier for customers to engage with you and improving your ad’s visibility via better placement in search results. Google reports that adding phone numbers to such ads can elevate your click-through rates by 4 to 5 percent, boosting your chances of customer engagement and/or conversions.

Call extensions are easy to request, and results are simple to measure using a tool on Google’s Search Network that tracks conversions and other performance metrics. However, because Google is constantly juggling ad structure and placement based on performance, you should be aware that requesting call extensions doesn’t necessarily mean Google will display them all the time. Google requires a minimum ad rank and a minimum number of ad group clicks to show extensions at all, meaning you may need to increase your bid or ad quality (or both) for them to show up in your ad. Further, some extensions will only show up above (not below) Google search results, since higher-positioned ads get the best property. Once they’re implemented, you will be charged (as usual) by the number of calls and/or website clicks your ad produces.

How can you get started? Say you own an eatery in Kalamazoo, Michigan, that delivers Thai food. You sign into your AdWords account to order, and design an ad on Google featuring a photo of your most popular dish, along with a call button featuring your phone number.  Assuming Google has approved your extension request, your ad is then triggered when someone searches for “Kalamazoo Thai food.” The searcher can then tap your call button to place an order (or, alternatively, click through to your website for more info, for the same cost per click). In some cases, AdWords automatically sets up a call extension for your business, without your intervention, if it predicts that action will improve your ad’s performance.

A few more things to know about Google call extensions:

  • They can be used with toll-free, standard, mobile, shared-cost or non-standard-cost numbers.
  • You can set controls enabling your number to appear only during the days and hours you’re accepting phone calls.
  • Call extensions can be added at the campaign, ad group or ad level, though some restrictions apply on the Display Network.
  • Location extensions may be added to call extensions to direct calls to the user’s closest branch or location.
  • To track the performance of your call extensions, select “Campaigns” or “Ad Groups” in your AdWords account, then hit “Segment” above the statistics table. The report will specify how many phone call clicks were generated from the ad, as well as call lengths and conversions, which should provide insight into future call marketing campaigns.

RingSquared can advise you on how to optimize the best ad venues for your call marketing campaign. Call us at 1-800-700-1987.