Marketer’s Guide to Google Call-Only Campaigns (+ Tips on How to Optimise Your Ads)

Katie Holmes
9th October 2020

Are phone calls more profitable than visits to your website? If you’re nodding your head, then make sure you stick around for tips on how to set up and get more value from Google call-only campaigns.

Not all businesses need to drive leads to their websites.

Did you know that 69% of searchers that are mobile call a business straight from Google search?

Impressive, right?

For many businesses, phone calls are often much more profitable than visits to a website.

Google’s call-only campaigns offer an effective way to target mobile customers and provide your audience with a way to engage with your business in one easy step.

So, for this article, we’ll discuss:

Without further ado, let’s get stuck in.

Editor’s Note: Ever noticed that the data in your Google Ad account doesn’t match what you see in Google Analytics? We reveal the most common reasons that lead to data inconsistencies between Google Ads and Analytics, plus provide techniques to help improve the quality of your reporting. Download your guide here.


Wait, what are Google Call-Only Campaigns?

Unlike traditional ads where clicks direct users to a specific landing page, call-only campaigns are displayed to users on mobile devices, and are used by businesses to encourage potential customers to pick up the phone.

Call-only campaigns are extremely valuable if your main objective is to generate leads, reservations, or other activities where your primary function is to drive telephone conversations.

Many businesses have an easier time converting leads into revenue over the phone, and call-only campaigns allow them to achieve this.


Setting up a Google Call-Only Campaigns

Please Note: There are a few conditions you need to be aware of before setting up your Google call-only ads. You can find more information about this here.

First, we’re going to show you how to set up a Google call only campaign. Then, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to create call only ads.

Here’s how to get started with Google only campaigns:

Step 1: Sign into your Google Ads account.

Step 2: Click “Campaigns” in the page menu on the left.

Step 3: Click the plus button “+”, then select “New Campaign”.

Step 4: Now it’s time to choose your Goal. Either choose from “Sales” or “Leads”. You can create your campaign without a goal by selecting “Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance”.

Step 5: Next, you’ll need to select your “Campaign Type”. Campaign types determine where customers see your ads. For call to only campaigns, you will need to click on “Search”.

Step 6: You’ll be asked how you’d like to reach your goal. Check the box next to “Phone Calls” and input your destination phone number.

Step 7: Select “Continue”.

Step 8: Give your campaign name. Make sure it’s easy to remember.

Step 9: Expand more settings to assign you start and end date and ad schedule.

Step 10: Set up your audiences and which countries and/or regions you want to target.

Step 11: Define how much you want to spend and how you want to spend it.

Step 12: Click “Save” and “Continue”.


Creating a call-only ad in Google Ads

Now that you’ve built your campaign, it’s time to create your new ad.

Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Navigate to “Ads & Extensions”.

Step 2: Click “Ads”.

Step 3: Select the “+” button.

Step 4: Select “Call ad”.

Step 5: Click Select an ad group to save your ad and choose which ad group you want.

If you’ve followed these steps correctly, then you’re ready to set your ads live!


Get more out of your Google call-only campaigns

For this section, we’re going to take a look at some proven techniques that you can use to optimise your call only ads which will help your campaigns scale profitably.

Let’s jump in!


Track calls and measure your quality

While Google’s Forwarding Numbers can be useful in gaining some insight into the performance of your Google Ads campaigns, it fails to provide some of the vital metrics that all data-driven marketers need to successfully optimise their marketing strategies for better results.

The biggest downfall is that Google Forwarding numbers lack the technology to integrate with CRM systems such as Salesforce.

Without this, you have no insight into which ads, keywords and campaigns are driving the most offline sales for your business.

Using a tool like Ruler Analytics, you can match call conversions stored in your CRM with PPC activity. As a result, you receive valuable information on the performance of your campaigns which allows you to determine the quality of your leads, and more importantly, measure the ROI of your advertising efforts.

Here’s how it works:

Ruler Analytics call tracking works using Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) technology.

This generates a unique telephone number for each visitor to your website, which is what the caller sees and dials instead of the main number of your business.

Calls still come through to your business.

However, by tracking this unique phone number, Ruler provides you with vital information such as which of your marketing campaigns the caller saw, which keywords were used in an organic search, and which pages of your website they looked at before they made the call.

