If you hadn’t noticed, things have been gradually heating up in the online advertising space.
Increased competition from social media advertising platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter means more ad formats for businesses as these platforms fight for your advertising dollar.
Advertisers are the winners in this online advertising race, and in particular smaller businesses, as more affordable, measurable and effective options are developed.
Google AdWords is the latest to offer advertisers a new format.
If you’ve been using AdWords for some time like we do, you might know that click-to-call mobile ads are nothing new to Google’s advertising service. But Google has recently decided to improve on this format.
Introducing the call-only ads.
What are they?
This new ad type is an option for businesses who largely want to drive calls vs online enquiries or website traffic. As the name suggests, this ad format only allows users to call vs click through to a website. Users click on the call button or the number you provided in the ad to call directly. Users no longer have to be directed to your website before they can contact you.
How they work
To create a call-only ad, all you need to do is enter a business name, phone number (your own or a Google forwarding number), two lines of descriptive text, a display URL and an optional verification URL.
A Google forwarding number is a unique number provided by Google on your ad which monitors the calls you receive, call durations, call start and end time, caller area code, and whether the call was connected.
Call-only ads also track calls as conversions to help you measure the ROI of your ad spend. Just check the box next to “Count calls as phone call conversions.”
The verification URL, on the other hand, is the address of a webpage on your domain that contains your phone number. If you opted to provide this, Google will use it to verify that the phone number you gave for your ads matches the one for your business. The domain for this URL must match the domain of your display URL.
Based on Google’s recent study, 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. Google understands that this is an opportunity advertisers don’t want to miss. The new and improved call-only format was created to capture these possible leads. The ads are designed to only show on mobile devices that can make phone calls. This way every click becomes a phone call. Advertisers will then be able to design their bidding strategies based on their cost-per-acquisition (CPA) or return on ad spend (ROAS) goals for calls.
Why would you use call-only ads?
With call-only ads, businesses have a better chance of converting ad clicks to sales by starting a conversation sooner. The success rate is higher if you can talk to them over the phone instead of directing them to your website where it’s easy to lose them. This is also a great option for advertisers who don’t have mobile-friendly websites yet.
Certain retail services businesses are ideally suited to this format. Think restaurants, hairdressers, beauty salons, and local health practitioners. Whilst we know that ads have been driving calls, now you can easily track which clicks lead to calls directly from your ads and what return you are getting from your AdWords spend.
How do you set one up?
Getting started on Google AdWords can be quite complex but Google has produced a how-to video for the digital savvy business owner. Alternatively, an experienced marketer should be able to help you create a campaign to align with your business goals and also explain any reports and provide recommendations.
Since starting her outsourced national marketing consultancy Marketing Angels in 2000, Michelle Gamble has helped hundreds of SMEs get smarter marketing. Michelle helps businesses find more effective ways to grow their brands and businesses.