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Become more productive and boost the impact of your marketing efforts with Brad Batesole's weekly marketing tips on everything from social media to digital advertising to techniques and tools. Every week you'll find a new and immediately actionable tip to help you build your community, track engagement, measure analytics, generate brand awareness, or help you accomplish other marketing goals. In addition to sharing from his bank of experience, Brad will answer questions submitted by lynda.com members. Send your question directly to him via email@example.com and you might just see it in a future episode! Tune in every week to keep your marketing efforts fresh.
- Hi, and welcome to another episode of Weekly Marketing Tips. I'm Brad Batesole, and this week, I'd like to talk about creating a call-only advertisement in Google AdWords. This type of ad is useful if you value phone calls over people visiting your website. Or perhaps you haven't found the time or resources to develop a mobile-friendly landing page. These ad types are served to mobile devices, so when the user clicks one, they'll be prompted to immediately dial the phone number than you link to your ad unit.
You'll have the ability to craft targeting just as you would with other pay-per-click advertisements. You can target people in a particular location, and those looking for certain keywords. To show you an example, let's run a search from my mobile device for "plumber". I'm already on Google, so I'll search for "plumber". Here, we can see two ads at the top of the screen with the call icon on the right, and the phone number at the top. If I select one, it'll prompt me to dial the number immediately. On an iPhone, I'll have the option to choose Call or Cancel.
In today's digital landscape, consumers are increasingly looking for products and services with their mobile devices. According to Google, 70 percent of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. If you have a business that benefits from a phone call, this is an excellent opportunity. I should point out, if you do create a call-only ad unit, be sure to run it only during business hours. And make sure you have someone available to answer the phone. If I call the first plumber on this list and they don't answer the phone, I'm likely to move on to the next plumber.
Think of it this way. If you click an advertisement on your computer and it loads a blank page, what will you do? You'll move on. It's the same idea with call advertising. If nobody answers the phone, you're wasting money. So be sure to set up the necessary resources prior to launching your ads. These ad units aren't new, this feature has been possible with AdWords extensions, but Google just recently made a change to their interface making it much easier for beginners to take advantage of these ads.
Let's take a quick look at how to get your first call-only ad unit set up. I'm going to switch back over to the computer to walk you through the process. I'm already logged in to my AdWords account, and on my dashboard. If you don't have an AdWords account, you can get started at adwords.google.com. We'll start by clicking the Add New Campaign button here towards the upper left-hand corner of the screen. From the drop-down, choose Search Network Only. It's on this page that we'll set our campaign settings, and then after that, we'll go ahead and create our ad group and our ad unit.
First things first, let's set the type to Call Only, and you'll see that here on the right-hand side, towards the bottom of this list. I'll choose the radio option next to Call Only. Then we'll give this campaign a name. Pick something descriptive that you'll remember, especially when you go back and look at reportings. I'm going to call it "Local Targets Plumber", as if we were setting this up for a plumber. I'm going to scroll down the page, and the next thing you'll see is Networks. Google pre-selects the Google Search Network, which you have to have.
Then, they've also opted for including "search partners". If you're curious, "search partners" is a group of search-related websites including Google Search, and other Google sites, like Shopping and Maps. It also includes hundreds of search sites that partner with Google to show ads. I recommend leaving this checked. Next, we can see the devices, and Google is only going to allow these ads to run on devices that can make calls. No settings to be changed there. Next, we need to set our location targeting.
Here, it's defaulted to the United States and Canada, but if you're a local business, you'll want to be much more granular than that. You can choose in the dialog towards the bottom and type in a city, a postcode, or a country. Here, I'm going to type "Santa Barbara". From the list, I'll choose the first option for the city. You'll notice that they also show the reach. In this case, there's also Santa Barbara County, with a much larger reach. Pick what makes sense for your business. If you service a small location or a wide area, pick targets that make sense for that.
You can also look in the advanced section, here, under Location Options. I'm not going to get into these, but review them on your own, they're fairly self-explanatory. I'll minimize that, and we'll continue scrolling down. You have the option to edit your language, and then set up your bid strategy. Since every click goes towards a phone call, there's not a bid strategy based around your call goals. If you close a lot of phone leads, you have the opportunity to bid strong. I'm not going to talk too much about bidding, but feel free to watch Online Marketing Fundamentals, or Google AdWords Essential Training for more details on how to configure this.
I'll go ahead and set a max bid limit of five dollars, and a daily budget of 50 dollars. I'll continue scrolling down. The next section is very important, this is where you'll pick your start-end date, but most importantly, your ad schedule. Here is where you'll add your business hours. If our office was open Monday from 8 AM to 5 PM, we could select that from the drop-downs here, and we could do so for all of the other dates. If you wanted to remove a particular day, simply choose the X on the right-hand side of the screen to delete those options.
From here, I'll choose "Save and Continue". Next, we need to set our ad group, and the ad group is going to contain one or more ads, along with all of the keywords that you're looking to target. I'll leave this as Ad Group #1, but you can pick a better ad group name depending on how many you're going to create. Next, you need to create your actual advertisement. Here, you can include some descriptive lines of copy, the display URL, and the phone number that's going to be dialed.
You'll want to use a good call to action, such as "Speak to a plumber today." Or, "Call to make an appointment." You want to let people know that they can easily reach your business without needing to visit your site. As I scroll down, one thing that's important is how Google reports conversions. If you leave this option checked, Google's going to count every phone call that happens as a conversion. If you're just starting out, I recommend leaving that as-is. As I scroll down the page, you can then enter your keywords. You'll have the option to enter one keyword per line, and if you're looking to get more specific or understand some better ways to create keyword matches, take a look at AdWords Essential Training.
But here, in this case, I could enter "Plumber", "Plumber Santa Barbara", and so on and so forth. Once you're done, you'll scroll to the bottom and choose Save Ad Group. From there, Google will ask you a few more questions, and you'll be on your way. Call ads are a great resource if you generate a lot of business over the phone. Give it a test run. Thanks for checking in this week. As always, I'd love to hear from you, so if you have a question you'd like to see answered, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, reach me on Twitter @bradbatesole.
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