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Pay-per-call for all numbers in Google Adwords

Google is to go one step further with its pay-per-call facility. Until now, if Adwords advertisers included a telephone number in their Google adverts, it had to be ‘clickable’ which meant setting up what’s known as ‘call extensions’ in their Adwords account.

From last Friday Google started rolling out the automation of that facility - in other words, any phone number appearing in a Google Adwords ad will be clickable. Don’t get too excited if you’re a Gloucestershire or even UK advertiser, as it’s on a roll out.

If you’re wondering how this works in practice, the answer is via mobile phones. Accessing the web via smartphones is where the growth is and this gives Google another way of extracting more cash from advertisers. Er, sorry, it’s another Google innovation to enable advertisers to increase response and hence return on investment.

Putting our world weary cynicism to one side for just a moment, for local businesses this should be a good thing. It makes sense that having found what you want via Google, the next step would be call and reserve a table, book a cinema seat or just to shout at a hapless customer service expert straight out of nappies (that’s ‘diapers’ to our US readers).

So what’s the damage? A click on your phone number will cost the same as a click on your ad and the caller will get charged too.

Definitely worth testing  but make sure you’ve got your website ready for mobile browsing first and that you’ve got call handling people in place for when the ads appear - preferably men in long trousers (pants to you US types) or women of a certain age.

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