One of the more recent updates within Google AdWords is automated call extensions for landing pages that prominently feature phone numbers. This update was announced in early January, and just rolled out last month. As many advertisers were notified, the update by Google is intended to make it easier for users to make calls to businesses through their mobile phones, and will allow for more detailed reporting insights on call performance. Google stated that this year, mobile search engines are expected to drive around 33 billion click-to calls to businesses globally (19% more calls than from mobile landing pages alone). As Synapse has learned with many of our B2B clients, more and more lead-gen companies are relying on marrying call data with online form data to determine their total number of prospective opportunities. This update by Google will make it even easier for advertisers to properly set up click-to-call moving forward.
First and foremost, if you do not already have call extensions set up within your account, Google will begin automatically creating call extensions based on prominent phone numbers listed on your landing page. Previously, you would create call extensions manually through the call extensions tab. You could set up your business phone number, or a dynamic phone number and have Google automatically generate numbers and forward to your business. Have phone numbers that are dynamically generated?
Not to worry. Google will only automatically pull in phone numbers that are not dynamic in nature. If you’re already running call extensions, Google will leave everything as-is. If for any reason you do not wish to have click-to-call set up within your account, make sure to go to your call extensions tab and remove any that Google may have already created for you (the update was activated on February 6th).
What else may be impacted?
Along with the automated call extensions, which limits time manually updating ad extensions and minimizes room for error, Google also noted that there would be more robust reporting. Not only will you see the number of calls per day as you used to, but also call duration as well as start and end times. Additionally, Google will provide the caller area code for each phone call, and whether the call connected. Advertisers can also set up call conversion tracking to see which campaigns are driving the most valuable calls.
What other options are there outside of automated call extensions?
Some third-party solutions such as DialogTech and CallRail could be an alternative solution to ensure you’re tracking client leads all the way through to opportunities and sales. While automated call extensions offer more robust insights than the original call extensions, third party solutions may be a great alternative to ensure you’re able to track all the way through the funnel. One caveat to these solutions is that you’ll need to be sure you have sufficient volume – without a certain number of clicks in each ad group, some of these solutions won’t work properly.
While there are mixed reviews out there right now on Google’s latest automated call extension update, one thing is for certain: Google’s push for updates specific to mobile-advertising is only getting more aggressive as the months progress. We fully expect to see additional mobile-focused updates come out from Google in the upcoming months, hopefully allowing for more robust insights in terms of tracking all the way through the funnel.
If you’d like to learn more about how Synapse SEM can help you improve your paid search or organic strategy, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 781-591-0752.