I received an email from Google yesterday stating changes in the click to call extensions. They change some things that don’t really make a difference to anyone but this does so listen up!

Over the next few weeks, Google will be changing these extensions and how much they cost.

Currently for click to call, you have two options – You can display your phone number under adverts appearing on mobile phones and clicks on this number cost the same as your average CPC. OR you can display a Google call forwarding number on your ad; calls to this number cost a minimum of $1 (or local equivalent). This feature (called Call Metrics) has been around for a while but has always been that call extensions would just fail to show on PCs, laptops and tablets by default.

With the new method, the mobile ads will remain the same and you will continue to just pay your CPC, however if you have call extensions activated on a campaign which covers desktops, laptops and tablets as well, your click to call settings will automatically change to the Google forwarding number on these devices, hence costing you a minimum of $1 per click to call. (Basically Google will assume you want call extensions to show to non-mobile users and will use the forwarding number to do this.)

Many advertisers taget mobile campaigns to tablets as well so if you are one of these, put some time aside to change this to just mobiles, otherwise you could find yourself receiving some potentially expensive phone calls.

Google say this is to provide tracking and qualifying metrics (I.e. start/end time and whether the call was received or missed.) This is very useful information, however personally, we at RocketMill use separate call tracking technology which actually records the calls – so Google’s forwarding number isn’t too useful for us.

If you are happy to pay a MINIMUM of $1 for a call, then don’t sweat. If you are on a tight budget and don’t want to have to pay this charge, change your extensions by choosing ‘Show my phone number only on mobile phones’ on this menu on the call extensions tab:



In Summary, you used to be able to get away with implementing call extensions on multi device campaigns (maybe due to a restricted budget) and your extensions would only show to users on phones.  If you target multiple devices now, ads displayed to users on PCs, laptops or tablets will display a Google forwarding number, which will charge you a minimum of $1 if it is called.  Make sure you’re only showing call extensions on mobile phones if you don’t want to be charged a minimum of $1 for each desktop, laptop or tablet call.

Google say everyone will be notified when the switch over takes place, but these things can be missed so it might be an idea to plan for this now.

Any questions, I’m on Twitter – @TheSamGarrity