PPC Buzz of the Week – Friday 1/15/10

We’ve decided to take a slight deviation from the normal buzz worthy topics to focus on one single PPC related topic this week: the coming attraction of click to call mobile phone ads.

As of today there is no information on the Inside AdWords blog about this upcoming release, but below you’ll find the information I received just last week from Google.

Coming Soon: Click-to-Call in Ads on Mobile Devices with Google AdWords

Dear AdWords Advertiser,

We’re pleased to announce that beginning in January, your location-specific business phone number will display alongside your destination url in ads that appear on high-end mobile devices. Users will be able to click-to-call your business just as easily as they click to visit your website. You’ll be charged for clicks to call, same as you are for clicks to visit your website.

How will phone numbers appear in my ads?

Based on the customer’s geographic location, the phone number and closest business address will appear as a fifth line of ad text when the ad appears on mobile devices with full HTML browsers (e.g. iPhone, Android, Palm WebOS).

Where will I be able to see the results?

At launch, you’ll be able to view calls from your ads on your Campaign Summary page within AdWords from the “click type” segment option under the “Filter and Views” drop down.

How will I be charged for phone calls I get from my ad?

The cost of a click to call your business will be the same as the cost of a click to visit your website.

What actions should I take?

If you’d like your ads to show location-specific phone numbers when displayed on mobile devices, make sure that your campaign is targeting iPhones and other mobile devices with full HTML browsers, and that you have included phone numbers with your business addresses in the locations under your Campaign settings.
If you would prefer your ads
not show phone numbers, simply remove the phone number from the business listings included in your campaigns targeting mobile devices.

We hope this new feature enables you to connect more easily with your potential customers.


The Google AdWords Team

How big could the use of click to call PPC ads play into performance?

The simple answer is that the only way to find out is by testing this new feature, analyzing results, and making appropriate adjustments. Click to call ads may improve the performance of organizations specializing in impulse purchases, such as takeout food, or brick and mortar retailers while real estate advertisers may see little or no improvement from using click to call ads. The only way to find out is by testing.

That being said, I do have several thoughts regarding this new Google release:

  • There is no doubt mobile users typically prefer a simple solution to their problems rather than having to search throughout several or many webpages. By offering a mobile searcher the ability to call an advertiser simply by viewing an ad rather than having to navigate throughout a website to find contact info, the advertiser is improving consumer satisfaction and likely building a greater reputation with that user due to creating a simpler solution to their problem.
  • Mobile devices are small and can result in “misfires” when it comes to clicks. Since the click to call function is directly in the ad, which will be displayed among various URLs and websites, this scenario is highly possible resulting in users hitting the click to call function, realizing they made a mistake, and hanging up right away. This scenario could possibly play out on a normal computer in terms of clicking on display URLs, but is less likely.
  • If no click quality security measures are in place, like Google utilizes for ads displaying on computers and laptops, mobile users from an organization’s competitors could simply hit the click to call function, hang up right away, and repeat the process in an effort to cost the organization money.

Again, there’s currently not much information on this new Google AdWords release besides the email displayed above so some of these thoughts are simply precautionary thinking. Like any new release, more information will become available as advertisers test the feature and tweaks are made to improve functionality so keep an eye on this blog for further information in the future. In the meantime, test out click to call ads for yourself as I’ll be doing the same for some DragonSearch clients.

Until next week…Keep on Searching!

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This entry was posted on Friday, January 15, 2010 and is filed under Pay-Per-Click.

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