That’s not all.

Ruler Analytics also offers multi-touch marketing attribution that tracks each anonymous visitor individually, and identifies how that user found your site and captures any subsequent visits to, or interactions with, other marketing channels and campaigns.

When a visitor provides information about themselves, whether they fill out a form, make a telephone call, subscribe to your newsletter, or request a demo, Ruler will update the data on that user to create a journey map for what is now known as a lead.

Once Ruler matches the real user’s conversion details with their marketing touchpoints, that data is then passed onto the CRM.

When that lead converts into a customer in your CRM – which may be tomorrow or next year – Ruler Analytics will then pass this revenue data to your Google Ads account, allowing you to track real revenue against call conversions throughout your Google Ads reporting suite.

We have an article on how to add monetary values in Google Ads that goes into this process in more detail.

Alternatively, download our closed-loop eBook to learn more on how to measure the effectiveness of your marketing initiative by connecting PPC leads with CRM revenue.


Target bottom of the funnel keywords

Google call-only ads don’t provide you with the option to direct people to your website.

If your primary objective is to drive leads, then bottom of the funnel keywords (or purchase intent keywords) are

With that said, the keywords you choose must have high intent and target an audience who are more likely to take immediate action with any consideration.


Also, focus your efforts on longtail keywords

More often than not, generalized keywords are extremely competitive – and expensive.

That’s because EVERY marketer is going after the same keyword, mainly because they boast an attractive search volume.

But high-volume keywords don’t always guarantee you quality leads.

Typically, the money lies within longtail keywords.

What you’ll find with general keywords is that you drive a lot of irrelevant clicks that lead to low conversion rates.

Whereas specific, longtail searches tend to generate more sales, and typically have a lower cost per click.

So, as well as targeting high-intent keywords, stay mindful of longtail keywords. Yes, they generally have lower search volume but can lead to a higher ROI.


Test different locations and numbers

If you target a variety of locations, be sure to use a local phone number for each one.

Your audience will try and seek out familiarity during their search, and this is a simple, yet effective technique to build trust and make your ads stand out.

Ruler Analytics provides local, toll-free, and premium numbers, allowing you to generate the type of phone number that is most suitable for your purpose. You can find out more about that here.


Schedule your ads to show during business hours only

Ad scheduling lets you choose certain hours, or days of the week, which you would like your ads to show.

Let’s say you own a marketing agency, and you operate within the hours 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

Ideally, you would display your ads within these hours to ensure that a member of the team is there to answer the phone whenever a user clicks an ad to enquire about your services.

Setting up ad schedules are simple, and you can get started by following the steps below:

Step 1: Sign in to your Google Ads account and click “Ad Schedule”.

Step 2: Click the pencil icon, and select a campaign to create an ad schedule.

Step 3: Select the days and times you want your ad to display. Keep in mind that the ad schedule is based on your account’s time zone.

Step 4: Click Save. You’ll see your changes reflected on the Ad schedule page.


Set your bids high

In most cases, calls are worth more than clicks.

So, with that said, it’s better to jumpstart your campaign by bidding higher than the current top position.

Just for a few weeks.

While it’s more expensive at first, this method will allow you to drive a ton of calls which will help improve quality score, but more importantly, you’ll gain insight into which areas of your PPC campaign are most valuable to you.

Eventually, you can decrease your bids. If handled correctly, your costs will drop, but your performance metrics will continue to thrive.

While we’re on the topic on bidding, we recently teamed up with Odolena Kostova, Account Manager at Google Ads, to produce a guide on smart bidding.

We recommend you give that a read, as it can help improve your conversion rates and reduce your cost per lead.


Final Thoughts

To get the most out of your call-only campaigns, you need better visibility into the full customer journey across all of your touchpoints.

Using a tool like Ruler Analytics, you can match revenue to leads, provide proof of your most successful Google call-only campaigns, and more importantly, demonstrate your impact on revenue growth.

Want to learn more about the many ways in which Ruler Analytics can benefit your call-only campaigns? Book a demo with one of our experts, or download our eBook to discover the possibilities of closed-loop marketing attribution.

Book a demo Ruler Analytics