Saturday, December 7, 2013

How to Set Up Phone Ad Extensions & Protect Yourself From Robo-Dialers

How to Set Up Phone Number Ad Extensions on Adwords & Benefits for Businesses

Pictured: Not how robocalls work.

First, why people use call extensions and Google's sales pitch:

Why you'd use it

  • Make it easy for mobile users to call you when they're on the go.
  • Easily add your phone number to ads across an ad group or an entire campaign.
  • Schedule call extensions to show when your business is ready to take calls.
  • Understand the effectiveness of your ads by counting the calls that lead to conversions. Learn more about call conversions.
  • Get a higher clickthrough rate. AdWords advertisers have typically seen a 6-8% average increase in clickthrough rate after adding call extensions.

Watch this video from Google on how to set one up:

Now, these extensions are wonderful for many businesses to get highly relevant hits. A very specific example: a restaurant sets up a phone extension on a ad targeted by the following

  1. Within a 5 mile radius of their location
  2. Mobile devices 
  3. Scheduled between 10AM to 2PM & 5PM to 9PM

Now, all people in a walking distance looking for that style of restaurant on a whim during lunch and dinner hours are given a heads up by Adwords that this business might be the right pick for them, and they can just tap the number shown on the ad to set up a reservation with ease. A highly targeted campaign that will only use up the advertising budget to a likely potential customer, so you can see the obvious advantages to using these extensions.

Whether you are a restaurant or a lawyer's office, having the local business information and phone number listed adds both transparency and something to act upon, so an extension might be a good way to supplement your existing Adwords PPC strategy.

How to Protect your Adwords budget from Robodialers 

Unfortunately, there are plenty of unscrupulous uses of search engines, and one of them is to have a computer program scrape search results for phone numbers and dial them. If your ad is showing for a particular keyword the program is targeting, the robodialer may click through and call your number to send marketing information or check who is on the other end. This action will count as a click in Adwords, and may start draining your advertising budget.

These two tips are not foolproof nor are they effortless, but may be necessary to protect your advertising investment from worthless clickthroughs from annoying telemarketers.

  1. Record & Report to Google

    If you are recording the calls (many of my clients do through a call tracking software), provide the recordings as evidence and report the invalid clicks.
    Explanation of Invalid Clicks
    Google's protection against invalid clicks
  2. Get on the Do Not Call Registry and Private Do Not Call Lists

    This step will just make it less likely that a worthless click will go through:

    The National DNC list:

    The National Do Not Call list prevents companies that do not have a business relationship with you from calling you. This isn't foolproof, so when a company calls you, you should get into their company's do not call list as well.

  3. Some additional details about the Do Not Call Registry and the TCPA:

    If you are on the National DNC list You can still get telemarketing calls! If you have a business-client relationship (say a Bank of X checking account) Bank of X can call you about products and services. You can also still receive political and non-profit calls.

    So when you get a telemarketing call on behalf of a company and asked to be put on their do-no-call list (a method that only works for respectible call centers), you'll be put on that client's do-not-call list. This means that you won't get any calls on any offers from that client. However, since most call centers have anywhere from 5-20 different clients at once, you're most likely still in the system for at least one of those other lists.

    A better way to deal with that is to speak to a supervisor, ask them what call center they're calling from, and request to be put on the call center's do not call list. This disables the call center from calling you.

    According to TCPA (telephone consumer protection act.), telemarketers cannot:

    Call before 8am or after 9pm
    Call your cell phone
    Hide who they are or who they're calling on behalf of
    Call you if you're on the national do not call list call with a pre-recorded message (unless within the first 4 seconds of a call, the rep must reveal who they are, where they're calling from, and who they're calling on behalf of.)

    If a telemarketer breaks any of these rules, you can sue them then add the $500 fine to your Adwords budget :)

I hope this article helps, and despite the one potential drawback of encouraging robodialing, phone ad extensions are still incredibly useful to a complete PPC strategy, and as shown above, the issue can be dealt with.

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