This summer Google AdWords Call Metrics introduced $1 flat rate click-to-call charge on call tracking enabled ads delivered to smartphones. Now advertisers can bid for callsmade via any Google ad. The significant change is that, now, what you bid-per-call will affect ad positions in AdWords which, in effect, means that advertisers can place bids on offline actions rather than on purely online actions, such as clicks (or click to calls in the particular case of smartphones).
Bidding on Offline Actions
The previous AdWords $1 flat-rate charge on call tracking was essentially an incentive for advertisers to invest in deeper call metrics which worked at an AdGroup level. Now with bid-per-call, call tracking numbers can be enabled across every single device and the model has been changed to go beyond call metrics, to an actual auction model for calls.
Whilst one might argue that Google AdWords has simply raised the price on call metrics, the difference here is that the auction model now allows the advertiser to control how many calls they want their campaigns to generate. Also, by bidding higher on calls, advertisers will be able to give their ad positions a boost, without necessarily paying more per click.
For example, an advertiser could have a $1 bid on clicks, but a $5 bid on calls. Whereas previously, only the $1 bid would count towards ad position, now the $5 bid will be taken into account.
If you are an advertiser with a good “phone call Quality Score”, then your ad may jump positions over advertisers who simply have high cost-per-click bids (and good Quality Scores). Businesses who are more invested in customer service than they are in their website, may find it easier to compete in a search based auction.
In addition to the new call metrics released this summer (Call start time, Call end time, Call duration, Calls missed /received, Caller area code), Phone Through Rate (PTR) (we previously called this Call Through Rate) and Phone Call Cost will be displayed on the AdGroup and Campaign tabs.