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New Google Call-Only Ad format = Big Win for Local Businesses

Last year our Google rep shared with me that there were over one thousand changes made to the AdWords platform and interface in 2014. Late last week yet another change and very helpful one for local businesses occurred when Google rolled out “Call-Only” campaigns. Here’s what these look like (snapshot from my iPhone):


Although these guys still haven’t gotten the ad copy dialed in yet (notice the “#1 Carpet and…” third line), this ad should still do very well. Why is this so effective? Well its no surprise in saying that with the advent of all of these technical advances on the web that we as humans have become inherently lazy. We want our info fast and if we don’t get what we want we will either:

  1. Click the back button and go somewhere else on the search page (a competitor)
  2. Use a different search phrase or
  3. Fall out of the funnel entirely

Even when we do get that warm prospect to the site we are only two thirds of the way there.. Let’s say your landing page is completely optimized and converts at 10% (a damn good conversion rate), well we are still losing out on the other 90% of prospects that don’t convert into a lead.

Google added call extensions many moons ago as a type of ad extension in Adwords, however this was just one of a few options from your text links (The main CTA still being to go to the website). Call extensions obviously perform incredibly well on mobile searches for local businesses as an estimated three out of five searches for a local business comes from a mobile device. With phone calls occurring ten times more often and being three times more effective at leading to real revenue, this is the desired action of most local businesses. In fact, I’m fairly certain they took a look at all of the direct calls coming from the local organic listings or “map pack” and realized this as a much better way to monetize this direct call action.


The only issue with the previous click-to-call extension is that it is right next to several other sitelinks or “leaks” potentially adding to the confusion and lack of action by those searching for your service. At the end of the day what people need is like that straight huge arrow directing them through the Wendy’s drive-through to get that spicy chicken combo and delicious frosty. The Call-Only campaigns strongly encourage the exact action we want them to take without the friction of having them go through the typical process where we lose so many along the way. Say you offer carpet cleaning services in Salt Lake City, Utah.. Well let’s look at the mobile trends there for “Carpet Cleaning” and Geo-Target that city:



Over 50% of mobile searches in the month of January and trending upwards! Do you think these guys will benefit from the new Ad format?

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