Setting Up Call Extensions in Enhanced Campaigns
Since the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns in February by Google, there has been a lot of adjustment and learning going on to keep up with the changes. A large part of Enhanced Campaigns is the changes to Ad Extensions, with many of them being upgraded from previous versions, or completely new ones even being introduced. The focus of this blog post is how to set up upgraded call extensions to get the best out of them.
A quick background
Call extensions are typically used by advertisers to give search users an alternate 'touch point' for communicating with their business if they are not inclined to click on the ad itself. With the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns, Google also revised the ad policy to make it so that you are no longer allowed to put your phone number in the ad copy itself - thereby encouraging you to use the proper call extension facility instead.
The only people this may disadvantage are those with ads in lower positions where ad extensions are less likely to show - given that Google has always said the best quality ads will be rewarded with lots of nice extensions showing in SERPS. I think Google has actually been rather smart with this move as it enocurages anyone who wants a phone number to appear in (or next to / underneath) their ad must maintain a high ad quality.
Old (legacy) call extensions
Old call extensions were still pretty good - and in their most simple form they provided a google forwarding phone number that you could call from desktops / tablets, or click directly on it from a mobile campaign. There was a charge for every call from desktop or tablet devices using the Google forwarding number of $1.
By using the Google forwarding number users could see how many times uers called, how many calls were answered or missed, the average duration of a call, etc...
As good as they were - the old call extensions did have some limitations:
1. You could only select to show the call extension on all devices using a google forwarding number, or only smartphones using your real phone number (no stats).
2. Therefore there was no way to have a call extension on desktop devices which didn't use the Google forwarding number, which in the UK usually begins with "0330" or similar. The reason this is a disadvantage is that users and consumers may think that this unfamiliar number is a premium rate line where they will be charged a lot for calling instead of a freephone or local rate number. As such you either had to sacrifice call extensions altogether or accept the fact that you are potentially alienating some people who would otherwise have called (but were put off by premium number)
3. They were only available to set at campaign level
Cue the wonderous upgraded call extensions in Enhanced Campaigns
As a result of the above limitations with call extensions, Google obviously decided to address this in their bid to provide the most relevant ads in the right context to users, all of the time.
I will first explain the benefits of the upgraded call extensions, and then provide a guide below for implementing them.
The main benefit is incerased flexibility and control in the following ways:
1. You can set extensions at campaign or ad group level (handy if you have different numbers for different products or regional offices within the same campaign)
2. You can choose whether you want to show your own real phone number or a Google forwarding number on any and all devices
3. There is no charge for using the google forwarding number
4. You can still choose whether or not you want to show your website link and the phone number, or just the phone number (was available in legacy too)
5. You can select that this extension is given priority over other extension types on your mobile devices
6. THE MOTHERLOAD... you can select start / end dates and scheduling, just as you would for campaigns in the past. I.e. you can set your call extension to only show during your office opening hours, Mon-Fri 9-5 for example, and revert to just showing the website link at the times and days when you know there will be no-body available to answer customer calls. So simple but so important!
7. Where you have used the forwarding number you can still review the performance as before under the 'dimensions' tab from the dropdown list.
How to get upgraded call extensions
Below is a guide to getting the new extensions:
1. Upgrade your legacy campaign to Enhanced via the interface and clicking on 'get started' in the message box at the top of the page, or, in AdWords editor you can select 'enabled' under the Enhanced campaign section within the campaigns tab (must use latest version of AE to do this)
2. Next navigate to the all online campaigns tab of your AdWords interface
3. Click on 'Ad extensions'
4. Select Call Extensions from the 'View:' dropdown list to the left hand side
5. Click 'upgrade call extensions' from the message box that pops up (wording of that may vary, I am going from memory but you get the jist)
6. Now you will see the option to create a new extension either at campaign or ad group level, you should also see all your old call extensions from before still available
7. For the purpose of this demo, I deleted all of my old ones so that I could start from fresh with the new settings. To do this I ticked the select box and pressed the grey delete button
8. I then created a new extension by clicking the '+ New extension' green button
9. Now select what campaign you wish to apply this to
10. Now either choose an existing phone number from the list or add a new phone number by selecting '+new phone number'
11. This number should now appear in the selected phone numbers list in the right hand column
12. You can now make advanced changes to the extension by clicking on the small pencil icon next to the selected phone number
13. In here you just go through the steps making your own choices as you go. In my example I chose to show my ads with my own phone number and with no mobile preference
14. You then expand the 'start/end dates, scheduling' drop down to reveal the section to make these changes
15. Unless you have specific start and end dates when you want a number to show, you can leave it blank and it will be enabled all the time (the exact same as you would with campaign settings)
16. Now the fun bit is the scheduling. Just click the '+add' button in this section and create whatever preference you wish. For me it was Mon - Fri, and then 8am to 6pm, then I added another one for Saturday to show 10am to 4pm, and then no times to show on Sunday as that's our day off
17. You can select if you want to view the scheduling times in 12 or 24 hour format if it suits you
18. Finally, just check that your time zone is correct and this is pivotal to this working properly. This is a setting that Google makes you select at the account set up stage and is not changeable within the interface. I do believe that if you notice this to be wrong (e.g. you're in the EST zone but it's set to pacific for some reason) then you will either need to make the calculations of the time difference for yourself, or, contact Google support and they might be able to change it for you at their end one time only. Naturally, if you have lots of campaigns over lots of different locations you're just going to have to make the calculations and adjustments yourself.
As a final point: this is my understanding of a relatively new feature and the more professional version from Google themselves is here.
Good luck and enjoy the new extensions.
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