Increase Calls with Paid Search

February 20, 2018   /   by  Diane Callihan

Don’t Miss Out on Phone Conversions

In the age of digital disruption, it can be easy to overlook the good old-fashioned phone call for business, but there’s nothing old fashioned about they ways in which paid search, mobile technologies, and phones have now converged to drive conversions and sales.

No business should ignore the fact that nearly every American now has a mobile phone. In fact:

  • By 2019, the annual number of mobile calls to businesses is expected to reach 162 billion. (BIA/Kelsey)
  • Mobile channels drive 54% of all phone calls. (Invoca)
  • 45% of all calls are driven by mobile search, whereas only 9% are driven by desktop search. (Invoca)
  • Mobile phone call conversion rates are 4X higher than desktop. (Marchex)

To capitalize on these stats, savvy businesses need to not only be sure their paid search ads are optimized for mobile but also make use of click-to-call campaigns. Consumers already are.

Consumers will spend $1.12 trillion through click-to-call mechanisms this year. --Marchex

Local Calls

In our recent post, Digital Advertising Goes Local, we talked about the amazing growth of local advertising in the digital space, and the tactics that yield the best results for local businesses. If you run ad campaigns to drive business locally, there are ways to optimize mobile paid search to drive local mobile calls, such as:

  • Use call-centric language and calls to action
  • Use the location in your ad text and URL
  • Include call extensions with local numbers
  • Include discount and promotions to incentivize action

Combining geotargeting technologies and/or “Near Me” searches with local click-to-call ads can ensure that your ads will be seen by the right people.

Call Extensions

Call extensions are an easy way to add a clickable phone number to your existing Google Adwords ads. People can click on your ad to go to a landing page on your website or click on your phone number to call you – and those clicks cost the same. You can set up these extensions to only appear when the ads are displayed on a mobile phone and to only show during your business hours.

By turning on call reporting in your Adwords account, you can count calls as conversions and track them – a big advantage over calls that just come in randomly.

According to Google:

  • 70% of mobile searchers have used call extensions to call business.
  • Ads with call extensions get an 8% higher click-through rate.
  • Google call extensions drive nearly 10 million calls per month.

Call Only Ads

Call only ads are just what they sound like – when a user clicks on these ads, it brings up their auto-dialer to place a call to the business. These ads don’t link to the company’s website and only display on mobile devices capable of making a call.

Call only ads are more limiting than call extensions – your ad will consist of only a phone number and two short lines of text. They also tend to cost more than regular PPC ads.

Google explains this as follows: “Because call-only campaigns only allow clicks to call, you’re able to bid for calls to your business instead of clicks to your website. This means your cost per click bid should match the value you would place on a phone call from your ad.”

Unfortunately, people can click on your call only ad, bring up the auto-dialer, and then not call your business, so clicks don’t automatically equal calls.

Still, if calls are your primary source for leads, call only ads may be worth the additional cost.

Don’t Drop the Ball on Your Calls

If you do decide to capitalize on the wonders of click-to call technologies, make sure your customer service department or call center is ready. More than half of customers will abandon a call after one minute on hold. More than 61% of customers would prefer to get a call back instead of being placed on hold.

Make sure you’re offering your customers the best possible experience when they call you. And don’t miss out on retargeting opportunities for people who click on your ad, but don’t call. You may be able to recapture that lost lead.

Businesses are seeing real results with pay-per-call marketing, as more calls mean more opportunities for revenue. Need help getting started? Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.