I Think You Need to Test Call Only Ads: 4 Reasons

Telephones, telephones, telephones.

…in the accounts it makes sense for, that is. Call Only campaigns have been in Google’s advertising arsenal for a little over half a year now. When they were first released, many got a chance to utilize them right away in their campaigns. Some folks loved them, others hated them. Unfortunately for me, I hadn’t had a use for them until recently. All my clients were focused nearly exclusively on online form fills or purchases. Not the right kinds of accounts to use Call Only campaigns for. But recently I got the chance and here’s what I’ve learned.

Campaign Creation is Crazy Easy

Seriously. Assuming you’re taking a previously existing search campaign and adjusting it to Call Only, it’s just a few instances of copy, paste, and delete in AdWords Editor to get you started. Start by copy/pasting the campaign you’re wanting to mirror into a Call Only campaign and change the name to accurately reflect the new campaign type. I simply add ” – Call Only” at some point in the name, but you should choose what’s right for your account’s naming conventions.

Next, it’s time to take care of the ads. Jump to the text ad section of Editor where you can see all the ads in the campaign. (This will prevent you from needing to copy/paste ads in each ad group.) Select all the ads, then copy.

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Then, jump down to the Call Only ads section and hit “Make Multiple Changes”. Note: simply hitting paste here won’t work. You have to run through the step by step editor to make it work.

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Then select Paste From Clipboard, Process, and Finish and Review changes. Each of the ads will be placed into their appropriate ad groups.

You’ll then notice that each ad has 3 errors: Business name, Phone number, and Phone country. Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 10.03.45 PM

Depending on your strategy, these are most likely going to be the same for each ad. As long as all your ads are highlighted, you can easily change this for all of them with one round of edits.

Next, hop back up into the Text Ads section and delete all those ads. Since Call Only isn’t a campaign type in Editor, you’re technically creating a Search campaign that only utilizes Call Only ads. You’re effectively creating a Call Only campaign, but you’ve got one last step.

Finally, after you upload your new campaign, head over to the Settings tab and change your campaign type to call only. Easy-frickin-peasy.

Linking to Search Console Looks Harder Than It Actually Is

To run your Call Only campaigns, you need to verify your phone numbers. To do this, you need to link your AdWords account with Google’s Search Console (GWT). In a number of ways, this process is similar to gaining access to an AdWords account. You request access, the site owner grants it, and you’re off to the races. Here’s the full rundown of what you need to know to link AdWords with the Search Console account.

Reporting Confusion Has Been Clarified

Since Call Only campaigns were launched, there has been a bit of confusion surrounding how each interaction is reported on within Google. After a number of conversations with Google reps, some trial and error, and some conversion reporting updates from Google, it’s become much easier to understand the full impact of Call Only campaigns on your account. To better understand the difference between clicks, calls, cancels, and conversions, check out this post.

They’re Great for Improving Mobile Lead Quality

If your business if focused on phone calls, in general, someone who is willing to make a call now is arguably more qualified than someone who is no. My specific strategy was to use Call Only campaigns to expand reach into mobile queries that weren’t previously profitable with regular Search campaigns. These terms were more general in nature and tended to receive a good amount of clicks, but not lots of calls after they hit the landing page.

We believed using Call Only ads would be a way to prequalify folks on mobile to gain clicks only from those more likely to make a call at that time. In the chart below you can see a definite transition in mobile performance before and after the transition to Call Only.

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I began running Call Only campaigns at the beginning of December.  Although December was a bit of an odd month for this client (the account was paused about a third of the month), it’s clear January was a bit of a turning point.

The biggest impact we saw was in Click Conversion Rate. This account is set up to report only calls from first time callers over 60 seconds as Conversions. We saw a 61% increase in CVR from October to January. That’s a big deal.

Although CVR is important, the changes we saw there were most likely set up by the more important change we saw was CTR. From October to January, CTR fell by 71%. Although it might seem counter intuitive for quality score reasons, this was a good thing for us. With Search campaigns, we were seeing a number of clicks that landed folks on the site, then they’d leave without making a call. Basically paying to not talk to someone. With Call Only campaigns, we were able to expand our reach with broader keywords (as evidenced by the increase in impressions) while also limiting the number of clicks coming from folks not actually ready to call. We’ve still got some work to do in terns of CPA getting back to October levels, but with potential revenue for each of these calls being in the $4,000 to $15,000 range, this $8.68 difference isn’t cause to revert just yet.

Are Call Only campaigns right for every account? No. Are they certainly worth a shot for those that are a good fit? Absolutely.

What are your thoughts about Call Only campaigns? Are they an integral tool in your arsenal or are they sitting on the bench? Share with us in the comments!