Why should you use Click-to-Call?

August 13, 2014 10:56 am Published by 1 Comment

SERP with click-to-call for paid and organic search

If a potential customer is interested in purchasing a product or service from your business, and they are currently browsing on their smartphone, chances are they will want to use “Click-to-Call”. As Google’s research explains: “52% of mobile searchers find ‘the call button’ useful”, so you better sit up and pay attention.

When many people refer to “Click-to-Call”, including Google in their research, they are specifically talking about allowing users to call a business from a listing in their Search Engine Results Page (SERP). With Google searches, this works for both their paid search adverts through Google Ads call extensions, and/or an organic listing.

Of course the functionality where a user clicks, or taps, a phone number or image and it allows them to immediately dial a company from their smartphone isn’t exclusive to Google. Many businesses will also use click-to-call on their mobile friendly / responsive websites, to allow visitors the same type of user-experience.


With the device being used driven by a users context

  • Amount of time user has
  • Goal user wants to accomplish
  • User’s location
  • User’s attitude / state of mind

…it is hardly surprising that 42% of mobile searchers will use click-to-call, with the main driver being the ability to speak to a real person. This won’t likely be a one-off interaction either, with 32% of users surveyed stating they will use this functionality frequently.

More worrying for those who haven’t yet adopted click-to-call are the consequences of what you miss out on:

What happens if you don't use click-to-call

Furthermore, without click-to-call:

  • 8% increase in ad click-through rate you lose out on vs when call extensions enabled
  • 48% find it extremely important to be able to call business during purchase phase

The latter point here is the most important, because if people want to speak to a real person, and this is really important to them during the purchase phase, why make it hard for them when it is also an opportunity for you to sell? If you have a dedicated call handling agent or sales person who can answer a phone they should be able to do a better job of overcoming objections, up-selling and cross-selling to customers than your website on its own.

In conjunction with helping answer your customers’ questions, you can offer a more personal experience. For example, on certain high value product pages, or for certain segments of customer you could offer a click-to-call button that goes through to a VIP answering service.

The added advantage is that if you are running visitor level tracking from Calltracks on your website, you can combine it with click-to-call functionality to track from click through to sale! Now, as well as being able to provide a better UX for your visitors, you can also track:

  • how many calls you get
  • where the visitors came (e.g. Paid vs Organic)
  • what page the user was on when they made the phone call
  • whether the caller was a new lead or returning customer
  • and most importantly if a sale was made, including what the caller purchased and transaction value – even if the sale happens after the phone call such as in-store

Click-to-Call on Website for Calltracks

In the screenshot above you can see an example from our responsive website, with the left image showing you how click-to-call looks before a user taps your phone number / CTA, and then the right side showing you how this brings up a ‘call’ dialogue box.

Whether you display the number as a click-to-call button, or just an image, isn’t an answer I will categorically give – you should A/B test and see what works better for your users. In my experience, there is more merit to showing the type of number a user is about to dial, rather than a “call now” button where a user won’t know if it is a premium number they are about to dial.

Local Geo Number on www.calltracks.com

You can also experiment with different types of phone numbers, such as the newer mobile friendly 03 numbers like we are running on our website. In our case we only show the 03 version if someone is viewing our site on a mobile, if they are viewing it on their desktop they will see our normal 020 local geographic number.

Using Calltracks click-to-call functionality in conjunction with visitor level tracking offers clear advantages over the simple metrics that Google provide with their Ads call extensions. Unfortunately the latter only report on call volume and call duration, which doesn’t help you understand if it was a ‘junk’ caller or an existing customer ringing to find out about an existing purchase. Ultimately you want to know what value you get from your callers – so you need to understand your sales.

Google Call Extension Report for Click-to-Call

That being said you should still use Google call extensions and Google’s own forwarding numbers to sit before you Calltracks static numbers in your Ads campaigns to benefit from any users who call direct from the SERP. Google’s metrics might not be as insightful as the data Calltracks can provide, but Google will help you understand which advert or keyword triggered the call in the SERP, where as with Calltracks you can only gather this data once the visitor has clicked through to your website.

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