The most effective marketing solution today is pay per call marketing.
Search has gone mobile. And thanks to smartphones and click-to-call, consumers are responding to paid search ads by calling businesses by the billions.
That’s why marketers must shift their old desktop-centric thinking and adopt new ad, bidding, and attribution strategies to drive more call conversions and sales.
Why Calls Matter in Paid Search
Smartphone adoption has sparked a revolution in search. As search behavior shifts from desktops to mobile devices, marketers must shift their ad spend to target consumers where they live: on their smartphones.
Smartphone adoption has exploded. In the US in 2015, over 64% of adults own smartphones, including over 80% of people ages 18 to 50. And those numbers continue to rise.
Mobile usage is also increasing. Consumers now spend more time each month on mobile devices than on either desktops or TVs.
It should have come as no surprise then when Google announced in early 2015 that the majority of searches now take place on smartphones and mobile devices.
Differences Between Mobile & Desktop Search
Searches on mobile are different than searches on desktops.
Consumers’ mindsets are different, and they expect different things. Marketers need to understand these differences to create effective paid search campaigns.
People running searches on mobile devices have different needs and expectations than if they were sitting in front of a desktop computer.
Smartphones are always present and always on, and they enable us to take immediate action and run a search whenever we want to learn, find, buy, or do something.
Smartphone searches are in the moment, and searchers have high expectations and low patience. They want immediate information, answers, and assistance.
When they want to engage with a company, they prefer to use click-to-call buttons to have an immediate conversation rather than fill out a web form and wait for someone to contact them.
Mobile LOCAL Search Volumes Are Exploding
Another big difference between mobile and desktop searches is in the area of LOCAL search.
Local search is becoming heavily mobile. Between 40% and 50% of all mobile searches have local intent, and in 2014 for the first time local search volumes on mobile surpassed desktop.
That disparity continues to grow, as does the overall volume of local searches: Mobile local searches are growing 23% a year (while desktop volumes are decreasing) as the total number of local searches are expected to double by 2019.
And local searches on mobile have very high purchase intent:
- 65% of mobile local searches want to complete a purchase within a day
- 64% of those purchases happen offline
- 53% of mobile shoppers using local search called a business
Call Are The Most Popular And Valuable Conversions
Mobile search drives call conversions at an astounding rate. These calls also convert to revenue at a far higher rate than web leads. They are the leads sales teams want most, and marketers most need to generate.
People running searches on mobile are calling businesses by the billions. In the US alone, mobile search drove 38 billion calls in 2014 – and is expected to drive 73 billion calls in 2018, nearly doubling in growth in just 4 years.
Mobile Search Means Call Conversions
Calls are the most popular form of conversion from mobile search because they fit perfectly with the mobile searcher’s mindset.
Thanks to click-to-call, calling a business on a smartphone directly from a paid search ad or after visiting a mobile landing page is the fastest and easiest way to connect.
Calls are also the most valuable conversion to businesses.
- 66% of businesses consider inbound phone calls to be excellent leads, more than any other lead type.
It’s because inbound calls convert to revenue 10 to 15 times more than web leads. They are the leads sales teams want most, and the leads marketers should focus on driving from paid search.
Dangers Of Ignoring Calls In Paid Search Campaigns
If you aren’t optimizing your paid search campaigns to drive calls – and if you aren’t attributing callers from keywords, ads, and landing pages – you risk declining conversion rates, wasted spend, and revenue loss.
The primary goal of most paid search campaigns is to drive conversions and customers. For mobile PPC, that means calls.
If you aren’t making it easy for customers to call you from your ads and landing pages – or optimizing for what’s really driving calls – you could be missing out on the majority of mobile leads while sending customers to your competition.
Creating Mobile Preffered Paid Search Ads
Mobile isn’t just the future of search – it’s the present. You can’t afford to ignore mobile users, and the first step to targeting them effectively is creating mobile-preferred search ads.
To get the best return on your mobile paid search spend, don’t simply run your existing desktop-focused ads on smartphones and mobile devices.
Create mobile-preferred ads that are optimized for mobile users and the mobile search experience.
Here are some tips to consider for getting the best return on your mobile-preferred paid search ads:
Speak in The Language of “Mobile”:
Since these ads will only be seen by people on their smartphones and mobile devices, your ad language should reflect it. Tell searchers that operators are standing by to take their call. Use mobile-specific calls to action such as “Shop our mobile site,” “Buy on your phone,” “Find nearby stores,” and “Call us now.”
