AdWords Call Extensions and When to Use Them

Small Business PPC Services - Portent

Google AdWords call extensions are ad extensions that let you display your business phone number directly in the search results. On smartphones, a clickable ‘Call’ button is displayed with the ad, making it particularly engaging for people on the go.

Call extensions should be utilized for any businesses that place value on receiving phone calls. They are especially ideal for local businesses.

What does a call extension look like?

To get a better understanding of what call extensions are and how they work, let’s take a look at what one looks like. Only eligible to display with Search Network ads, here is what a call extension looks like when viewed from a desktop:

Call extension example

And here is a ‘click-to-call’ button as viewed by a mobile device:

Mobile call extension example

Why should you use call extensions?

There are a number of reasons to use call extensions as you attempt to drive more calls for your business.

1. The ease of the ‘click to call’ button saves the searcher time and effort while helping businesses attract potential customers.

2. You can count calls as conversions within AdWords and see call reporting data when using a Google forwarding number.

3. They make the ad stand out among others in the search engine results. Call extensions can increase clickthrough rates by 6-8% (Google).

4. They don’t cost any extra money–clicks from call extensions are billed on the same cost-per-click model as traditional ad clicks.

How to set up call extensions

Call extensions are created within the ‘ad extensions’ tab of your Google AdWords account.

In the ad extensions tab, select Call extensions from the drop down, +Extension and the +New phone number button.

Call extensions set up dropdown

At this point, you can choose whether you want to utilize a Google forwarding number or stick with your own phone number.

Below is an example of the options available when the user selects their own phone number:

How to add call extensions

Then enter your business phone number, device preference, and advanced options such as start/end dates and time scheduling. Scheduling is useful because you can choose to show your number only during business hours when someone is there to answer.

By using a Google forwarding number, you will be able to track phone calls as conversions. Google also gives you some additional insight to call reporting within the interface. The Google forwarding number is a unique Google phone number that will be displayed on your ad for desktops, tablets and laptops, and as a clickable call button for mobile devices. Reporting details include whether the call was received or missed, call duration, and call start/end time.

Below is an example of the options available when the user selects a Google forwarding number:

Adding Google Forwarding Number

In the ‘Advanced’ section, there is an extra option called ‘Report phone call conversions.’ If checked, it will allow you to count calls as conversions in the AdWords interface.

You can also choose not to use the Google forwarding number. This is not recommended because it reduces the quality of your analytics.

Call extensions best practices

When creating your call extensions, here are some best practices to follow:

1. Do not use your Google forwarding number for anything beyond AdWords as it may change between ad groups and over time.

2. If you are a local business, using both call extensions and location extensions is highly recommended. When you use both, Google will display the address from the location extension and phone number from the call extension together.

3. Monitor performance! If using the Google forwarding number, track the performance of the call conversions and analyze the data to improve your campaigns.

In the end, call extensions are a great way to boost performance. They are simple to implement and are a great way to better understand the behavior of your potential leads. If driving calls is an important goal for your business, setting up call extensions is a simple way to add value.

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  1. Great article.
    Fully agree with this point:
    2. If you are a local business, using both call extensions and location extensions is highly recommended.
    The more extensions you can use, the more adspace you generally take up, which if your competitors around you are failing to do it can have a big impact on your CTR.

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