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Call Extensions - A Week's Worth of Wonderful Extensions!

[ Edited ]
Community Manager
# 1
Community Manager

What is a Call Extension? 

Call Extensions are a feature that encourage calls to your business by showing a phone number with your ad. When Call Extensions show they will either display your phone number next to your ad (on tablets and computers) or display a clickable call button (on high-end mobile devices) with your ad. Clicks on your call extension would be the same cost if the customer had clicked on your headline (a standard CPC).



Why should I implement Call Extensions?

Many advertisers do business over the phone, and value phone calls as much as they value clicks to their website. Whether they have a complex product or customers who may need to make an appointment for their services, phone calls are a proven way for advertisers to connect with potential customers. It has been found that there can be up to 8% increase in ad click through rates when call extensions are enabled.


If you are specifically targeting mobile and “on the go” customers, this is the extension for you as its been found that 94% of smartphone users use their phones to look up info on local businesses, and 70% of these mobile searchers use click to call.


If you are advertising a high end product, you may also want to make your contact number clearly available to help push the purchase cycle forward. Making an investment to a large purchase can often lead customers to want to speak to someone before proceeding. Research suggests online conversion rates drop considerably when a checkout basket size is greater than $150.

How can I track the effectiveness of Call Extensions?

As with all extensions, you can navigate to the Ad extensions tab and select “View: Call Extensions” from the drop-down menu to show a table with the associated reviews and performance statistics including clicks, impressions, and click through rate (CTR).

Read more about measuring the effectiveness of ad extensions here.


When setting up Call Extensions you have the option (country specific) to choose a Google forwarding number. Google forwarding numbers let you report on the calls you receive through call extensions, offering details like call duration, call start and end time, caller area code, and whether the call was connected.


This reporting will be shown in your AdWords account by adding in specific Call Extension columns in your Campaigns section.

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When you use a Google forwarding number with your call extension, we’ll assign a unique Google phone number to your ad. This phone number, which is either toll-free (Australia, France, Germany, Spain, US) or equivalent to a local number (UK), will show with your ad on tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. A clickable “Call” button will show with your ad on high-end mobile devices (such as iPhones and Android devices with full Internet browsers).

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It's free to use Google forwarding phone numbers with your ads, but you’ll be charged as usual (a standard CPC) when people click on your ad or on the call button (shown on high-end mobile devices). You won’t be charged when people manually dial your custom Google forwarding number.


*Call extensions with Google forwarding phone numbers are only available for numbers based in Australia, France, Germany, Spain, the US, and the UK.




What do Call Extensions look like?

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I’ve enabled Call Extensions, why are they not showing?

If you opted to use the Google forwarding number, your ad group needs a minimum number of clicks before they will start showing. There is no minimum click requirement to show normal call extensions, but extensions may not show all the time due to space, quality, and other constraints.

It could just be the case that other extensions you have enabled are taking preference, or you may need to increase your bid or your ad quality (or both). You can read more about why Ad Extensions might not be showing here.

Anything else to know about Call Extensions?

When creating or editing your call extension, check the Count calls as phone call conversions checkbox to set up calls as conversions so you can use automated bidding strategies like Conversion Optimizer and Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) to increase your likelihood of conversion!


Ready to implement Call Extensions? Get started here.


Want to read about more Ad Extensions? Check out the other posts in this series:

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Call Extensions - A Week's Worth of Wonderful Extensions!

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Gotta love call extensions! Especially click-to-call!

Re: Call Extensions - A Week's Worth of Wonderful Extensions!

Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing Kathleen Smiley Happy

Re: Call Extensions - A Week's Worth of Wonderful Extensions!

Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ✭ ☆
Thanks Kathleen - Very informative and a great read. I will no doubt share this with my clients when they ask about call extensions.

Re: Call Extensions - A Week's Worth of Wonderful Extensions!

Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
# 5
Participant ✭ ☆ ☆
great article, will be put to full use in my accounts.

Re: Call Extensions - A Week's Worth of Wonderful Extensions!

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭

Very informative!
But can you tell me, why the same ad extension is showing an icon with a forwarded number on cell phones (I can see the number when I click the icon, and it´s not our own number)
but our own number when showing on desktops?!?
I just checked it on different advices: same keyword, same extension, different numbers!


(ok, I just read that the ad group needs to have had a "certain amount" of clicks in order to show fwd-number on desktop. But what would that amount be? I am testing an ad group with about 100 clicks /month)