In 2010, paid search marketing forever changed—Google AdWords introduced click-to-call phone numbers on mobile search ads. And while it may not have been ground breaking news at the time, it signaled a significant evolutionary shift to a multichannel, mobile approach to search marketing.
Five years later, paid search marketing has become even more sophisticated, and calls continue to get more attention from marketers adapting to the current state of paid search. Here are three reasons calls are the most important PPC conversion in today’s paid search landscape.
1. Mobile Searches Outnumber Desktop Searches
Experts predict that mobile advertising will reach its tipping point in 2015 with mobile searches outnumbering desktop searches. With mobile search taking over, marketers are pouring more ad dollars to target people on their smartphones. In fact, mobile paid search spend increased 45 percent in 2013, according to Marin Software’s annual report, Mobile Search Advertising Around the Globe 2014.
With the rise of mobile, search marketers can no longer track a customer’s entire purchase journey through digital touches. They never really could, but now with billion of calls pouring in from mobile search, it’s become painfully clear. According to BIA/Kelsey, mobile search will drive more than 70 billion consumer-initiated calls by 2018.
2. Increasing CPCs
According to Kenshoo, 2014’s CPCs increased 7 percent since 2013. Kenshoo also reported that in Q2 of 2014, paid search spend increased 25 percent year-over-year and mobile spend increased 33 percent.
With rising CPCs and an increase in overall paid search spend, marketers have to be smarter about how they spend their marketing dollars. They need to focus more on driving quality conversions and tracking conversions that happen over the phone.
By giving people the option to convert online or over the phone, you have a much better chance of converting a click and a lower the risk of wasting your money. Paid search typically refers shoppers with high-intent so offering the option to call is a natural next step, which is why 70 percent of people have called directly from a mobile search ad. In addition, phone calls typically have higher and faster sales rates, and customers tend to spend more money. Giving the option to call makes your PPC dollars go much further.
3. Google and Bing Prioritize Calls
Both Google AdWords and Bing Ads continue to update their services to cater to the needs of mobile consumers and the marketers who target them. Both platforms have introduced call extensions, and both continue to update their call conversion reporting features. In August of 2014, Google AdWords launched website call conversions, which allows marketers to identify and measure calls made from a website after an ad click.
When the leading search platforms start focusing on call conversions, you know it’s time to get on board.
Paid search isn’t just about ad copy and landing pages anymore. It’s about creating customer connections through the one thing customers have with them 24/7: their phone. Marketing strategies are shifting to account for the prevalence of smartphones, as they should. Once marketers focus more on phone calls and incorporate them into their online marketing efforts, they’ll see their online marketing efforts improve and begin to unlock greater ROIs.