Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which introduced “click-to-call” ads to its mobile search results earlier this year, is expanding the feature today to its content network. The company tells us that advertisers who run ads on its content network will now be able to add extensions to their ads that include their phone numbers. Visitors who access those ads via their mobile phone browsers or on a mobile app will then be able to click on a symbol in the ad to call the advertiser who is charged per call the same amount he or she would be charged for a click.
In January, Google started letting local advertisers run “click to call” ads in search results; in March it expanded the program to include national advertisers as well. Surojit Chatterjee, Google’s senior product manager for mobile ads, tells us that advertisers who have run “click-to-call” search ads have seen “very pleasantly surprising” results. He said the click through rate on the ads was about 5 to 30 percent above the rate in ads that didn’t include the feature. “For many advertisers it is a great bargain,” Chatterjee said. “Usually calls are a lot more valuable to advertisers (than clicks).”
Google had announced last month at its developers conference that it would be bringing the “click-to-call” ads to its content network soon. The company said then that additional mobile ad formats were on the way as well, including a new “expandable ad unit,” which allows a banner on a page accessed from a mobile browser or on an app to become bigger when someone clicks on it.