Ready your call centers and have operators standing by; Google has released a bid-per-call advertising feature.
While pay-per-call services have been around for quite some time, adding a bid for placement component to phone call advertising is definitely a new dimension. If phone calls serve as a lead source for your enterprise, you'll want to sit up and take notice.
A combination of an ad's Quality Score and max cost-per-click (CPC) bid currently determine Ad Rank (which influences ad position). With bid-per-call however, the bid placed for phone calls and the phone call Quality Score also will now also factor into the Ad Rank. Since higher ranked ads are more likely to be seen, they can generate more phone calls and clicks.
Bid-per-call uses a maximum cost-per-phone call (Max. CPP) to determine the highest price an advertiser is willing to pay for each user that manually dials the Google forwarding number within ads showing on desktop or tablet devices. Google did note that bid-per-call does not apply to ads shown on mobile devices and that any phone calls generated from the ads shown on these devices will incur a cost-per-click (CPC) charge.
Advertisers that meet minimum click and call thresholds will need to use a Google forwarding number when setting up Call Extensions, so that the Adwords platform can measure when a call to the business takes place. Call reporting is available directly within Adwords. Advertisers can see summaries of completed calls including phone-through rate (PTR) and phone call cost on ad group and campaign level. There are also details for each call available including call time, duration, and area code.