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The Truth About Google Ads Call-Only Ads

What is a call-only ad?

Some people call these pay-per-call ads, but that’s actually NOT what they are.

A call-only ad is a type of ad that you set up in Google ads. Instead of a normal headline, it’s going to show your phone number. That will be the first main part of the headline. When someone clicks on a call-only ad, it does not take them to a website. It takes them to making a phone call on their phone. So this is a mobile-only ad, and when you click it, the phone number pops up on your phone to make a call.

What is the problem with call-only ads?

Well, when you click it, the phone number pops up on your phone to make a call. That’s the problem. These are not actually pay-per-call ads. Just because the phone number pops up on somebody’s phone, does not mean they are making the call.

These (call-only ads)  are actually still pay-per-click ads. That means you pay whenever someone clicks on the ads. The problem is, for most businesses, most people do not complete the call.

Again, most of the time, when someone clicks the call-only ad, and that phone call option pops up on their phone, they don’t actually complete the call.

So this is what happens if you’re lucky enough to get your ad clicked at all:

Someone is on their phone doing a google search. He sees a result and clicks on that ad. He realizes that it wants him to make a call right now. But he doesn’t know anything about this business, so he cancels out the call, and then he moves on and finds another website that he can explore a little bit.

These call-only ads receive far fewer clicks because a lot of people do realize that by clicking this ad, it’s going to make a call, and they don’t want to do that! People want to research and learn about a business before calling it. So you’re going to get far fewer clicks on a call-only ad than on a regular text ad. And what happens when you get fewer clicks? Google doesn’t like that! Google only gets paid when people click on an ad. So if your ad isn’t getting very many clicks, it’ll be shown less and less. And if you want it to be shown more, you’ll have to pay more per click.

Another thing that I found out by looking at so many call-only ads (when I’ve done account audits) is that most of these calls are coming from wrong numbers. Often, the call is from people searching for a different business. They see a number on the Google results page, they assume that must be the number for the business that they search for, so they call it. So now, you have people calling your business, thinking they were calling someone else, which leads to confusion for whoever is answering your phone. It also leads to confusion for someone who made the call. And really, you’re not going to get any business, you’re not gonna steal customers this way. All you’re going to do is waste money.

So what are the exceptions?

Well, basically there are only a few. Less than 1% of businesses can actually do okay with call-only ads. These would be emergency type businesses, where someone doesn’t really care who is going to be helping them, as long as it happens quickly. Businesses like a locksmith, or emergency roadside assistance, or a junk car removal. These types of businesses, customers mostly assume that one business is identical to the next. There is nothing that is really gonna set one business apart from the other one. They just need someone to answer the phone quickly. These types of businesses can do okay with call-only ads.

The Bottom line:

Call-only ads do not work!

When they first came out, I tested them like crazy! They seemed like the next big thing. But I just could not get them to work.

And now I’ve seen so many accounts of other people trying to get them to work, that I can tell you, they do not work! That’s the truth. You’re not going to have success on call-only ads.

What works is a regular text ad. With a call extension, you can still give people the option to call you if they want to, but that shouldn’t be their only option. The main thing that they would want to do is to click on your ad, go to your website and check it out. So, you need a regular text ad, with a good extension, and a good landing page.

I’m sorry that the call-only ads aren’t the secret you’ve been looking for. But if you do want to generate more calls, for any business, using a proven system that works, then I encourage you to check my Elite Local Ads program.

Here’s the link so you can check that out: