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Does anyone know when Adwords changed the look of call extensions on mobile devices?

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Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

The call button that normally just said "Call" and was a button to the right of the ad headline/display url is now listed as a separate line at the bottom of the ad (usually below sitelinks even) and usually says something like "Call (xxx) xxx-xxxx". We've seen changes in our call extension click compared to impression going back to right around November 1st and I'm troubleshooting to see if it is related to this as nothing else make sense.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Does anyone know when Adwords changed the look of call extensions on mobile devices?

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hi Jeff,

 

If your CTR on the call extension has dropped, how has your average ad position on mobile devices been? There can be a huge difference between #1 and #2.

 

Does anyone know when Adwords changed the look of call extensions on mobile devices?

Badged Google Partner
# 3
Badged Google Partner

Has the call extension impression volume been consistent? If the impression volume has been consistent, but CTC rate has decreased, then I might say yes, the change in format could have something to do with it. I have actually seen increases since November for some clients, but every situation is different.

 

If phone calls are the goal of the advertising, and call volume has decreased, then there are some steps you can take to try and rectify the situation. As Rob pointed out, position is a big factor - It's looking more and more like outside of the #1 position no call extensions are being shown. If call extensions are the most valuable extensions, you could try only using call extensions and see if that helps improve impression volume. You could also try (If you're not already) "Call Us" CTA's in the ads themselves. Even if users aren't calling directly from the ads, they may still call from the site.

 

Impressions are the first step. Start with an analysis of call extensions vs. total impressions, then move on to average position. If that's all consistent or even improved over time, and the change to the call extension format seems to be the culprit, then we can only hope Google will see some revenue declines due to decreased click activity, and make the necessary changes to the format.

 

Honestly, I kind of dropped the ball on this change, so I can't help with the time frame. Thanks for mentioning this, now I know. Smiley Happy

Tom

Does anyone know when Adwords changed the look of call extensions on mobile devices?

Rising Star
# 4
Rising Star

As Tom pointed out, there are so many ad extensions these days, that if your mail aim is calls, other extensions and distract from your call extensions.

 

I had a recent case where stopping all the other extensions led to halving of cost per call conversion.

 

 

Does anyone know when Adwords changed the look of call extensions on mobile devices?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for the input.  I've spent some time since yesterday analyzing it more.  Here is what I've come up with.  The mobile impressions/clicks continue to grow as expected due to more mobile users obviously.  The % of time call extensions are shown are as good as they have ever been however the click % on the call extension (call extension click / call extension impression) really dipped hard in October/November.  In looking at average position, I do see it getting worse around the same time (several months between 1.5-1.6 position down to 1.7-1.8.  I guess I can deduct that we are still getting the impressions and showing call extensions well but we just aren't in that top spot as much.  We feel that Google has tested a lot with their local results showing in the top of mobile searches more which has pushed our ad from the top of the screen.  Not necessarily that we have a true adwords advertiser in front of us but just that we are still the first ad and it isn't at the top of the 1st search result page.  Is it correct to assume that if the position of the 1st "true" ad is further down than normal, it still logs you as #1 (even though it may not be on the 1st page due to things google is testing with local or even organic results)?  If that's the case, then I would assume too that our now 1.7-1.8 position is due to actual competition beating us out.  Thank you both for your input and suggestions.  I might actually go the route of trying to reduce other extension or work on our ad copy some more to drive more calls because yes, calls is what makes or breaks us.  I may need to even look at testing out more the click only ads to see how they really produce.

Does anyone know when Adwords changed the look of call extensions on mobile devices?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks for the input.  I've spent some time since yesterday analyzing it more.  Here is what I've come up with.  The mobile impressions/clicks continue to grow as expected due to more mobile users obviously.  The % of time call extensions are shown are as good as they have ever been however the click % on the call extension (call extension click / call extension impression) really dipped hard in October/November.  In looking at average position, I do see it getting worse around the same time (several months between 1.5-1.6 position down to 1.7-1.8.  I guess I can deduct that we are still getting the impressions and showing call extensions well but we just aren't in that top spot as much.  We feel that Google has tested a lot with their local results showing in the top of mobile searches more which has pushed our ad from the top of the screen.  Not necessarily that we have a true adwords advertiser in front of us but just that we are still the first ad and it isn't at the top of the 1st search result page.  Is it correct to assume that if the position of the 1st "true" ad is further down than normal, it still logs you as #1 (even though it may not be on the 1st page due to things google is testing with local or even organic results)?  If that's the case, then I would assume too that our now 1.7-1.8 position is due to actual competition beating us out.  Thank you both for your input and suggestions.  I might actually go the route of trying to reduce other extension or work on our ad copy some more to drive more calls because yes, calls is what makes or breaks us.  I may need to even look at testing out more the click only ads to see how they really produce.

Does anyone know when Adwords changed the look of call extensions on mobile devices?

Badged Google Partner
# 7
Badged Google Partner

"Is it correct to assume that if the position of the 1st "true" ad is further down than normal, it still logs you as #1"

 

Yes, the first ad shown is the #1 position ad. Whether that is at the top of the page, or all the way at the bottom. Sometimes there's only one ad per page, sometimes there are no ads on the first page - Regardless, whichever ad is shown first for that query is the #1 position ad.

 

"I may need to even look at testing out more the click only ads to see how they really produce."

 

If you are referring to click to call only ads, I would strongly suggest not to follow that approach, outside of a very limited test. With click to call only, there is no guarantee that the end user actually wants to make a call directly from the ad. In fact, if they click on the headline with the intention of visiting a website, and instead their phone initiates a phone call, they are more likely to abandon you all together in order to find a competitors website they can actually visit. Make sure your phone number is prevalent on site, and consider some form of call tracking. Even if that's just onsite click to call event tracking with analytics, you will still be able to track those as AdWords calls, even if the user didn't call directly from the ad.

 

Ad copy is definitely an area to keep working on and testing. If there's anything "free" you can offer over the phone, then make sure you mention that in your ads ("Free quote", etc.). If you have operators standing by, 24/7 support, experienced technicians/staff, a discount/promotion, or any other unique value proposition you can advertise that rely on, or are only available via a phone call, definitely experiment with those UVP's in the ad copy.

Tom