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Phone Numbers in Ad Copy & Adwords Click-to-Call Changes

With click-to-call being taken up increasingly by Adwords advertisers, Google have now updated their policy pertaining to phone numbers. You can still write a phone number in your main ad text copy but it cannot formulate the headline or a site link as this is considered poor user journey.

I completely agree with this approach – it is a poor user journey, not to mention, why would a user click on an unsightly headline that is a phone number. The site link point – again, Google has made phone number extensions available precisely for this point, so that you can free up ad space or site link space for more useful content.

Additionally, are some click to call ads on mobiles displaying differently?

I have found these through the Ad Preview Tool. Traditionally, the click to call on mobile replaces and looks like one of the 2 site links visible on mobiles:

Now I have also seen the the phone number pulled up above the ad and the headline alongside the ad text in bold:

I am not sure if this is due to different phone providers displaying differently or if this is a new release/test – any ideas?

If it is a new format, the bold headline does not stand out as much as the hyperlink  – also is it hyperlinked or else how can the user reach the landing page? Furthermore, the second phone number could look like it belongs to the top ad if the first ad did not have a click to call number associated with it – so there might be user confusion about which number belongs to which ad.

UPDATE! This is an option in Adwords under Call Extensions:

Whereby the first option is selected so the clickable aspect of the ad is just the phone number to drive phone calls. This is particularly useful for advertisers where there conversion is a phone call and sending to a landing page can actually dilute their conversion rate. It is an interesting approach to mobile advertising but I think one that has come too late – we should have had this before the latest spate and popularity of the smartphone where users are happy to go to landing pages (mobile-optimized or otherwise) because of how advanced the phones are. By seeing an ad where there is no attached landing page, users may have concerns about not knowing much information about the advertiser prior to calling. Nevertheless, it looks more like a Yellow Pages phone listings format now.




  1. Pingback: Google Adwords 6 Site Links! « Big PPC Geek - June 26, 2011

  2. Pingback: Google Announces AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: The Redefinition of Mobile « Big PPC Geek - February 9, 2013

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