Google’s mobile click-to-call ads program in search is apparently a big success. Although reluctant to share specific numbers, Google previously said that response rates were “5 to 30 percent better” than other AdWords CTRs in mobile. Even the URLs in these ads get more clicks, Surojit Chatterjee, Senior Product Manager, Mobile Ads, previously told me. Google also said that both users and advertisers really like these ads.
Now Google is formally expanding the click-to-call program to its content network on mobile devices. This was previously announced at Google’s developer conference in May. But now it’s going live.
Advertisers need to opt-in to the content network on “high end mobile devices” and enable Phone Extensions.
While click-to-call AdWords in search show an actual phone number (not a call-tracking number), the content network ads show a phone icon that will initiate a call when “clicked”:
I had made the assumption that most of the advertisers using these ads are large, national organizations with call centers. But Chatterjee said that there was a mix of large and small advertisers that had been using them. He did anticipate that the content network program would attract more national advertisers, however. Travel and insurance are among several verticals that have been early in adopting and seen success with Google’s click-to-call ads.
Chatterjee also said that Google has seen increased adoption of mobile only ad campaigns featuring click-to-call as well. Beyond these new click-to-call units Google plans to roll out a range of new ad options and formats for mobile, including image and video “expandables,” in the coming weeks and months.