Mediagistic Blog

Google Adwords Call-Only Campaigns: A Primer for Local Businesses

In February 2015, Google announced call-only campaigns. This new type of campaign prominently displays a business’ phone number, business description and call-button directly in the search results.

We knew right away that the implications of these campaigns were enormous for local HVAC and home services businesses, and we’ve been testing and refining our strategies with them ever since. And as our level of sophistication with these ad campaigns grew, so too did the importance of running them.

As you may already know, Google confirmed that mobile surpassed desktop in terms of search volume last year. Subsequently, this type of product is an efficient way to put our clients’ services and brand in front of searchers in real time right.

Read on to learn the basics of how these campaigns can benefit your business and some of the observations we’ve made since we started running them.

Built Specifically for Local Businesses that Value Phone Calls

As an agency with a large client base of home services dealers, we focus our paid search efforts on obtaining high-quality phone calls for our clients.

Approximately 70 percent of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. As a result, call-only campaigns were exactly what we were looking for, since they minimize budget waste and maximize call-driven lead generation.

This is the type of product that is built specifically for business that value phone calls a lot more than traffic to their website. Subsequently, we started testing some of our client campaigns almost right away and we have seen great results.

Excellent Performance… With a Few Minor Drawbacks

A little over one year later, call-only campaigns have been fairly successful for our clients. We’ve generated thousands of phone calls at a relatively low cost per conversion. There are still some hiccups, however — after all, nothing is bulletproof when it comes to Internet marketing (and most things in life).

Until recently, the AdWords Editor didn’t support this type of campaign, which forced marketers to set up and optimize the campaigns through the AdWords interface. This was a manual process that is more time-consuming. Google updated it to work through the AdWords manager in the last couple days, though, so the manual process is no longer necessary.

And although we said we liked these campaigns because they minimize waste, it still isn’t guaranteed that all the activity will end up in phone calls. There is, indeed, spend attributed to clicks. There are couple of instances that this can happen:

  • Searchers could click on headline, load the number and fail to hit SEND. This ends up in a charge to the campaign.
  • Searchers place the call and, after five or ten seconds, they bail before the minimum Call Length time set up for the campaigns passes.

Even so, call-only campaigns have practically unlimited potential for local service-oriented businesses, particularly ones that rely on time-of-need buyer behavior. As the last year’s worth of data has shown us, there are great rewards to be gained for businesses willing to put up with these relatively minor annoyances.

Taking Advantage of Call-Only Campaigns

Ultimately, call-only campaigns are a great new product by Google that we continue to test and implement across our clientele to much success. As mobile becomes more and more dominant in the marketplace, we predict that running optimized call-only campaigns will only become more and more consequential for HVAC and other home services businesses.

Fortunately, the LeadBuilder® performance marketing team has been testing and optimizing these campaigns since the very day they became available. Let our experts handle your call-only campaigns so you can worry about the stuff that matters — turning wrenches and planning growth for your business.

Hansel Merchor - PPC Marketing proHansel Merchor manages the LeadBuilder® performance marketing team. He’s widely experienced on overall performance marketing, regional, local and international lead generation, branding, media planning and media buying, retargeting, attribution models, social media as well as e-commerce on nationwide and international SEM campaigns.

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