According to Smart Insights, mobile searches accounted for more than 50% of overall search engine traffic in 2017. As a result, it is now time to pay considerable attention to call conversions, especially if you are looking to drive additional business value. Google says that around 60% of searches, on average, lead to a phone call. This suggests that there is massive opportunity to capture additional business customers through PPC call conversions. Whether your business or client is a group of local estate agents or an insurance company, many businesses can greatly benefit from PPC call conversions when generated in a cost-effective manner.
But how can you, as a digital marketer, maximise the number of calls delivered by spending as little as possible on PPC advertising? Additionally, how can you ensure that the calls you diligently optimise will lead to an actual business conversion?
This blog post will answer those questions by looking at the three ways we can generate calls through PPC and best practices for each when planning and implementing your PPC call conversion strategy:
1. Website Calls
One way to deliver phone calls through PPC is to direct traffic to a landing page. This highlights the phone number of the business you are advertising for. In 2012 report from the Direct Marketing Association, the organisation found that website call conversion rates can vary by industry i.e. close to 1.5% for food services to as high as 15% for home services. While these figures might not seem high in the context of other PPC call generation methods, such as call-only campaigns, website calls generally bring more qualified customers. This is because users can become more informed about the business through the website before deciding to call.
Here are some best practice examples to increase a website call conversion rate:
2. Call Extensions
Since their inception, call extensions have been very useful features for advertisers in driving business calls. In fact, 70% of search users have clicked on a call extension to get in touch with a business, according to a Call Intelligence Index report from Invoca. Showcasing a call extension will not only allow users to call the business, but it is also likely to increase the overall CTR for your PPC campaign. This could potentially improve the Quality Score and bring costs down.
To get the most bang for your buck with call extensions, ensure you schedule them to show during the hours the business is able to answer the calls. Additionally, after you set up call tracking and start to receive data on the calls delivered, amend your conversion action to count calls depending on the average call duration. This way you are more likely to optimise toward those calls that actually generate value for the business. In the context of ad extensions, assess the value delivered by call extensions in comparison to others such as location extensions i.e. if store visits are more important than calls.
3. Call-Only Campaigns
The third way to bring phone calls through PPC is via call-only campaigns. As the name suggests, these campaigns are designed for driving calls to advertisers by providing a phone number within the headline of the ad itself. Once users click on the ad, rather than being directed to a landing page, they will generally call the business from their mobile device.
Before deciding to go ahead with call-only campaigns, be aware that the ad format is the old standard text ad rather than the ETA and you will have to give up the headline in order to showcase the phone number of your business, giving you a limited character number to write your ads. Also, because of the nature of the campaign, you will only be able to set up 3 ad extensions: callouts, structured snippets & location extensions. With that in mind, the constrained ad character number and the limited amount of ad extensions you can feature will generally have a bad impact on Quality Score, and as such, your keywords bids should be higher than in a standard search campaign.
The area where the call-only campaigns win is the conversion rate. These will vary by industry, however they are generally much higher than call conversion rates seen on a standard campaign with call extensions.
Whilst call-only campaigns do tend to drive calls at the highest rate, the calls generated tend to be less qualified than website calls as they cannot get more information from the website before placing the call.
In the end, if you’re looking to maximise your ROI try to test and optimise all 3 call generation methods and not only invest more in the area that brings most calls at the lowest cost possible, but integrate the quality of those calls into your optimisation formula. There are 3rd party call tracking tools available to allow you to tap into more advanced insights about the call details and your audience. CRM platforms can also provide information on which qualified calls have brought value to your business.
Get in touch with our PPC experts if you'd like more information.