4 Call Only Ads Best Practices


162 billion calls per year will be made from smartphones to businesses next year according to projections by BIA/Kelsey.

You’ve probably done it yourself. You search for a local service or shop on your phone, and some links come up with a direct call button for you to tap. Your phone then puts you instantly through. Pretty neat.

Well, these are known as ‘Call Only Ads’, an innovation by Google that only appear in search results on smartphones.

What do Call Only ads look like?

They don’t have much in the way of a title, just a phone number to automatically dial, a weblink and some brief information below.

If you run the kind of business that relies on talking to customers first, these kind of ads can be really valuable as they make it far easier for prospects to get in touch.

Now that you’re sold on the idea, let’s take a look at some of the top ways to get the most out of call only ads.

Top 4 ways to optimize Call Only campaigns in AdWords

1. Carefully select the best keywords

The importance of getting the right keywords can never be overstated when it comes to SEO. Use Google’s Keyword Planner tool in Adwords to find keywords and phrases related to your business that have the highest volume and include them in your ad’s text.

2. Take advantage of snippets

The latest version of Google Adwords has three new features to enhance Call Only ads. They are:

  • Location extensions – highlight your business location, so long as you have an up-to-date Google My Business account.
  • Callout extensions – add as many as three snippets of text of up to 25 characters each. This replaces the standard two description lines, giving you more space to add information.
  • Structured snippets – add mini-lists of features, services, brands, benefits, offers etc.

Check out the GIF below to see all three in action.

3. Optimize and test your ad copy

Call only ads rely heavily on the text to entice people to call. Therefore, it’s imperative that your copy hits the right triggers and gets people to take action. If you don’t know much about copywriting the basics are – get people’s attention, sell the benefits and call them to action.

Sounds like a lot to ask for in a few lines of text, but it can be done. For instance, a cleaning company could use something like this: Expert house cleaners. Best prices you’ll find. All cleaners pre-screened. Call now.

It’s also recommended that you test your copy. Make small changes and compare the effect it has on call volumes. The most useful metric to analyze is the Phone-through Rate (PTR) which is included in Google Adword’s built-in call reporting section.

4. Get feedback and update your ads

Don’t just set it and forget it.

Make sure you listen to what callers are telling or asking you. If the same questions come up repeatedly, such as “How long does your service take?”, your conversion rate may improve if you include that information in your ad copy.


If your business relies on phone calls from customers wanting immediate information e.g. plumbers, lawyers, etc. then you’re missing out if you’re not using Google’s Call only ads.

Setting them up in Google Adwords is fairly straightforward and Google also make it easy to analyze the effects of any changes to the ad copy or appearance. So, get those phones ringing off the hook and head over to Google Adwords today.

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