Use Mobile Ad Extensions:
Test different ad extensions, including call extensions, location extensions, and sitelinks.
Link Only to Mobile-Optimized Landing Pages:
Be sure any landing pages you link your mobile-preferred ads to are mobile-optimized. This includes any sitelinks you list.
Segment Data for Mobile Ads:
Measure your mobile ads apart from desktop ads. Analyze how mobile ads are performing, what language and landing pages are successful for mobile users, and what ad extensions are working best.
Paid Search Call Extensions
Mobile searchers want to call you, so you should make it as easy as possible. Use call extensions to drive call conversions right from the search engine results page.
Call extensions play a critical role in driving conversions from paid search. Mobile searchers want to engage with businesses on their smartphones by calling, and they don’t want to hunt around your website for a number.
Call extensions allow you to include a clickable phone number in your standard text ad in the form of a “Call” button. It’s the quickest path to a call from search.
Mobile search is about immediacy and simplicity, and no ad format combines the two better than call-only ads. Use these tips below to drive more conversions and customers from call‑only ads.
Mobile searches often occur when people are on the go and seeking an immediate way to contact a business. To capitalize on this audience, you can use call-only ads.
Instead of being directed to a landing page to find a phone number, searchers are instructed to call directly from the ad. It’s a mobile paid search ad format where the only conversion is a phone call.
If you are going to test call-only ads, here are some tips to consider:
Bid based on the value of a call:
Since every click goes towards a phone call, you can design a bidding strategy based specifically on what an inbound call is worth to your business.
Bid on keywords that generate calls:
You should only bid on keywords that have proven to drive calls. Keywords where people are conducting research or require more information from a web page should not be a part of call-only campaigns.
Use ad language to incentivize a call:
Since the only conversion is a call from SERPs, write your ad text accordingly. Tailor ad text with “speak to a specialist now” and “call 24/7” to incentivize a call.
Establish a minimum call duration for conversions:
Not every click on your call-only ads will be a conversion. Many might not even be a completed call. So set up a minimum call duration time based on your business model for what should count as a true conversion.
Only run call-only ads during your business hours:
Schedule ads to only run during your business hours, or when you are sure someone is available to answer calls. Be careful with time zones if ads are running in different areas of the country.
Track calls at the keyword level:
Be sure to track which keywords are successful at driving not just calls, but customers, so you can optimize bids to improve call-only ad ROI.
Optimize Paid Search Campaigns For Local
Nearly 50% of mobile searches have local intent. If you are running ad campaigns to drive business locally, there are a number of ways to optimize mobile paid search to drive local calls.
There is an enormous – and growing – volume of local searches on smartphones and mobile devices, and they are driving billions of calls a month. Those callers also convert to customers at a high rate.
“Nearby Business" Ads For Mobile Local Search
Local searches have high purchasing intent, with 64% of those purchases happening offline and up to 53% involving a phone call. To help incentivize calls and in-store visits, Google launched “nearby business” ads.
According to Google, “near me” searches doubled by 2014, with 80% of those coming from mobile. To help advertisers target this traffic, in May of 2015 Google launched mobile “nearby business” ads.
The ads are triggered when someone runs a local search in AdWords, and they include a link to get directions or click to call the business.
The ads resemble the organic local business listings on Google mobile searches. You must have location extensions enabled to be eligible to show nearby business ads to searchers.
Tips for Bidding by Location
- Target your ads to reach people located around your business locations.
- Use bid adjustments to increase your bids whenever someone located near your business searches for one of your keywords.
- Get specific by targeting customers within specific radius's around your location extensions. This allows you to set different bid adjustments for each radius, increasing your bid the closer they are to your location.
Ad Format For Businesses With Multiple Locations
Businesses that have multiple locations within a mobile searcher’s vicinity can have up to three places listed in AdWords mobile ads to help drive calls, foot traffic, and customers to each location.
If your business has multiple locations within a geographic area, you can promote them within your AdWords ads.
If you are using location extensions, your ads can show up to three locations, highlighting the city, town, or neighborhood, as well as the distance from the searcher.
You can also include links to directions for each of the locations and click-to-call buttons to encourage people to call.
