You've probably been wondering what the latest Google Ads Call Extension changes mean and how they will affect you.
I've been bombarded with this same question on the:
- Pay Per Call Training comments section,
- through the Premium23 Facebook Page,
- on the latest Google Ads Call Extensions YouTube Video,
- and through direct emails as well
So let's begin with some quick history of why this is happening…
A Quick Call Extension History (2011-2015)
Since 2011, it was the wild-west of Call-Only Ads on Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords).
You could basically use any domain on the internet for your ads, thus, you didn't need to create your own website to generate call traffic.
For example, your ad could display “amazon.com” or “yahoo.com” or “findthebest.com”, and the phone number would be your phone number.
This allowed you to use large brand names as a great way for people to trust your ad, and to click on it.
In theory, this works fine if you want to sell your physical products or services ‘ON' a website (you can still do this for websites),
But for call-ads, you could pretend to be another business altogether – which was bad for those brands.
Then Came Website Verification (2015)
Then came the call-ad website verification, and a new type of Call-Only Ads.
At this point, you could no longer use another another companies website as your domain in the ad-copy.
Now you had to verify the ads using ONE of two different ways:
- Having the Phone number listed on the website
- Adding the Google Ads verification code
By 2016, we see an update to the ads for a new generation of wider mobile phones.
These types of ads pretty much remained the same since 2016, with minor visual adjustments, but nothing major.
Rampant Blackhat Tactics & Google Ban Hammer on Bad Players
By this point, Google also started (unfortunate very slowly) cracking down on a lot of niches and marketers that had been causing havoc in the Pay Per Call advertising space.
Google started running a massive termination campaign on trashy marketers that were running offers that LOOKED white-hat on the surface such as:
- ‘Need Technical Support?' or ‘Windows Issues?'
- ‘Seeking Addiction Advice' or
- ‘Cheap Flight London To Cancun?'
But the back-end call centers were outsourced sharks on steroids, saying ANYTHING to get your credit card details…
Whether it was to charge you a ridiculous amount of money, or to just, outright, steal your money.
It was a terrible revelation in a marketing space that seemed to have so much potential (Pay Per Call).
In the mean time, the traffic on Google Mobile continues to grow, now taking up more than 65% of their TOTAL traffic.
As such, Google is continuing to improve their Call Extensions program with the following:
1. A REAL Business Name in the Google Call Ads Header
When Google included Business names for the first time, Your business name could literally be anything you wanted, whether it was ‘Find A Lawyer' or ‘Find a Dentist' or ‘Need a Lawyer?' or even ‘Microsoft Support'.
So the requirements now are:
Domain-based business names: You can use your domain name as your business name, using appropriate spacing between words. For example, www.acmesolutions.com could be identified as “Acme Solutions” in the ad.
Simply enough, register a domain name that has your desired branding in it. ‘FindaLawyer.me, FindaLawyer.club' etc for example.
Resellers and authorized dealers: If you are an authorized reseller or dealer for a product or service, use appropriate qualifying language. For example, a car dealer of Acme vehicles in San Antonio could use the business name “Acme of San Antonio.”
In this case, you would be able to use the <Title> HTML tags of your website as the business name.
The <TITLE></TITLE> tags in your HTML website code tell Google and your web browser the name of your page and/or website.
Service providers: Examples of other accepted business names include “Mountain View Plumbers” or “Taxi NYC.”
Same as above. Just make sure to include the business name somewhere on the page, or in the code.
2. Say Your Business Name At The Beginning of the Call
The call operator MUST state the business name in the beginning of the phone call now. This is to create greater transparency for callers, to know who the advertisers are.
We can assume Google has statistically analyzed the frequency of calls that contain the actual business name being said DURING the call, and has determined this is a high-probability marker of a legit business.
Thus you need to somehow include the business name in the call.
How do you deal with this as a marketer?
Create an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) that will answer with your business name during the first 10 seconds of the call, before redirecting to your product/offer/business.
Example: “Welcome to XYZ Business. If you are calling for a Lawyer, please press 1, if you are lost, please press 2, if you are just calling to troll us, please press 3.”
Customer presses 1… Is redirected to your product/offer/business.
The Game Will Continue To Evolve
These are not changes meant to hurt the legit white-hat players in the game.
If you've been running your call-only ads, for a real business for some time now, then these will have very little effect on you.
Instead, they are meant to filter out the blackhat players who continue to game the system.
I'm surprised at how many publishers ask me to run ‘Technical Support' or ‘Travel offers' or ‘Addiction center', or tips on how to run those types of ads, after they've been suspended.
My REAL Advice
If you are running ads to a legit business, then keep at it. You don't need to change anything.
On the other hand, if you are simply trying to find another way to game the system…
Then I recommend you stop, because your account WILL get suspended as Google's algorithms continue to improve (exponentially).
Whether it's through listening to the phone calls, measuring the risk of your account, or using humans to manually check your ads.
The tips I gave you to overcome the restrictions for 2019 will only work for so long before google catches up, so try to run legit offers, businesses, and products, if you can.
If you can't, then try to keep up, because things are only going to speed up
On your marks… get set… go 😉
Your internet marketing buddy,
P.S. As always, if you need Pay Per Call Training / Google Ads Extension Training, Go Here
Quote of the Day
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”
— Colin Powell
For More info, you can visit the New Google Call Ads policies by clicking here
Even more Google Call Extension Ad Policy