4 Best Practices for Utilizing Click-to-Call in Mobile Ad Campaigns

December 10, 2014

This is a guest post from Cody Kunning, Director of Search Engine Marketing for Marchex.

Earlier this year, comScore released this data: mobile usage is now surpassing desktop for the first time since the Internet began. That’s a big deal. And it’s an even bigger deal for marketers who are wondering how to drive sales from all these mobile consumers.

When people search for products and services on their phones in Google, they often click what’s known as a “call extension” to call a business. In fact, Google reports consumers click on these extensions more than 40 million times a month. How can marketers optimize their search advertising campaigns to drive more of these clicks and phone calls? Here are four tips for getting started.

1. Use call extensions on campaigns and high volume ad groups.

Add call extensions to every campaign and all high volume ad groups. Only have 1 phone number to track with? Use that same phone number in all every call extension however use Google forwarding number to get a proxy on calls by campaign or ad group breakout.

2. Separate call tracking by Device and Search Engine.

Use a different phone number (or forwarding phone number like mentioned above) to track device type results separate from each other. The large discrepancy in calls from mobile and forms from desktop is likely to make conversion rates skew when calls are not properly associated to the correct device type.

3. Call extensions on desktop are not always free.

Adding a call extension to desktop search is a great way to get a call (at free of charge no less!) from Google. However be careful when adding call extensions to desktop on high volume (core brand) keywords. If too many calls come through (remember calls = no clicks), CTR and Quality score suffers and CPCs will start to rise.

4. Create “calls” to action in your ad copy.

You want people to call and drive higher click-through-rates? Write these two words in your ad: “Call Now.” Variations include “call today” or “book now.” Such directives, as simple and as straightforward as they seem, guide customers and spark desired actions.

Ultimately, consumers respond to a great user experience that is mobile-friendly with a clear call to action and simple messaging.

Now that you have all the tools, what are you waiting for? Go forth and optimize!

About the Author


Cody Kunning is the Director of Search Engine Marketing for Marchex and has been a search marketing professional since 2006. Recently, he has focused efforts on increasing ROAS on current search programs by dissecting and analyzing traffic by device and conversion type. Mobile search is no longer the future and he has been an early adopter of search strategies to analyze and improve mobile search performance. Prior to Marchex, he held SEM management positions at Microsoft, Cobalt and Local Marketers.

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