To have locations listed in your mobile AdWords ads, you need to make sure your locations are set up in Google My Business.
Google My Business is a free service that makes all your business addresses available for any campaign or ad group in Google search or display ads.
Be sure to use filters to control which addresses show up in your ads at the account, campaign, and ad group level, as well as which ads appear on which devices (smartphones only, desktop and tablet devices, or all three).
Targeting Strategies For Mobile Search Ads
Studies have found that geo-targeted ads perform 2x better than non-targeted campaigns.
Marketers can use geo-targeting to reach consumers in specific areas, ideally at a time when they are looking to make a purchase.
Geo-targeting helps you focus your paid search ads on the locations where you’ll find the right customers, so you can tailor your messaging and bids for better ROI.
For each ad campaign, you can select locations where your ads will appear for people searching in those locations.
Tips to Improve ROI with Geo-Targeting
- Geo-targeting occurs at the campaign level, so if you want to target areas independently, create separate campaigns for each area.
- Mention the location in your ad copy and URL so that searchers know you are really relevant to them.
- If the location is used in the search query, it will appear in bold in your ads and draw attention.
- Use Google’s ad customizers to have your ad text automatically customized based on where that person is searching from. For example, highlight specific local discounts based on where the caller is located. Enable location extensions and call extensions to drive visits and calls. These are the primary ways local searchers want to convert.
- Measure how ads are performing in different geographies using AdWords location reports and optimize bids and copy accordingly.
- Use the distance report to see how your ads performed in varying distances from your business.
Customize your search ad campaign for people who have previously visited your site. Tailor your bids and ads to these visitors when they’re searching on Google or Bing to drive more quality calls from the right audience.
Remarketing is a way for you to re-engage searchers that have previously visited your website. You can select keywords, create ads, and select a bidding strategy specifically for those prospects who performed (or didn’t perform) a specific action on your site.
When prospects leave your site without filling out a form, making an online purchase, or calling you, for example, remarketing helps you connect with them when they continue looking for goods and services like yours on Google and Bing.
Here are some strategies to test in order to drive conversions and sales with remarketing:
Tailor ad text to past website visitors:
When former site visitors run searches for your keywords, show them special ads that take into account their behavior on your site. Tailor ads based on recent product lines or web pages they visited. Show a different ad to people who have abandoned a shopping cart in the last 60 days.Include special offers to people to incentivize a first purchase – or encourage a second order.
Increase bids for past site visitors to drive ROI:
Past website visitors are often a more qualified prospect. Adjust your bids and bid more aggressively for this audience. For example, you can increase your bid by 25%-50% for people who have been on your website in the past month.
Bid on new keywords to increase conversions:
If someone has already visited your site, which is often a strong indicator that they are a good prospect. So when you’re targeting past site visitors, improve the chances they see your ads by choosing a broader keyword match type and bidding higher on generic keywords. Popular keywords that might not normally be profitable for you can become profitable for people who already visited your site.
Exclude current customers from seeing your ads:
For some businesses you may want to make sure your search ads are always front and center when past customers search. But for others, you may not want to pay to show customers your ads. For example, if a current customer of a software service runs a branded search for that company, they may just want a number to call the support line. Searches like these are best left to your free organic listings.
Include calls as events and adjust bids accordingly:
If you use call attribution software, you can include phone calls from your site as remarketing criteria. Depending on your business, you may want to bid more aggressively and show different ads to past callers – or you may want to exclude them from seeing your ads altogether.
AdWords Customer Match
Google launched a new targeting platform that enables you to upload lists of email addresses into AdWords to target those users when they run searches for your keywords on Google.
In September of 2015 Google announced a new targeting platform – Customer Match – that enables you to upload lists of email addresses to Google so that you can target those users with specific bid and ad strategies when they run searches. The new targeting platform was designed to compete with Facebook’s popular Customer Audiences tool.
Google uses the email addresses you provide to find each person’s Google ID, which allows AdWords to target them across platforms and devices with higher accuracy. The user must be signed in to Google at the time of the search for the targeting to work.
You can use Customer Match to target past customers with ads featuring specific products or promotions to incentivize them to make another purchase.
For businesses with longer sales cycles, you can upload lists of leads in your pipeline or lost opportunities with messaging designed to get them to call you and reengage with your sales team.