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February 2 , 2010


Click-to-call numbers in local ads make it easier for your customer to reach you
New Google feature lets you measure and track mobile ad effectiveness

Google has introduced a new feature to allow businesses to include click-to-call phone numbers in their ads for mobile devices with full internet browsers.

When people search for goods or services using their mobile phones, they often prefer to call a store rather than visit that store's website. Whether they're placing a direct order, making a reservation, or inquiring about services, the ability for prospective customers to easily call your business is a key distinguishing feature of searches made on mobile phones versus computers.

Now Google is makingit even easier for potential customers to reach you by adding a location-specific business phone number in ads that appear on mobile devices with full internet browsers. Users can click the number to call you just as easily as clicking to visit your website. And, since ads can be served based on user location, a potential customer will see -- and can click to call -- the phone number of your store location that's nearest to them, not one that's across town.

The feature is part of the search engine's pay per click marketing service AdWords.

To use the application, marketers will need to set up location extensions and add their business number to their AdWords account to ensure consumers are connected to their nearest store.

In addition, they will need to check they have chosen to display their ads on iPhones and similar devices.

Better measurability

This new feature also makes it easier for you to fully measure the results of your ads by allowing you to track how many calls you actually receive.

Advertisers who participated in the beta trial have seen improved click-through rates. Plus, many advertisers received more visits to their websites in addition to incremental phone calls.

To show a click-to-call business phone number in ads on mobile devices with full Internet browsers, follow these two steps:

1. Set up location extensions and add your business phone number. Customers will be able to click to call your business location nearest to them.

2. Check that you've chosen to show your ads on iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers in your campaign settings.

That's it. Customers can now click to call you from your ads. If your campaigns are already set up this way, your phone numbers will start showing as click-to-call on mobile devices with full browsers automatically. The cost of a click to call your business will be the same as the cost of a click to visit your website.

To find out how many calls you've received from your ads, go to the Campaign Summary tab in your AdWords account. Click the "Filter and views" dropdown (step 1 in the screenshot below) and select "Segment by", then "Click Type" (steps 2, 3). The report shows how many clicks and how many calls you received (step 4). You can view calls received at the campaign, ad group or keyword level.

If your campaigns are already set up with phone numbers in location extensions and opted in to mobile devices with full browsers, but you'd prefer to opt-out out of click-to-call, simply remove the phone number from your location extensions in AdWords.

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