How Effective Are Google Adwords Click to Call Campaigns?

As with most things in digital marketing—we see a significant range in performance. The same is true for click-to-call ads in Adwords. But the really critical component is to be able to lay a click-to-call campaign into a comparative, measurable framework that’s connected to real business results.

CYS is always boiling things down to cost-per-lead for our lead-gen clients. That’s where the rubber meets the road. And while we have absolutely observed the discrepancy between paid-for clicks, and actual calls—in certain cases even with that taken into consideration click-to-call ads still provide relatively affordable leads.

Here’s an example of a winner:

Not the cheapest CPL, but right in line with account averages—and pretty solid considering we’re only measuring conversions for calls +60secs

Keep in mind that you can configure how long a call has to last for it to count as a conversion in your Conversion Actions settings page. We typically set to 60 secs, but I’ve used longer. We also always run our calls through either Call Tracking Metrics or CallRail, and use their filters to develop a 2nd metric for cost-per-long-call (+5mins).

Call length is configurable for conversion tracking in Adwords for both Call extensions and Click-to-Call campaigns

All that being said—I’ve seen Click-to-Call campaigns really lay an egg too. Here are two examples from two other accounts.

This one had a CPL that was 461% over the account average:

+$300 CPL is a big wow for this account--and not in a good way

And this one has been a little tougher to call (notice it’s still active). CPL is 40% above account average, but this campaign is also a lead driver. It’s important to consider overall lead volume loss potential when weighing optimization decisions. Don’t forget to keep the phone ringing for your business or your client while you’re in search of Adwords optimization nirvana.

This one is a little tougher to call. CPL is 40% above account average, but this campaign is also a lead driver. It’s important to consider overall lead volume loss when weighing optimization decisions

So in summary:

  • Click-to-Call campaigns can absolutely drive leads, but their efficacy has to be measured against performance benchmarks within the account
  • Don’t forget to consider and set a call length metric to apply to conversions. We also recommend measuring a 2nd conversion for much longer calls (+5mins)
  • And don’t forget that ad position matters—especially on mobile. In some cases for lower volume search terms we’ve seen click-to-calls ads only get impressions if we’re bidding high enough to average no less than position 2.0