How to add a click-to-call button to Google mobile search ads

Internet browsing on smartphones is exploding so fast globally, it’s hard to keep up. Once again it’s important to remember that you can’t transfer your marketing strategy from desktop to mobile without adjusting it. Or you can – Google actually makes it very easy to extend ads to mobile devices – but you definitely shouldn’t, because you will only get poor performance.

Why? The reason is simply that even if you have a mobile-optimized website (most companies still don’t), user interaction will be different than on desktop browsing.

Forms and complicated e-commerce menus simply don’t work. People are used to getting what they want with just a few clicks and without typing lots of text.

But help is at hand, and it’s the native mobile ad format: click-to-call.

Here’s what it looks like on your phone, and how you can add it to your own ads:

Without the Call Extension

  • This is what a standard ad looks like when extended directly from the desktop to mobile
  • There’s no way to call the advertiser directly, instead the user has to click to go to the website first
  • Make sure your website is mobile-optimized and includes working click-to-call links or buttons

Call Extension + Web link
AdWords / Add call extension:
“Both my website and the phone number”

  • The user has two options: click through to the website or call the advertiser directly
  • This is the best option if you have a mobile-optimized site
  • The phone number is hidden until the user clicks the button
  • It’s a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors!

Call Extension only
AdWords / Add call extension:
“Just the phone number”

  • This is the best option if you just want to drive calls from advertising and don’t have a mobile-optimized website that converts well
  • Your phone number is visible on the headline – the user can click the headline or the click-to-call button

Important: The campaign needs to be targeted to smartphones only (not desktop or tablets), otherwise this doesn’t work!
Now it’s time to try it for yourself!
1. Log in to AdWords, edit your existing campaign or create a new one. You can add a Call Extension during the campaign creation phase or add it afterwards by going to the Ad extensions tab and selecting New extension.

Next, select options (described above) and enter a phone number.
Note that you should always use a call tracking number to measure campaign performance. Currently Google only offers call forwarding number in the US, the UK and Germany to enable Call Metrics. Without call analytics, you will only know how many people have clicked the phone number (call attempt) and not how many calls actually took place (connected calls).

Using Freespee Analytics in combination with Google advertising, you will get many benefits, including:

  • Measure phone calls from both the ad as well as your landing page
  • Get statistics beyond the click: how many calls took place, which of them were connected and how many calls were left unanswered
  • Record the calls for conversion and customer service improvements
  • Callers’ full phone numbers (which Google’s Call Metrics does not provide)
  • Missed call notifications by email and/or SMS
  • Campaign-specific voice messages or voicemail
  • Call tracking numbers for countries Google doesn’t yet support
  • And much more!

Sign-up for Freespee Analytics to get started! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at