Leveraging Mobile Click-to-Call to Boost CTRs, Lower CPCs

Posted by Nonie Carson, Associate Account Manager

Search advertisers understand that small changes make a world of difference.  Launching Google’s mobile click-to-call ad extension has proven to be a small but mighty addition for our clients.  We tested how click-to-call would impact mobile ad performance on one of our largest lead generation clients.  For those new to the extension, mobile click-to-call is a service offered by Google that enables advertisers to serve searchers with a call button within the ad when the ad appears in position 1 or 2.

click to call 1

There are a couple of important functionalities that distinguish this extension.  First, Google gives advertisers the option to show the call button across all device types.  Second, advertisers may set up the ad extension with a Google forwarding number or their custom number.  With click-to-call, your mobile paid search ad will show and function as normal—with the added ability to call direct with one click.

Click-to-Call in Action

For a lead generation client, we rolled out mobile click-to-call across 33 campaigns with the extension showing on mobile devices only.  From a 42-day pre/post-launch analysis, we saw overall performance increase on campaigns serving with the mobile click-to-call button.  Across campaigns opted into the ad extension, we saw an average click-through rate (CTR) increase of 102%.* We also saw cost-per-clicks (CPCs) drop 41%.* Due to the improved mobile ad performance with click-to-call, we have now rolled it out across 46 campaigns.

click to call 2

Mobile Click-to-Call Best Practices

  1. Set device preference as “mobile” and select “show click-to-call on mobile devices only” (2 different steps)
  2. Set mobile bid modifiers at the ad-group level to ensure keywords will be serving in position 1 or 2
  3. If you have a strong mobile presence, consider lifting campaign caps to accommodate a possible influx of clicks
  4. Check top-line performance variances of pre- and post-launch frequently after initial launch
  5. Finally, set up extensions with a number that will ensure proper tracking for your ultimate success metric

Google recently announced that it would now be considering the impact of ad extensions in calculating Ad Rank, which determines ad position.  This means that advertisers who utilize and optimize extensions can improve position and CTRs.  Advertisers should focus on leveraging extensions that make sense for their business goals.  If your goal is to drive phone calls, click-to-call should definitely be part of your paid search toolkit.

*calculated variance of pre- and post-data

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