How Should You Approach Mobile PPC? Part 2

A couple weeks ago I wrote a post with 7 key questions to ask before tackling your mobile PPC.

If you’ve got the answers to these questions, then what are the next steps? This post will discuss exactly that.

Getting Started With Mobile PPC

For illustration, we’ll consider a fictional HVAC company in Idaho (where I live). Here are their answers to the 7 key questions:

  • Most important action – Call & schedule a service appointment
  • What device? – Obviously a phone
  • Where will click occur – 50/50 between mobile and desktop/laptop, but we’ll focus on mobile
  • Experience on mobile – Okay, not great; just a generic responsive site
  • More value on device type – Not really
  • Secondary objective – Fill out form to schedule appointment
  • Usually a desktop/laptop; click also from a desktop/laptop; user experience is solid

Since phone calls are the most valuable action for our example advertiser, we’ll focus on how to generate the most cost-effective calls for the business.

Here is a play-by-play breakdown:

Call-only or Call Extension?

We decided to focus on people searching on their mobile devices because they’ll be able to call directly from that device. It’s just easier for people. Now AdWords has two different ways for us to get a convenient little “Call” button next to our ads. One is by adding a call extension and the other is by using call-only ads. Here is how they both look:

AdWords has two different ways for us to get a convenient little “Call” button next to our ads. One is by adding a call extension and the other is by using call-only ads. Here is how they both look:

Here is how they both look:

Call extension vs. Call-only ad
Call extension on top; call-only ad on the bottom

These two ads look very similar, but there are some key differences.

Call Extensions

The top ad is a regular ad with a call extension. If someone clicks on the headline they’ll go to a landing page. If they click the blue location extension (reads “Coral Gables,FL: Mr. Rooter Plumbing”) they’ll be taken to a Google Maps listing for the advertiser. And if they click the Call button it will pre-populate the dialer of their phone.

So there are three possible outcomes of a click here.

Call-Only Ads

For the bottom ad, any click on the ad will pre-populate the dialer. That’s the simplicity of a call-only ad. The person won’t ever see or visit your website. It’s a phone call or nothing.

Which One To Choose? Call-Only Vs. Call Extensions

This is where question #4 is vital. If you feel like people need more explanation or “selling” before they’ll call you and your website is set up to accomplish that for mobile users, then you’ll likely want to go with a call extension. Let people who want to call now make a call. Let people who need more reassurance to peruse the website and click a call button on the landing page.

However, our example advertiser doesn’t feel very confident in their mobile website experience. The owner of the business also feels that their service is fairly commoditized so people just want to call and schedule the appointment (or they’re in an emergency situation where time is of the essence, like a broken heater in winter).

In this situation, we’ll instead go for call-only ads to our mobile users. This will connect them to our company as quickly as possible and our phone reps will close the sale.

How Call-Only Ads Impact Other Campaigns

Call-only ads are eligible only for call-enabled devices (basically, smartphones and phablets). To cover your desktop/laptop/tablet users, you’ll need another campaign. With that campaign set your mobile bid modifier to -100% (since those people are being served with call-only ads) and use a call extension. These people will have the opportunity to call the number displayed on your website or fill out your appointment scheduling form.

Don’t forget that you’ll likely want separate call tracking numbers for your call-only ads and your call extensions since the budgets are controlled separately and you’ll want reporting/tracking as granular as your bidding.

Have questions about when to use Call-Only vs. Call Extensions? We’d love to hear your questions or experiences in the comments!