Content, personalization, and testing have emerged as important strategies for search marketers who think about the content behind the concept and the words that inspire a click that takes consumers from paid search or product listing ads to landing pages. Click to-call-ads take the consumer from the mobile machine to a live human being.
The mobile-first searcher gives thanks to those developing voice technologies, which makes finding information on a mobile device incredibly easy. That trend, along with an uptick in mobile use by consumers, will increase the use of click to call. Gene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, already sees that increase in Marchex's business. He writes that "early adopters have been focused on testing mobile, and now advertisers are getting down to the nitty gritty. Click to call on mobile has increased mobile conversion and ultimately should increase advertisers' mobile budgets."
At the MediaPost Search Insider Summit, Telmetrics president Bill Dinan mentioned that click-to-call ads increase conversion rates on average by more than 50%. The technology also lengthens the duration of the phone call compared with a consumer going through the process of finding the information on a PC and then making the call from a landline phone or even mobile device.
Some companies rely on the Internet for survival, whether on mobile or desktop devices. OpenTable, which allows patrons to make a reservation online, takes an opposing view, as indicated by Kaizad Gotla, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. analyst, during its Q1 2013 earnings call about the impact of click-to-call technology on its business. The company's CEO Matthew Roberts acknowledges that the mobile phone became a little smarter and more effective with click-to-call technology, but the company believes that just calling -- regardless of whether a consumer clicks or dials a number -- remains an inferior way to make a reservation.
In April, Google began including a clickable "Call" button on high-end mobile devices for ads running on google.com, voice search, Google Mobile App, or Google Maps for Mobile. When a customer clicks the phone number on a mobile device capable of making a phone call, the brand is charged for a standard click on the advertisement. The upgraded call extensions for Enhanced Campaigns measure phone call conversions, similar to Marchex and Telmetrics.
"Happy Girl On Smartphone photo from Shutterstock"