Google has announced the ability for advertisers to bid for phone calls, in addition to bidding for clicks, for Google search ads on computers and tablets. Currently, only advertisers maximum CPC bid for phone calls factor into ad rank. With bid-for-calls, these bids can also factor into ad rank as well. Higher ranked ads surface higher in search results, and can therefore generate more phone calls (and clicks, too).
For background, bid-to-call ads works in AdWords by assigning and placing a toll-free forwarding number next to an advertisers ad text on Google search pages. When a user sees an ad and calls the number, AdWords registers the call and forwards it to your business. When a user calls the number in your ad, the call is automatically routed to your business, and AdWords notes that this call took place. Then, when you look at your AdWords reports, you’ll see the number of calls generated by each campaign, call duration, and in the near future, caller area code.
Users will also access detailed call reporting right in AdWords, which includes summaries of completed calls, phone-through rate, and phone call costs. You can also see details for each call, including call time, duration, caller area code, and more.
For now, bid-per-call is available only in the US and UK. Click-to-call ads are a growing ad format for Google. In fact, Click-to-Call ads are now driving millions of calls per week. Calls generated from mobile and desktop search ads using call metrics last, on average, six-minutes. And Google has now connected over 12 million calls for thousands of businesses.
Google AdWords is an online advertising service. AdWords allows advertisers to purchase text, image, and rich-media ads, and the service offers pay-per-click and cost-per-thousand advertising. AdWords is Google’s primary source of revenue, bringing in $36.5 billion in 2011.