How To Create Click to Call Campaigns in Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

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How To Create Click to Call Campaigns in Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns


Service businesses are experiencing a great increase in advertising costs and this is creating the necessity of maximizing the conversion rate in order to reduce the overall cost per lead.

Just think about lawyers. Their cost per click (CPC) on AdWords can be of up to $100 (or even more) and this is constantly increasing. Lawyers need new advertising solutions to increase the amount of leads and decrease the cost per conversion.

Generating a new lead generation system does not necessarily require a new advertising tool. Service businesses would love to receive phone calls because they are generally easy to convert and enable personal contact with customers.

Before the launch of enhanced campaigns, Google AdWords gave you the opportunity to create a click to call campaign for mobile devices only. Setting it up was easy:

  • Create a new campaign targeting mobile devices only (excluding desktop and tablet devices)
  • Set up a call extension enabling only the clicks on the phone number and not the headline

You were ready to go!

Google recently launched enhanced campaigns. Among other changes, Google does not allow you to target mobile devices without targeting desktop and tablet devices. This means that you cannot create mobile campaigns only.

How will all of these small business owners set up click to call campaigns without wasting money into desktop and tablet devices?

There is a smart solution that enables you to do just that. First of all, let’s think about the following key points that we will leverage on to build our click to call campaign:

  • Desktop clicks cost more than mobile clicks: Every industry is likely to have a much higher CPC cost on desktop devices. Mobile clicks are usually cheaper by a good 30% to 40%.
  • Enhanced campaigns have custom mobile devices bid variation: You have the possibility to modify your mobile bid between a -100%  and a +300% . For instance, a $10 desktop bid could generate a mobile bid ranging anywhere between $0 (-100%) and $40 (+300%)
  • A low CPC bid on desktop and tablet devices is not likely to generate many impressions. Still, you will be able to shape the mobile bid starting from a low desktop bid and get a great amount of mobile impressions.

Based on the 3 points above, we can move forward with the following strategy:

  • Create a new campaign, go into settings, and exclude the display network
  • Set up a mobile bid of +300%

click to call campaigns

  • What is the CPC you want to bid for mobile devices? Divide it by 4 and use this number to set up your basic desktop bid (which can vary based on the ad group or set of keywords you are working on)Desktop Bid = Mobile Bid / 4
  • Make sure to not have custom keyword bids to start with (this is particularly relevant in case you created the new campaign copying an old one which is targeting desktop devices and might have custom keyword bids).
  • Set up a call extension that enables clicks only on the phone number. Make sure to exclude headline clicks.

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  • Monitor the campaign every 7 days to tune up the desktop bid and maximize the mobile exposure while minimizing the desktop one

Just keep in mind that the call extension is most likely to show up if you are among the first positions on a mobile device and that it could appear next to the headline of an ad. If a customer clicks the call extension, Google will consider that a headline click even though users are actually clicking on the phone number. If the call extension does not appear, your headline becomes clickable and will direct to the landing page and therefore not enabling the customer to call you.

Once the setup is complete, you will have put in place a system that maximizes the number of calls you can generate for your service business.


Many businesses are struggling to get extra and cheaper leads. Generating phone calls is fundamental to maximize the effectiveness of an advertising budget. As long as you know how to, Google AdWords gives you the opportunity to create click to call campaigns that will be worth it for all service businesses.

Rocco Baldassarre
Rocco Baldassarre is a digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur. He is best known for being the founder of the award winning digital marketing agency Zebra... Read Full Bio
Rocco Baldassarre
Rocco Baldassarre
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  • Ian

    Hi Rocco, I’ve been trying this method for a week now and I’m finding that I need to have my CPC too high to get a decent bid on mobile when x300%. Thus my ads are getting shown on the desktop with low positions which is affecting my CTR and therefore quality score.

    For example, on this particular campaign, before enhanced came along, I was seeing mobile CPCs of around £6. So if I set my CPC to £1.50 I’m still getting on the first page in a low position, which is hammering my CTR.

    Any ideas how I can stop this? Thanks.

    • Rocco Baldassarre

      Hi Ian,

      I posted a reply online but I still do not visualize it. In the meantime, I will paste my answer below for you to consult it:

      Thanks for your question and comment. I will try to get back to you as detailed as possible but please let me know if you have any follow up questions.

      Let me reassure you that the CTR is not going to be a concern if you created relevant advertising messages. The CTR:

      – Does not need to be interpreted as an absolute value. A 1% CTR in position 1 would harm your quality score while a 1% CTR in position 8 would boost it. Google weights the importance of the CTR in the quality score formula considering your AVG position. We can call this CTR value a sort of “relative CTR”

      – The quality score is calculated on a per device level. However, Google displays only an average level. If you have a low quality score on desktop devices you can still have a good QS on mobile devices.

      – The quality score has many variables to consider. Usually, a good management limits the issues that a poor account structure could cause to your quality score. However, you still have to work hard to have a website that is set up to boost the quality score.

      I tested this click to call strategy on approximately 150 campaigns. The results have always been promising and the quality score has never dropped. However, I strongly suggest to run the desktop campaign separately from the click to call one. By doing that the desktop campaign will always win on desktops and you will not get unwanted clicks.

      Let me share an example with you:

      Company: Market leader in wood production

      Keyword used for the comparison: broad match keyword

      Desktop bid: $0.50

      Clicks: 1376

      CTR: 5.54%

      AVG pos: 2.0

      QS: 10/10

      Mobile bid: $0.08

      Clicks: 36

      CTR: 2.20%

      AVG Pos: 1.8

      QS: 9/10

      The decrease in the quality score is probably due to the fact that the ads have the message customized for mobile devices and therefore not relevant for desktop ones. We just added a new ad for desktop users that will bring the QS to 10.

      Regarding how to stop it:

      – If you have a separate campaign for desktop devices you will stop showing on desktops because your basic bid in the mobile campaign will be too low

      – If you have a message of expected CTR below average it means that you have to create new ads because your CTR would be too low for the position you are currently showing up in

      – Do not worry about the absolute CTR value. You need to constantly monitor your “relative CTR” by using the QS monitoring tools in your account

      – Make sure to have landing pages that maximize your quality score.

      I hope it helps, Ian. Please let me know if you have any more questions! This is what I think could help you without having much knowledge of your account.


      • Ian

        Thanks for your extensive answer Rocco.

        I was right in thinking when using Enhanced campaigns there is no way to create a click to call campaign only, your ads will always spill out onto the desktop.

        Why Google just doesn’t have an option for ‘mobile only’ is beyond me.


  • Darren

    Nice write-up Rocco,

    Good advice on increasing mobile-specific bids if users are aiming specifically for this.

    I’ve covered plenty of other information in a book I self-published (how to setup google adwords). While my book is not as specific as the case you outline above, I’m hoping it will help new adwords users get setup without too many complications.

    I do go into a little detail about broad Vs modified broad match, while trying to keep my book short (approximately 15 pages.)