Google Call Extensions add your phone numbers to your Google AdWords ads. Calls made cost the same as clicks. They increase the number of phone call conversions, and make them easier to track.
Using Google Call Extensions is considered a best practice. But is it always? It does boost the number of leads, and when I recommend it, it helps justify my fees. But the truth is they are not always a good fit.
Here’s an example where it could cause problems. Let’s suppose you run a luxury brand apartment community. It’s June or July, peak season in that business. Your leasing staff is going crazy trying to give tours to all of the interested prospects.
Call extensions encourage people to call you by making it super easy to do it right from the ad. In this case, while it would increase the number of leads, it would also greatly increase the number of unqualified leads. You want people to visit the website first to see if the location was a good fit, to see if they could afford the rent and that the pet policy accommodated them. If your ad policy shifts that task to a phone conversation, you’ve just used the latest technology to make things less efficient.
For the record, I nearly got into a verbal fistfight about this with a Google rep who was analyzing one of the accounts I help manage.
Call extensions are a great new addition to ads, and in most cases, help you generate business. However, if your website plays an important role in qualifying your prospects and you are more concerned about conversion rates than sheer lead volume, they may not be for you. Even if the Google rep calls you and tells you they are.