Using strategies and metrics such as PPC and CTR that are meant to drive clicks instead of calls can hurt your ad performance. Columnist Wesley Young takes a look at targeted strategies that optimize ads to drive mobile phone calls.
Despite the shift of local search from desktop to mobile, SMBs are still using desktop strategies for mobile marketing.
While mobile ad spending is expected to increase by 50 percent, desktop advertising budgets driven by PPM, PPC and CTR are still often used to plan and measure mobile ad success. While those metrics are not entirely obsolete, mobile search should be analyzed with methods that take advantage of its strengths.
One of those mobile metrics is calls. Click-to-call and call extensions make generating calls to SMBs a seamless one-touch action driven by mobile ads — unlike the much more deliberate and separate function of moving from desktop screen to dialing a phone number.
As a result, analysts expect a sizable boost in call volumes to local businesses. Mobile search in particular will eclipse other sources and drive 65 billion calls to businesses by 2016, a volume that will grow at a 43 percent compound annual growth rate.
The value of calls as leads is no surprise. Calls indicate strong interest and a live connection to a customer or potential sale. The immediacy of the response, answering the customer’s precise needs and the ability to engage in a two-way dialogue all help heighten conversion rates of phone call leads.
And yet, even though the technology exists to drive more calls, SMBs often use desktop measurements such as click-through rates and design ads that boost conversions like completing web forms.
Not only can that strategy lead to poor feedback on the effectiveness of those ads, but it can actually detract from critical mobile conversions such as calls.
So what are some good ways to take advantage of the correlation between mobile search ads and call leads? Two of LSA’s members, DialogTech and Telmetrics, recently released a playbook and e-book respectively to help SMBs use local search to get that phone ringing. Following are six strategies from those guides for using paid search to drive calls.
1. Use Call Extensions For The Quickest And Most Direct Connection To Your Business
2. Let The Locals Know You’re Local, Too
3. Respond Directly To “Near Me” Searches
4. Provide Only One Response Option: Call The Business
5. Know Where Your Calls Are Coming From
6. Measure Rich Data Unique To Calls
ConclusionMobile marketing strategies are too often copied and pasted from past PC campaigns. Yet even mobile campaigns may have different goals that are best optimized for narrower reach or lead type. Mobile or PC strategies meant to drive clicks can result in poor performance when calls are the desired or preferable lead type.
Both the volume and quality of leads can be boosted by customizing marketing and search advertising to optimize them for calls. A common mistake is using the same keywords, copy, targeting and bids for advertising across all media and campaigns. Also, marketing is often not optimized due to a failure to track metrics relevant to the campaign; phone calls have unique analytics that can help improve efficiency and ROI for campaigns meant to get customers calling.
Develop a plan specifically to generate phone calls from mobile devices, and perhaps your new problem will be that your phone won’t stop ringing.