Local Search

Click to call- Useful New Feature for Advertisers?

With the advent of the game-changing iphone and its app store Smartphone morphed from being something used by techies and corporate types to a truly fun & usable device that everyone wants.   Add to this the popularity of the Blackberry and Google's new operating system and you have a fast growing segment of the mobile phone market that are heavy users of the internet.  This segment makes up about 15% off all mobile phones in the U.S., or about 50 million smart phones.  

Mobile device makers such as Apple are trying to get advertising revenue from all these eyeballs by putting together new advertising platforms such as iAd.  Google has recent release their Click to Call phone extensions for Adword advertisers.  What's the basic idea behind this and how do you put it to work for your business or clients?

According to Google, "Phone extensions are a type of ad extension, an ad feature that allows advertisers to add additional information about their businesses and offering to their text ads. In the case of phone extension, this additional information is your business phone number, which can be accessed directly from the ad with a single click on a user's high-end mobile device.

Phone extensions will appear as clickable phone numbers beneath the main text ad, and will be visible to high-end mobile device users who access Google.com search, Voice search, Google Mobile App or Google Maps for Mobile from their phone."

Check out the picture to the right to see what it looks like to a person searching on your site.  To find out how to completely set up Click to Call, go to the Google Inside Adwords Blog

Why Click to Call?

Think about it.  You're surfing on your mobile phone and you search for say, "pizza", or "electrician", or even "travel agent".  With the new Click to Call feature you're going to see that phone number in an advertiser's sponsored results PPC ad.  By having a phone number right in that ad that calls the business it makes for s seamless and easy experience for the searcher, more money for Google and possibly more business for you or your client. 

In addition, Google has rolled this feature out nationwide not only for local advertisers but for national advertisers.

Does it Work?

According to a Google spokesperson, on average, advertisers who participated in the original Click-to-Call beta saw very positive results, ranging from a 5 to 30 % increase in click-through rates.  But we'll just have to see over the next few months how this is working out for advertisers.

Final Thoughts

The idea that anyone with an iPhone, Android phone or other phone can just search and quickly click your ad to call you is interested because it kind of goes along with the thought of how people use smart phone differently than a regular computer.  Also, it's interesting that by searching, seeing your ad and clicking the number to call totally bypasses your website. 

Like a lot of things in advertising, learning, researching your potential clients, writing relevant ads with relevant keywords and just trying it out and carefully tracking results to see if this is for your business is a great way to see if this new feature is for you.

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