Attention all Google AdWords users: Google recently announced a new Google AdWords update.

On Feb. 6, 2017, Google will begin automatically generating Call Extensions for AdWords users.

According to a notice Google sent to people who use landing pages that “prominently [featured] a phone number,” 2017 will see a 19 percent increase in click-to-call conversions — about 33 billion phone calls!

The implementation of Call Extensions lets business owners take advantage of the increase and drive more customers to their phone lines.

What Are Google AdWords Call Extensions?

A call extension is a Google ad extension that allows a customer to call a business directly from the ad. The “Call Now” option shows up in the ad when viewed from a smartphone, allowing customers to immediately contact the business without having to dial the number or close the ad.

For local or small businesses hoping to increase phone traffic, the use of call extensions is a powerful way to decrease your ad’s CPC.

Your Call Extension Options

There are essentially two kinds of call extensions:

  • One that directs visitors to a Google forwarding phone number
  • Provides visitors with your business’s actual phone number

If you choose to use a Google forwarding phone number for your Call Extension Ads, you’ll also receive phone call reports from Google that include call duration, start and end time, and whether the call was received.

Regardless of the phone-number option you choose, you have the option of marking all incoming calls as conversions. You will also be able to set open and closed times for your business, so the Google ad extension will only show up when you are available to answer the phone.

Best Practices & Opting Out

Here are some best practices for getting the most out of your Call Extensions.

Use a Google forwarding number

As mentioned above, you get a lot more usable data when you choose to use a Google forwarding phone number.

Use the Location Extension

When the location extension is activated along with the call extension, customers will be directed to a Google phone number, but they will still receive accurate address and  location information. This way, it will be easy to find you if they decide to visit your business after the phone call.

Track and analyze data

Since you’re using a Google forwarding phone number, you can analyze the data from each phone call and learn from the data. This can increase your ability to perform operational attribution on your ads (to understand the total value of your operational activities and their impact on your bottom line).

Opt out

If you decide that Call Extensions are not right for your business, you can opt out of the automatic feature before February 6. Open up the Ad Extensions tab in AdWords and select “Do not use specific automatic extensions for this account.” Then, check the box for “Automatic Call Extensions.”

How Do Call Extensions Impact My Agency?

The Call Extension feature in AdWords is an easy way to improve conversions, track call data, and grow your business. If you’re excited about the change, you don’t have to do anything, as the shift will happen automatically.

If you already have a landing page with a dynamic phone number, you will not be affected by Call Extensions. Google AdWords will screen for these situations, and present your customers with your targeted phone number.

With this new Google ad extension, you’ll be able to get a piece of the growing calls to conversions pie. Here’s to a very productive year!