Tips on Google Ads Search Campaigns using Call-Only Ads 2024

Have you done local services ads? Call only ads have never been as successful at generating calls for my service companies compared to LSAs and regular search campaigns with call extensions / calls from the site.

Google ads not providing the results you hoped for? Maybe your strategy is wrong or has flaws.

Google call-only ads are great when it comes to direct client acquisition. What I would do is create a strategy between the warm and cold audience.

Search Campaign – High Intent Based Keywords – Call-only ads with a hook – and competitor-based structure.

I know you could be facing issues like irrelevant calls, Insurance, and a guy asking for donations or jobs. But it all can be corrected with a strong negative keywords list. Instead of focusing on multiple platforms only one platform would yield great results for your client.

In this article, you will learn what are the best ways to use call-only ads in your search ad campaigns.

What Are Call-Only Ads?

Call-only ads are a special kind of search ad that shows your phone number and a call button on mobile devices. They don’t link to a webpage. These ads aim to get phone calls from customers who want to talk to a business.

With more than 50% of searches coming from Mobile devices, offering an ad format which dials a call to an advertiser offers a super personal approach to serving and interacting with customers and clients.

If you offer services, consultations, bookings, or high-value products that need more interaction, call-only ads can boost your e-commerce strategy.

All businesses have a common goal in mind, generate more leads and acquire new customers on a constant basis.  When it comes to online paid advertising, it sometimes becomes difficult to understand the true nature of return on your advertising costs. 

Google has come out with an interesting and somewhat needed new campaign that will allow customers to not only call companies directly but receive faster responses and lead times.  This means, especially when it comes to the service industry, customers can spend less time searching and more time focusing on other aspects of their lives.  

What Is The Difference Between Search & Call-Only Ads?

While Call-only ads share the Google Search platform with other ad formats, they offer a distinct user experience.

This unique approach sets them apart, providing a direct and immediate connection for both users and businesses.

In the usual online journey, a potential customer lands on a landing page after clicking an ad. This page provides additional information to help them make a decision.

While effective for prospects needing more details, some just seek a solution and prefer a quick call.

Call-only ads cater to this by directly displaying a phone number for immediate contact, bypassing the landing page altogether.

This streamlines the process for those ready to connect and seek answers directly.

Who Should Use Call-only Ads?

When immediate solutions are needed, call-only ads shine. Imagine a frantic search for “leaky roof repair” on your phone – wouldn’t you want to connect instantly?

For businesses offering services like emergency plumbing, locksmith, leak repair, HVAC, or even restaurants and medical professionals, call-only ads are a goldmine.

Customers with urgent needs, often researching on their phones, are primed to take action.

These ads remove the click-through step, offering a direct phone connection for immediate assistance.

Whether it’s a leaky roof, a dental emergency, or a legal matter, call-only ads connect customers with solutions instantly.

Call-Only Ad Performance

Utilising Call-only ads in conjunction with standard campaigns has been a successful strategy for us.

While some calls may not be qualified, especially if the user hasn’t yet seen the offer, proper targeting can still yield excellent results.

This approach allows us to reach potential customers who are ready to convert through a phone call, complementing our existing campaigns and driving valuable leads.

Example 1: Dentist

In our initial endeavours, a dentist’s Call-only campaign was successfully deployed within the first week.

More Conversions, Less Spend: Achieve Over 50% Savings on Cost Per Conversion!

Example 2: Lawyer

For our second case, we leveraged a dual-pronged approach to drive results for a personal injury lawyer. We commenced their campaign with a targeted Search campaign, capturing potential clients actively searching for legal assistance.

To further amplify reach and engagement, we strategically layered a Call-only campaign, fostering direct phone inquiries.

This combined strategy proved instrumental in navigating the lawyer industry’s notoriously high CPCs, dramatically boosting conversion rates and ensuring the firm’s phones never stopped ringing.

Here, the Cost Per Conversion is significantly lower, achieving cost savings of over 70%!

As demonstrated above, a Call-only campaign can be highly effective in generating leads while reducing costs, provided it’s implemented correctly. Consider testing a Call-only campaign if you’re looking to improve your marketing results!

Benefits Of Call-Only Ads

While call-only ads have undoubtedly proven their effectiveness, it’s worth delving deeper to understand why they’re the perfect fit for your business.

