By Carrie-ann | Apr 14, 2013 | Google news

Can you put a phone number in adwords ads

Phone numbers have always caused Google Adwords advertisers’  problems. You’ve never been allowed to include a call to action in the copy. Many advertisers ignored this and sporadically Google removed ads using phone numbers inappropriately.  The use of phone numbers has now had a makeover with the launch of Call Extensions.

As I have mentioned before, Google is working towards Enhanced Adwords Campaigns. Phone numbers have got caught up in this as Google sees another opportunity to make money.

From April 1, Google Adwords with phone numbers included will be disapproved. You must now use its Call Extension feature. What does this mean in practice? Well Google says it wants to give users a more consistent experience across devices. Using the Call Extension feature means a “Call” button will show on ads appearing on smart phones. On other devices a non clickable phone number appears. Confused? It certainly doesn’t produce a consistent user experience so you can be left in no doubt that Google is simply implementing a monitisation opportunity targeted at mobile ad engagements.

The “Call” buttons will appear on smart phones across Google.com/.co.uk search, Voice search, Google Mobile App or Google Maps for Mobile. On every other device a non-clickable phone number is displayed. Using the Call Extension feature Advertisers are charged every time someone clicks on the “Call” button.

Google has quality considerations in mind too. If you are using a Google forwarding number it will only show if you receive a minimum number of clicks but it’s now free to use one.

You can use a Call Extension in place of a Location Extension or use both, and both will display. Just bear in mind the ad displayed on a mobile will always feature the “Call” button as long as your ads meet Google’s quality requirements.

From a business point of you need to consider whether these developments are likely to impact your business. Remember location extensions suit businesses with physical locations and who interact with their customers such as local based businesses. On the other hand, Google’s tip is that Call Extensions are likely to suit companies who operate nationally.

Some companies will now have to re-think their approach to including phone numbers in their pay per click ads and the impact this could have in their PPC budget. It may be easier to leave them out altogether.  However one question remains which is whether the new button for mobile devices gives advisers’ conversions a boost just by being there.