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Call Only PPC Optimization II


Learn how adding more Call Only PPC ads can increase your conversion rate and reduce the cost of phone calls. With careful use of negative keywords, adding call only ads more than doubled our overall PPC conversion rate, and increased the number of calls at much lower cost.

Last time we tested a Call Only Pay Per Click campaign against a conventional “dentist” campaign to see how call only PPC ads improve conversion rates and cost per call. By adding a single call only campaign to a PPC account, the number of calls nearly doubled, and the cost per call dropped by a factor of 3.7.

Due to the success of the call only campaign, with the client’s permission, we expanded the number of call only campaigns and dialed down or paused the conventional PPC ads. In this article we’ll look at the effects of expanding and optimizing call only PPC campaigns on cost and conversion rates.

PPC Overview

Dr. Ken Cirka is a cosmetic dentist based in Philadelphia PA targeting services like porcelain veneers, smile makeovers, and Invisalign. To further optimize his PPC campaign we expanded the number of call only campaigns from 1 to 4 (see Figure 1). Now instead of one “dentist” call only campaign, we have four; dentist, cosmetic dentist, Invisalign, and veneers.

phillydentistry.com ppc overview

Figure 1: Phillydentistry.com PPC Overview

Conventional PPC Campaign Performance

By labeling your conventional and call only campaigns in Google Adwords you can analyze their performance using filters. The conventional PPC campaigns are shown in Figure 2. Note that some of the campaigns shown were paused during the test period. We’ll revisit the campaign again in a month to see about any improvements.

phillydentistry.com conventional ppc campaigns

Figure 2: Phillydentistry.com Conventional PPC Campaigns

The conventional PPC campaigns had an average conversion rate of 5.5% generating 27 calls, for $7939.

Call Only PPC Campaign Performance

Filtering by call only campaigns paints a different story. The average conversion rate of the call only campaigns was 55.9%, generating 957 calls for about $4845 (see Figure 3).

phillydentistry.com call only ppc campaigns

Figure 3: Phillydentistry.com Call Only PPC Campaigns

Conversion Rate and Cost Per Call

The results of expanding our call only campaigns are shown in Figures 4 and 5. The conversion rate of the call only ads is more than 10 times higher than conventional PPC ads (see Figure 4). The cost per call dropped from $294.33 to $5.06, some 58 times cheaper per call.

phillydentistry.com conversion rate and cost per call comparison

Figure 4: Phillydentistry.com Conversion Rate and Cost Per Call Comparison

The number of calls increased dramatically by adding call only ads. Using only conventional PPC ads that drive traffic to a site to generate calls, a spend of $7939 generated 27 calls. Using only Call Only ads a budget of $4845 generated 957 calls. Call only ads generated 35 times more phone calls than conventional PPC while using only 61% of the spend (see Figure 5).

phillydentistry.com calls and cost per call comparison

Figure 5: Phillydentistry.com Calls and Cost Per Call Comparison

Call Only Caveats

One thing to watch out for with call only ads are negative keywords. If you use a broad matched keyphrase like “dentist”, calls may be generated when users search on other dental offices. Be sure to include plenty of negative keywords listing other local businesses that are similar to your target (see Figure 6). We used a combination of broad and exact match phrases at both the ad group and campaign levels.

phillydentistry.com negative keywords

Figure 6: Phillydentistry.com Negative Keywords


Overall adding more call only ads to our PPC campaign boosted the conversion rate from 13.5% to 31.8%. The conversion rate of call only ads was more than 10 times higher than conventional PPC ads. The number of calls generated by call only ads dwarfed conventional PPC ads. This is probably due to the additional number of clicks and manual calling that desktop PPC ads require. The cost of conventional PPC calls was about 58 times more expensive than call only calls. Used properly with plenty of negative keywords, call only ads are a cost-effective way to drive calls to your business.

Further Reading

Case Study: Call Only PPC Ad Optimization
Call only PPC campaigns are a cost-effective way to drive phone calls to your business. In this article we test the effects of a call only campaign on the cost per call for a dental website.
Case Study: PPC Optimization
Learn how to optimize your PPC campaign to boost leads and reduce costs. We explore location targeting with multiple radii, bid adjustments, and dayparting.
The target dental site of Dr. Ken Cirka. Thanks to Dr. Cirka for volunteering to be a test case for this ongoing PPC study.