  1. Direct engagement: Cut through the noise and connect with potential customers seeking immediate action. These ads remove the decision fatigue of clicking through to a website, leading to more qualified leads and potential sales.
  2. Higher conversion rates: Studies show call-only ads boost significantly higher conversion rates compared to traditional text ads. This direct connection with motivated users translates to tangible results for your business.
  3. Mobile-optimised: In today’s mobile-first world, call-only ads seamlessly integrate with user behaviour. They appear exclusively on devices capable of making calls, ensuring your message reaches the right audience at the right time.
  4. Local targeting: Reach potential customers within your immediate vicinity who are actively searching for your services. Whether you’re a local plumber, locksmith, or restaurant, call-only ads allow you to target these high-intent users with laser focus.
  5. Efficient lead generation: Eliminate the need for complex landing pages and focus on what truly matters – direct conversations with potential customers. This streamlined approach saves you valuable time and resources while generating valuable leads.

Call only ads need very good copy to work well – try to incorporate testimonials, years of experience and strong words that catch attention like “Same day services”

Sometimes a simple text ad can work better but you need a tailored LP that matches the user intent with only click-to-call as cta. I have also noticed that local numbers and location extensions are very effective for generating more calls. Hope that helps!

Get Leads That Want To Buy Now

Looking to drive immediate conversions and boost sales? Look no further than Call-only ads.

Despite the rise of digital interactions, a staggering 65% of consumers still prefer making phone calls, especially for initial inquiries and purchases. Leveraging this preference with Call-only ads can be a game-changer.

We’ve seen firsthand how these campaigns deliver qualified leads ready to convert immediately, making them a powerful tool for businesses that offer over-the-phone consultations or close deals swiftly. So, if you’re looking to connect directly with potential customers and close deals fast, Call-only ads are worth exploring.

Reduce Costs

Before diving into your next campaign, consider this: calculate the reach and impact of your monthly ad spend.

Will it generate a positive return on investment (ROI)? How many phone calls can you expect?

The results above demonstrate the power of call-only ads, potentially driving significant call volume and boosting your ROI.

Less Setup Time

One of the biggest advantages of call-only ads is their rapid setup process. Within days, you can have your campaign up and running, driving new leads and opportunities for your business.

This streamlined approach eliminates the need for a dedicated landing page, complex Google Tag Manager tracking setups, and exhaustive keyword research. All you need is a compelling ad copy that captures attention and drives calls.

With the fundamental framework of call-only campaigns established, let’s delve into best practices for optimising your results.

Best Practices For Call-Only Ads

To optimise call-only ad performance, ensure you consider these key factors during setup:

Keep Keywords In Tight Ad Groups

Keywords are the cornerstone of any successful call-only campaign. We recommend using no more than 10 highly relevant keywords per ad group to ensure your targeting is laser-focused.

When it comes to call-only ads, picking the perfect keywords is like finding the right number at the first try. You want to attract folks who are ready to talk, not just browse. Ditch the broad, generic stuff and zero in on keywords that show high interest, like “buy,” “book,” or “call now.” Need local customers? Add “near me” to the mix.

Steering clear of words like “info” or “reviews” helps avoid wrong numbers and keeps your line buzzing with qualified callers. Simple, right?

In contrast, Ad Group #2 targets individuals specifically searching for “Family Dentist.” Our ad copy here will be tailored to resonate with this audience, addressing the needs and concerns they hold as parents seeking dental care for their families.

We aim to paint a picture of the ideal family dental experience, highlighting the aspects that matter most to parents.

While message match allows us to identify broad search queries like “dentist,” it doesn’t reveal specific intent, like seeking a “Family Dentist.”Therefore, meticulously organised and tightly themed ad groups are crucial for success.

This organisation not only elevates CTR and lowers CPC but also boosts conversion rates, regardless of the campaign type, be it Call-only or Search.

Select The Right Keyword Match Types

One question I frequently receive regards the optimal keyword match types for Call-only ads. Our experience shows that Exact and Phrase match keywords offer superior lead quality for such campaigns.

Exact match keywords trigger your ad display only when the exact phrase you’re bidding on is searched. For example, if your keyword is “[dentist near me]”, your ads appear only when a user types that specific phrase.

Phrase match keywords operate similarly, with the added flexibility of showing your ad for searches that include your keyword phrase but may have additional words before or after. This allows for broader reach while still ensuring relevant traffic.

While the presence of specific phrases triggers our ads, excluding irrelevant searches through a solid negative keyword list is crucial for optimised spending.

