How to Test Your Call-Only Ads in Google AdWords

Recently, you've heard a lot about the new Call-Only Ads available through Google AdWords. While it is a beneficial feature, it is still a creation that needs to be tested to ensure it is working properly for your business. After all, there are few programs you can just set and forget, hoping that you'll enjoy the expected results.

Call-Only Ads are like any other marketing tool, requiring testing to ensure that the settings and other parameters are reaching the customers you have targeted and generating results worth your investment. Here's how you can test your Call-Only Ads.

Set Up Your Test

This step in the process is quick and easy, but also necessary for establishing an effective testing routine to ensure your ads are effective. There isn't a specific "test" function in AdWords. Instead, you are establishing parameters for a call-only ad that you won't to gather results for over a set period of time. This allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your chosen ad. As you set up your test, you want it to include the following items:

  • Select "All features" for the campaign type you want to test.
  • Set ad rotation to rotate evenly or indefinitely.
  • Create a control element in your test by incorporating a mobile-preference ad in each ad group tested.
  • Create a call-only ad in each ad group of your campaign.
  • Label your ads for quick, comprehensive review so you can easily assess effectiveness at the end.
  • Make sure mobile ad bid adjustment is NOT set to -100%.

From here, you simply let your campaign run for a set period of time; ideally one week at a minimum. When your time frame is up, gather the results for analysis.

Review Your Test

The type of test established in the step above is an A/B Test, wherein you are comparing the results of a mobile-preference ad campaign to those of a call-only ad campaign. You're going to see a lot of information as a result of this test, and some of it may make your call-only ads look ineffective. The key is to focus on the important factors. It helps to pay close attention to the following results:

  • % Served: Google Analytics offers you a percentage served category to determine the reach of your campaign, and this is particularly important in call-only ads.
  • Conversions & Conversion rate: You may see that your mobile-preference ads generate more conversions in total, but a much lower conversion rate. Call-only ads tend to generate fewer conversions, but with a much higher success rate.
  • Total cost: Google provides information on CPC and total cost, but you're bound to see skewed numbers. Call-only ads generate few clicks, resulting in much higher CPCs. However, the total cost for your campaign is likely to be much less than mobile-preference or other ad campaigns.

Most importantly, don't look too deeply into the analytics. They are helpful in determining effectiveness, but only to a point. For example, you'll see data regarding online traffic from your call-only ads is dead. That is perfectly normal, because your call-only ads are supposed to drive calls, not visits to your site.

Digest the information you see, compare it to your offline conversion tracking, and you'll develop a clear picture of the effectiveness of your call-only ads.

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