How To Generate Inbound Phone Leads: Google Bid-Per-Call

Google Ad Innovations Page


Status: Limited Release Availability: US and UK

What It Does

The bid-per-call feature allows you to bid for phone calls, in addition to bidding for clicks, when you show Google search ads on computers and tablets. Now, both your max bid per click (max CPC bid) and max cost-per-call bid (max CPP bid) can influence your ad’s position on the results page. You can increase your ad position and drive more phone calls to your business by setting a bid that is equal to or greater than the $1 minimum call fee.

Bid-per-call requires you to use a Google forwarding number when you activate call extensions. It provides detailed call reporting, so you can have a better sense of the value of calls and clicks your campaigns are generating. Reporting includes:

  • Cost, completed calls, and phone-through-rate (PTR) summaries at the ad group and campaign level
  • Call-by-call detail including call time, duration, and caller area code

Why You’d Use It

With bid-per-call, the maximum cost-per-call (CPP) and your call Quality Score will be factored into your Ad Rank. This means that you’ll automatically be rewarded with higher ad position and lower cost per call when your phone number is useful to users. And you’ll have increased control over the position of your ads and your call volume by adjusting your bid. As always, you’ll never pay more than you’re willing to for either a phone call or a click.


MediaPost:  Google Bid-Per-Call Launches In AdWords 


By Laurie Sullivan | October 25, 2011

Advertisers that see phone calls as a valuable source for leads will now have an option to bid for phone calls alongside clicks when targeting paid-search ads to searchers across computers and tablets. Google plans to roll out the feature in the United States and United Kingdom during the next few weeks. 

The bid for phone calls will directly factor into the ranking of ads that return with search results. Higher-ranked ads are more likely to be seen and read by searchers, and can generate more phone calls and clicks. Today, only maximum cost-per-click bids are calculated in Ad Rank, which determines the ad’s position. 

Marketers that want to use bid-per-call need to select the option to use forwarding numbers from Google when setting up Call Extensions, so that Google’s system can measure when a call to the business occurs. This also provides advertisers with summaries of completed calls, phone-through rates, duration of the call, and other metrics directly in AdWords reports. 

Equipped with the option, marketers should decide when to consider a call to a click metric. Insurance agents, for example, might find it advantageous to speak with someone on the phone and walk them through the process, rather than ask consumers to fill out a form online. 

Havas Digital EVP Rob Griffin said it’s more useful to have a lead from a call, compared with a click, when the paid-search ad focuses on local and expects an immediate response, often found in mobile paid search ads. 

George Michie, CEO at Rimm Kaufman Group, believes the preference on when to use click vs. call metrics depends on the expected conversion rate, and the conversion rate difference between a caller and a paid-search visitor to a company’s Web site. “The call center can lose money unless the conversion rate of a call to the call center is above a threshold. That threshold depends on the industry and the value of a conversion.” 

Michie also suggests that marketers determine the keyword searches the call center reps can most likely close for that ratio of conversations. For example, marketers might determine the call center reps need to close 25% of their calls to become cost-effective. Marketers might measure or surmise that the call center reps can become twice as effective as the passive Web site at closing calls. For it to make sense to send visitors to the call center, rather than the Web site, the Web conversion rate for those keywords would need to be more than or equal to 12.5% to translate to a 25% conversion rate on the phones, he explains. 

“It may be the case that only brand keywords convert at that rate, or it may be that a number of other non-brand keywords convert at that rate as well,” Michie said. “Whatever the case, those are the keywords to test pushing toward the call center.” Link to Original



About Michael

Create and execute cutting edge digital advertising and marketing campaigns using the latest internet and mobile technologies to target connected and millennial audiences.

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