Drive more calls to your business: Google Best Practices

Determine if driving calls is your most valuable goal

This advanced guide to call ads will cover all of the ways to drive phone calls to your business and optimize them for success.

Optimizing call-only ads and call extensions

Some people want to talk to a real person when they’re looking for information. In fact, mobile call volume to businesses continues to surge and is predicted to reach 169 billion calls by 2020, a 35% increase from 2017.1 That’s why online advertising is about more than just your website, especially with on-the-go consumers. A customer’s interaction with you can be carried out across different channels: online, in your store or over the phone. For many advertisers, calls are the most important channel to use when connecting with customers.

You can use Google Ads to make it easy for your customers to find and call your business. This guide will cover all of the ways to drive phone calls to your business and optimize them for success.

As you get started driving calls, you'll need to decide what your focus is going to be.

Decide if you want to drive clicks and calls alongside one another, or just calls

Answer this question by thinking about the value of calls in relation to the value of clicks. On average, calls convert at a rate three times higher than web clicks2. If a call’s relative value is high enough, you may choose to focus on driving calls exclusively. If you’re still working to develop your mobile web experience, call-only campaigns could be more effective than your landing pages.


If you aren’t sure about the value of calls to you and already have a mobile website in place, start with call extensions. If you find out that the value of call is significantly higher than a click, consider experimenting with call-only ads and measure the effects of such a change.

Call-only ads do exactly what their name suggests: give people the simple option to call your business. The campaign setup for call-only ads is quick and straightforward.

Do it now: Create a new call-only campaign

Alternately, call extensions also provide users with the ability to click on your headline (or other ad extensions) to navigate to your website.

Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself as you pick the right option for your business:

  • Can people transact on your mobile site easily?
  • Do you offer anything with a high sense of urgency (or complexity) where users will benefit from getting answers directly from another person as soon as possible?
  • Are there significant differences in average order value between a click and a call, including the value of upselling over the phone?
  • How about conversion rates? If you get someone on the phone how much more likely are they to become a customer?
  • How much does it cost you to answer a phone call compared to handling a conversion on your site?


While calls often convert at greater rates and drive higher average order values than clicks, this doesn’t have to be an either-or setup for your account. Call-only ads are set up at the campaign level, so you can experiment switching from call extensions to call-only ads for certain campaigns to see what works best.

If you opt for call-only ads, consider setting them up in their own campaigns. Call-only campaigns might require different campaign settings compared to other online campaigns you’re running, whether it be language, budget, and time of day.

You may end up discovering that you only want calls for certain campaigns, but that you want to drive clicks as well for others. Take what you already know about your business as a starting point, then keep an open mind as you start generating calls. You’ll have the flexibility to change course if you learn anything new.


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1BIA/Kelsey, Call Commerce: A $1 Trillion Economic Engine
2Google internal data, 2016

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