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PPC Optimization: Call Only Ad Extensions


Adding ad extensions to Call Only campaigns can boost click-through and conversion rates.

When working with Google’s Call Only PPC ads, you need every advantage you can get. Although Call Only Ads generally have significantly higher conversion rates, their ad quality scores are generally lower than search ads. Lower ad quality scores are due in part to the limited real estate of Call Only ads versus conventional search ads which have more liberal character limits and ad extensions. There are currently 10 types of ad extensions in Google Adwords (see Figure 1). The good news is that you can use some of these extensions to boost Call Only campaign performance.

PPC Ad Extensions

Figure 1: PPC Ad Extensions

Ad extensions add information to your text ads to make them more useful. There are sitelinks that direct people to different areas of your site, review extensions that list your testimonials, and even message extensions where users can text your office. Google uses the optimal combination (best performing) extensions in your ads that have high enough Ad Rank. The higher your ads rank, the more extensions are used.

Call Only Ad Extensions

Google currently allows three types of ad extensions for Call Only ads, Structured Snippets, Callouts, and Locations. Although fewer of each ad extension are used on mobile’s limited real estate, used properly their presence will boost your ad’s performance.

Structured Snippets

Structured snippets highlight specific aspects of your products and services. Snippets show in your text ad in the form of a header (i.e., “Service Catalog”) listing the values (ex: “Smile Makeovers, Porcelain Veneers, Invisalign…”). On the desktop, Google shows up to two headers at a time, while on mobile and tablet devices only one header is shown. Adwords decides the best header or combination of headers to show based on their optimization algorithm, so it is best to add many headers for Google to choose from. There are currently 13 categories of Structured Snippets that you can add (see Figure 2).

PPC Add Structured Snippets

Figure 2: PPC Add Structured Snippets

Callout Extensions

Callout extensions highlight unique offers or special promotions to your customers (see Figure 3). Anywhere from 2 to 6 callouts show below your ad text in qualifying ads. Phrases like “Free Shipping”, or “24/7 Customer Service” are appropriate callouts.

PPC Callout Extensions

Figure 3: PPC Callout Extensions

Google tracks callout performance so you can optimize your ad extensions. Try testing different word variations to find which extensions work best. In this case, we decided to delete the “24/7 Dispatch” as it had lower clickthrough, lower conversion rates and higher cost per click and cost per conversion versus “24-7 Service” (see Figure 3).

To remove a Callout Extension bring up the add callout dialog, hover over the offending Callout and click remove (see Figure 4).

PPC Delete Callout Extensions

Figure 4: PPC Delete Callout Extensions

Location Extensions

Location extensions help people find your business by showing your address, a map, or the distance to your office (see Figure 5). People can click on your location to go to your Google Business page to find out more information and call. There is some speculation that review data will be shown in location extensions in the future. Location extensions are derived from your registered Google My Business account.

PPC Delete Callout Extensions

Figure 5: PPC Location Extensions

An example of all of these extensions in action is shown in Figure 6. A search for “ann arbor personal injury lawyer” brings up many PPC ads. The Goodman Acker ad shows all three extensions in action, location (10 Mile Road), callouts (No Recovery No Fee), and structured snippets (Car Accidents). On a mobile device, Google would show a subset of these desktop extensions.

PPC Location Extension Example

Figure 6: PPC Location Extension Example

Sample Mobile Ad

Google Adword’s Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool shows a sample mobile ad from MiGreenCars.com (see Figure 7). The ad shows a couple callouts (On Time Pickup, Provide Email Receipt). Note that mobile ads have limited real estate and show a small subset of the extensions available. Nevertheless it is a good idea to fill your extension hopper to let Google find the best combinations to maximize your ad performance.

PPC Sample Ad with Extension

Figure 7: PPC Sample Ad with Extension


There are currently three ad extensions that can be shown with Call Only ads: Structured Snippets, Callouts, and Location extensions. Adding these three ad extensions to Call Only campaigns can boost click-through and conversion rates.

Further Reading

Michigan Green Cars s the subject of this PPC article. A local green cab company with offices in Ann Arbor and Southfield Michigan, MI Green Cars deploys a fleet of hybrid, gas-sipping Toyota Prius’s throughout southeast Michigan.
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