Google Introduces Click-to-Call on Mobile Ads
Good news for both advertisers and consumers with smartphones - Google has added a "Click-to-Call" feature to AdWords. This means users with smartphones on the Android, Apple or WebOS platforms will be able to contact advertisers directly through their ads.
The number will appear in an extra line of text in the sponsored link. Users will be able to place a cal to the number simply by clicking on it. This cuts a few steps out of the process. Say you were looking to make a reservation at Mario's Italian Restaurant. Previously you might have had to navigate to their website through their ad or through something like menupages to find their phone number. They might have included the number in the text of the ad, so you would have to dial the number while looking at that. Now with a simple click you call instantly and save some time and possible aggravation, which seems to be the point of most technological innovation. What's more is the new feature is location based, so if Mario's was a chain, you would see the number of the one closest to you.
For advertisers, a click on the phone number would cost the same as a click on the website. They can also see statistics on how many calls originated from their ad, etc. through their AdWords account, the same way they would look at statistics for any other campaign.
This is one of many recent moves by Google to gain ground against rivals Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo in the rapidly growing mobile advertising market. Only a week ago the search giant introduced location based optimized search suggestions, which was just two weeks after they unveiled "Near me now," a feature that shows you nearby attractions/services depending on your location. Google also recently bought AdMob, a mobile display-ad technology provider.