Is your search campaign taking advantage of Google Call Extensions?

Call Tracking

Local companies are a good example of advertisers whose paid search goals include receiving phone calls. A recent study showed that 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results.

Often there is no comparison to talking to a live person. This can be the case when a prospect is searching for a business in the service industry, as well as other verticals like travel, auto, finance, etc. The days of simply including the advertiser’s phone number within Google paid search ad text may be gone but call extensions enable an advertiser to still have a phone number appear with their ad.

Google AdWords Call Extensions are an ad extension format that allows searchers to call a business directly from the paid search ad. There are several ways to configure call extensions depending on your needs, as well as some challenges in navigating Google’s reporting of their results.

Using call extensions, your number can show on desktop searches as well as mobile searches in the form of a clickable button. This can be customized to show only on mobile devices. The cost is the same as a regular ad click, you can use your own actual number, or a Google forwarding number.

With the forwarding number, you can view call insights which include call time, duration and area code.

As with all ad extensions, which also include location, seller ratings, reviews and site links, Google uses several factors to determine whether and how they will show. These include ad position, rank, keyword quality score and max bid. If you have several ad extensions enabled there is a chance not all of them will be shown.

When it comes to reporting results, AdWords offers call details if using a Google forwarding number, as well as many data views which offer great information but also can cause some confusion. Google has made some changes to call extensions over the past weeks which improve how results are viewed from within the AdWords interface. For example, call conversions are now tallied into the total of regular ad click conversions, instead of being shown separately in a call conversions column.  Additionally there is a ‘phone call conversions’ column that displays only phone calls longer than a user-specified minimum duration. Another view under ad extensions differentiates clicks to call from call conversions, which offers insight to calls where the user may have clicked to call but chose to not to go through with placing the call when their mobile device’s dialog box appeared. The conversions view under the ‘Tools’ menu in AdWords also shows the conversion data broken out by ad clicks and phone calls. So when tracking phone calls, Google offers a lot of reporting insight but requires some digging to see the full picture.


Google AdWords Call Extensions offer a valuable extension to your paid search efforts which allow searchers to reach an advertiser and convert by phone from search ads. Local and other businesses that value leads in the form of phone calls which are already using Google paid search, can add value to their existing efforts by using call extensions.

Making Paid Search Marketing Pay Off Part 1 – The Power of Targeting

Paid Search Marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools ever developed. It is more targeted and flexible than any other media option. Google AdWords is the elephant in the room of paid search marketing with an estimated 90% market share. Advertisers currently spend $28 billion a year with Google, up from $66 million ten years ago. AdWords is quite simple: you bid to have your ad shown when a specific keyword is searched for. Google will display your ad based on three things: The price of your keyword bid, the click-through-rate history of your ad, and the quality score that Google assigns your ad. This system is survival of the fittest, ruthlessly striving to improve the quality of the ads for the audience rather than the advertiser.

Clearly Google knows what they’re doing.

The key feature of this advertising system is the incredibly accurate targeting options. You can target your ad on Google’s search pages, partner pages, or countless number of sites that use Google Ads. It doesn’t end there though, you can also target on specific geographic and demographic specifications as well.


Google AdWords Targeting

Traditional media does not allow for this level of targeting which relies on Interruption Marketing — targeting individuals while they are busy doing something else, such as reading an article or driving a car. This often results in low response rates, and is referred to as “Push Marketing” because your message is being pushed in front of people, even if they’re not listening.

When searching with Google, people are actively seeking something. It is natural for them to click on your ad if you answer a question they’re asking. If a cloud storage company wanted to target 30-40 year old CIOs of large companies, placing an ad in a tech magazine would certainly find the right audience, but probably not at a time when he or she is considering their company’s cloud data storage options. Google AdWords will present your ad when the person types their search query, and are clearly interested in your message.

Targeting ads based on what people are actually searching is extremely effective, and often results in cost-per-lead and cost-per-sale that is lower than other media types. The key to making your program work is considering all of the variables.

  • Keywords
  • Ad Copy
  • Banner Ad Design and Copy
  • Offers
  • Bids
  • Budgets
  • Geographic Testing

This system allows you to run multiple ads featuring multiple offers on thousands of keywords at the same time. There is no other form of media that gives you this kind of capabilities. Google AdWords has changed the entire landscape of marketing. It has changed the way we as marketers deliver and target our messages, and has changed the way we as consumers receive the message, and eventually perceive the brand. Ads are now assisting people instead of agitating, and that has very exciting possibilities.

On our next post we’ll discuss the creation, testing, and measuring of Paid Search Marketing. If you can’t wait, download our free white paper How to Make Paid Search Pay Off now.

How to Build a Winning SEO Strategy: SEO Reporting & Analytics

After you SEO optimize your website, you will want to know what parts of the program are working well and what still needs improvement. Furthermore, you’ll need a way to quantify the business impact of your SEO work.

To get a good understanding of the effectiveness of your SEO program, you’ll need to understand how your keyword visibility has changed over time, how much traffic that visibility is driving to the website, and what is happening to that traffic.

There are many tools that will give you data on keyword visibility. Tools such as Hubspot’s Marketing Grader, Keyword Spy or SEM Rush can quickly tell you how visible your keywords are. If you keep track of your results from month to month, you’ll be able to see the impact of your work on visibility over time.

Keyword visibility, of course, is only the first step in the process. What you really want to know is how your visibility is impacting traffic and leads or sales. To get this data you’ll need to use a website analytics program like Google Analytics. This tool will tell you how much traffic and how many goal conversions you get from each keyword. By tying your visibility to traffic to conversions, you can get a complete picture of the business impact of your SEO work. To learn additional techniques to rank better on search engines, please download our white paper, “How to Build a Winning SEO Strategy.

How to Build a Winning SEO Strategy: Analyzing your Website SEO

Once you’ve built keywords in to your website, you’ll want the search engines to index the content and update your website in their search engine rankings. Google has a very helpful tool called Google Webmaster Tools which allows you to see your website the way that the search engines do. It will help you identify broken links or other factors which may be preventing them from seeing all of your web pages.

You can also tell the search engines not to index certain content on your website if you don’t want them to see it. These may be landing pages or ads, which have duplicate content or may be pages you don’t want searchers to see. To learn additional techniques to rank better on search engines, please download our white paper, “How to Build a Winning SEO Strategy.

How to Build a Winning SEO Strategy: How to Develop Keyword Plans for your Website

Once  you’ve chosen the keywords, you’ll need to develop a plan to integrate them into your website. In this process, you will need to insert the keywords into the HTML and body copy of the page. The common HTML tags to focus on are the URL, title tag, description tag, alt tag, H1 Tag and body copy.

It’s important to insert the keywords enough times to make the content seem relevant, but not enough times to seem to be “spamming” the search engines. If Google decides that you are trying to trick them, they could blacklist you so that you don’t show up at all on the search engines. One way to see how many times to insert the keyword into each tag is to look at the top organic results for that keyword and see how long their copy is for each tag and how many times they’ve used the keyword in each tag. This will give you a sense of what the search engines think is important for each keyword.

If this sounds like a very detailed process, you are right. In order to do this well, you need to match at least one web page to every keyword you are focused on, and then write copy for all of the different tags mentioned above that include the keyword.

Taking the time to  do SEO copywriting and HTML implementation correctly  is a critical step in the process of making your website more visible to the search engines. To learn additional techniques to rank better on search engines, please download our SEO white paper, “How to Build a Winning SEO Strategy.