Call Extensions Tutorial: Learn How to Set up Call Extensions in AdWords

What is a Call Extension

A standard text ad example on a mobile smartphone device with a call extension

Accompanying the standard text ad, AdWords offers advertisers the opportunity to add a host of available ad extensions. As the name implies, these additional pieces of valuable information are added to the standard text ad format, making an ad more attractive and more likely to be clicked by a user. We will review the call ad extension in this article.

A business who wishes to receive calls as part of their lead generation will want to take advantage of this extension for several reasons. First, consumers from mobile devices can click on the number in the ad and it will auto-dial the business. Less work involved on the part of the consumer means he or she is more likely to contact a business with their questions or solicitations. Second, users who call the phone number when viewing the ad on a desktop are not costing the advertiser the usual click price as no actual click is taking place, yet a valuable lead is still generated.

Typical businesses that should without a doubt consider a call extension are service based businesses. Local and neighborhood businesses such as contractors, plumbers and delivery service companies should add the call extension to generate calls, as users who call are more inclined to convert over those who submit a form.

But e-commerce and sales businesses should also consider adding the call extension as an additional option for those who would feel more comfortable speaking to a person before finalizing their purchase, especially when a higher price point is involved.

Setting up A Call Extension

Call extensions are fairly easy to setup and generate to get your business to advertise with the phone number, but some best practices should be taken into consideration to take full advantage of the calls the business will be receiving.

First, take advantage of Google’s forwarding number. By setting up a call from ad conversion in the conversion tools and setting up the forwarding number, Google will automatically populate the AdWords interface with the conversion data for account optimization. Without calls being associated with the variables of the user’s behavior, patterns could not be formed; with the forwarded data details like when the user called, from where, after seeing what ad, and the search term used to trigger the ad, all populate dynamically every time.

Call extension setup selecting a google forwarding phone number option

A second best practice beyond the scope of AdWords is to take advantage of call tracking software. Because this is not a sponsored blog, we will not be recommending or reviewing call tracking software specifically, but a quick Google search will produce a myriad of call tracking software. Call tracking software is important because it helps to track phone calls, record calls for future service analysis and other powerful features.

By creating a call tracking phone number exclusive to the call extension, and layering this number with a Google forwarding number, allows for trackability and recording in the call tracking software, as well as the conversion reporting of a Google forwarding number. As with AdWords advertising, the more data available, the more effective the efforts will be.

SalesX Senior Account Strategist Nick Colombo shows how to set up call extensions for your AdWords account. If you or a client wishes to have potential leads call their business, setting up a call extension is a necessity.

Watch this AdWords in 60 seconds How-To tutorial to painlessly and swiftly setup call extensions in your account.

Call Extension Success Stories

A dental client that services their patients in 150 local offices added call extensions to their account and used a call tracking software to extend the amount of information gleaned from calls. The account boosted conversion volume over 145% as those who needed dental services were more inclined to speak with the office to schedule their appointment over submitting a form. By keeping in mind phone calls provided no real value after business hours, each account had to set up its advertising variables to parallel each business’s unique opening schedule. A few select offices benefited from a call center, but for the most part each office captured its own calls.

Another client, a plumbing and hvac company, receives more leads via phone calls than form submissions. Adding the call extension was a no-brainer and increased their lead counts over the previous agency’s by 212%.

By immediately connecting a user with a problem or purchase desire helps bridge the gap between need and satiety, and is especially convenient and high-converting on a mobile device, when user experience on a landing page can be painful and tedious on a small screen size.

Best Practices for Call extensions

Tip #1 Calculate an Average Phone Call Conversion Value

Providing a conversion value for phone calls by calculating the close rate and average value of a phone lead that closes. By adding these average values instead of conversion counts, advertisers can optimize the account for a higher ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) at each level such as the campaign, keyword, and time of day variables.

For example, a business that is addressing the senior care caregiver crisis, estimates that the close rate for those who call their franchise is 30% with a value of $2,500 on average worth of services based upon a Client Lifetime Value (CLV), in this case the average value of a year worth of services. By multiplying the 30% close rate by the CLV of $2,500 we find that an average call then is expected to yield $750 worth of value. Thus, the owner should consider spending up to $750 for a call lead, and attribute calls with this value in the account.

Tip #2 Pair a Call Extension with a Strong Call to Action (CTA)

Consider pairing the call extension with a Call to Action (CTA) of phoning the business. By explicitly requesting consumers call, the call extension is more likely to be utilized, increasing phone calls for the business. CTAs such as “call for a free price quote now” or “call to schedule your appointment today” enhance the effectiveness of the call extension.

Keep in mind, even if the call extension is not shown with every ad, encouraging users to contact the business by phone is a powerful tool. Just be sure to include a phone number on the landing page with prominence in size and visibility.

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