The Value in Google’s Call-Only Ad Option

Google has recently introduced a new feature to its PPC arsenal – that being call only ad campaigns. This is an interesting new innovation to observe in the year in which mobile web traffic is expected to outperform desktop for the first time. These new ads appear very similar to traditional Adwords and still contain the website URL of the advertiser. The main call to action however is not the URL but the link in order to commence a call with the business being displayed.

Usually, as shown in the image below, a typical Adwords sales funnel incorporates the user viewing the website’s landing page before converting through filling out an enquiry form or placing an order. Often these steps incur great losses in user numbers as landing pages, form fields or navigation prove to be a hassle for users who leave the page in frustration – especially on mobile devices. The new call-only ads effectively remove these steps from the conversion funnel and so a user can go from an ad impression directly to conversion in one click, in theory improving lead generation.

Whether this will prove to be a beneficial development for both suppliers and customers is another question. As the advertiser, a lot of time is spent responding to customer enquiries, contact us form submissions and the like – many of which never turn into a sale. With the call only ads however, these events may be largely reduced in place of customer phone calls.

A conversation over the phone has a greater likelihood of producing sales than a website but many calls may indeed be fruitless and time consuming merely providing information that could have easily been gleaned from viewing a website.

Conversely, as a potential customer one may wish to see more information about a business such as cost, location etc. before making the call and thus choose to navigate to the website anyway first to see what is on offer, thereby making the call-only ad less valuable. It should also be noted that Adwords are almost always just one part in the larger conversion process. Customers often require several visits to a website before making a purchase, either in store or online – this is especially the case for larger expenditures.

From a cost standpoint, the call only ads will be much more efficient for the advertiser. With traditional Adwords, as mentioned previously there can be great drop off in traffic at the landing page level due to user experience reasons, however every click costs. For call only ads, every click results in a lead via a conversation over the phone which should greatly improve the return on investment for the PPC campaign.

It will be interesting to see how the new ads play out in the PPC world. In our opinion it might be a smart idea to utilise a mixture of both traditional Adwords and the call only button, purely for the considerations of providing the customer with the option of gathering more information before making a call as well as the larger picture Adwords plays in conversions which a call-only feature would fall short of providing.

If this is something you would like to implement for your business, then get in touch and we can help you out!

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