Every client campaign starts with a comprehensive negative keyword list, meticulously crafted to ensure our ads reach the right audience.

Ad Copy

Your ad copy is like a first date for users. You only have two lines to make a good impression! Keep it clear, catchy, and to the point. Share your unique value, what makes you special, and tell them exactly what to do next.

Use words that grab attention: “limited time”, “free”, “guaranteed”, “award-winning”. Don’t forget your name and location, it helps build trust and makes you memorable.

 These headlines emphasise urgency and clearly communicate the benefit of calling right away. Imagine:

  • Need an instant quote? Call now!
  • Speak to a team member directly. Get help instantly.
  • HVAC emergency? Get a pro to your door within an hour.
  • Free over-the-phone case evaluation. Know your options today.
  • Book your appointment in just 2 minutes. Don’t wait!
  • Get an insurance quote in minutes. Start saving now!
  • Act fast! This special offer won’t last long.

Each headline captures the user’s need and drives them to take the next step – connecting with you through a simple phone call. It’s a win-win for both parties: you get immediate leads, and users get the help they need right away.

Device Bid Adjustments

One crucial best practice for robust Call-only campaigns is implementing strategic device bid adjustments.

With mobile accounting for over 60% of Google’s traffic in 2019, reaching potential customers on their smartphones is paramount.

For Call-only campaigns, seamless phone call initiation is essential. By clicking a button, users should be connected immediately.

We dedicate our entire budget to mobile devices by significantly lowering our bids for desktops and tablets.

This ensures potential customers can call us with no barriers, enabling immediate contact and boosting campaign effectiveness.

Use Extensions To Enhance Your Ads

Think of extensions as extra goodies for your call-only ads, making them more helpful and eye-catching. Want to make things easy for folks on the move?

Add location extensions showing your address, map, or how close you are. Craving some extra oomph? Callout extensions let you highlight your best features, like free shipping or a guarantee. Confused customers?

Structured snippet extensions lay out your categories, products, or services like a handy list. All these extensions work together to make your call-only ads work harder and get more calls ringing in!

Even better, reach them immediately! No need to wait, just pick up the phone and connect directly.

Ad Schedule

Before launching your campaign, take a moment to set your ad schedule based on when you or a team member can answer the phone.

This crucial step ensures you’re not wasting ad spend on calls directed to voicemail.

By strategically timing your ads around your availability, you maximise potential conversions and capture leads when they’re most receptive.

In cases where phone response is available 24/7, you’ll enjoy the added advantage of seizing prime opportunities while other advertisers are offline. This translates to increased visibility and potentially lower call costs.

Track And Measure Your Performance

Track your call-only ads to make them work harder for your e-commerce goals. Google Ads helps you see how many calls you get, how long they last, and which keywords and ads bring them in.

Google Analytics shows how your ads impact website traffic, conversions, and sales. Use this data to find what works best, then adjust your bids, budgets, keywords, and ad copy for maximum call-only success!

Test And Experiment With Different Options

Play with different ad options using Google Ads’ “ad variations” feature. Try different headlines, descriptions, or extensions and see which ones get more taps.

And it doesn’t stop there! Google Ads’ “draft and experiment” feature lets you test different campaign settings like bids, targeting, or scheduling. See what tweaks make your ads sing louder and apply the winning combos to your whole campaign.

The more you test, the more you learn, and the more calls you’ll hear!

Segment And Target Your Audience

Call-only ads aren’t just about getting clicks – they’re about getting the right clicks, the ones that turn into valuable phone calls. That’s where audience targeting comes in, letting you laser-focus your ads on the people most likely to pick up the phone.

Imagine this: a potential customer in your city is searching for your exact service on their smartphone during lunch break. Your call-only ad appears, perfectly tailored to their location, device, and even their likely schedule. With one tap, they’re connected directly to you, ready to hear about your offer.


We would love to see some statistics on what percentage of companies Google considers this feature to be applicable to – we would hazard a guess that it would be a minority. 

Either way it is a step forward for Google in further developing their products and tailoring them to specific needs. More importantly it further demonstrates the fact that mobile search and mobile web usage is not going to wait around for anyone.

It is no longer a case of making sure that you are mobile ready, if you are not mobile ready right now you are now playing catch up.

Jugnu Nagar
Author: Jugnu Nagar

SEO Specialist

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