Category Archives: PPC Advertising

Google announced a policy change to no longer allow advertisers to publish their phone number in ads. It’s a surprising move that may have significant repercussions.

Phone number in google ad

Rip: Example Ad Unit Of Phone Number In Ads

Google has quietly published this in their Advertising Policies change log as well as notifying partners and customers through webinars.  Advertisers wanting to engage users with a direct phone number by using call extension.

According to the policy log, Google is making the change to: “foster a safer, more consistent user experience across desktop, tablet, and mobile devices” in an effort to make ads more relevant, accurate & clear to users.

At first my reaction was a bit of shock and sadness for local businesses.  For years advertisers have taken advantage of the ad unit space by inserting their phone number in the ad text.  One idea being that you can get a direct phone call, instead of being charged for a click.  A second being the importance of a phone lead to a local business. Driving a visitor to a conversion optimized landing page is great for lead generation or direct conversions, but most small business still live and die by the phone. Without the ability to get a phone call directly form an add demanding any extra clicks, they will be the ones most impacted. Particularly since PPC advertising has been a good way to get yourself noticed if you have a business in a particularly competitive vertical.

Ad with call

Call Extensions: Phone Number Linked To Google Places Listing.

This also creates a barrier for non-local advertisers (i.e. a nation wide ad), since businesses with a Google Places listing will still be able to display their phone number directly in a SERP.  It may also present a challenge for marketers that publish a call tracking phone number in their ad to measure return.  With call extensions however, it is still possible (with a little work) to use your own call tracking phone number.  Google provides its own call tracking (aka forwarding) number for an extra cost of $1 for legacy campaigns.  Nevertheless, this hurdle will probably result in many more local phone numbers and less toll-free numbers shown in Google Ads.

So it is reasonable to consider that this change is a win for local businesses and users alike.  For now, we will be busy changing ad copy for thousands of local business ads.  According to the Google, starting April, Ads will be disapproved if they contain a phone number.

According to Search Engine Land, Google now allows users to block pay-per-click (PPC) ads from certain companies from showing up in their search results. This “block sites” feature was added in November and works whether you are signed in or signed out of your Google account.

The block sites feature used to allow users to block sites from both the web search results and the PPC results. However with the release of Search Plus Your World, the ability to block sites went away and hasn’t come back. Users can still block PPC ads from certain sites from showing up in their search results, which can definitely impair their paid marketing efforts. This is just another reason why focusing on the local search results is important. Users cannot block your business information from showing up there, which means you still have the chance to put your business in front of your ideal target audience, potential customers searching for your business in your area.

Local Splash can get your business on the first page of Google, check out our services here.


PpcadvertisingAre you using pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and beginning to get frustrated on the lack of ROI? Before you give up, try these six PPC advertising tips. They could be the key to your business’s PPC success.

1. Make an excellent offer then reel them in with a “call to action.” With so much competition out there, it’s a great idea to make your potential customers an offer they can’t refuse. This will rope them in and entice them to use your product/service rather than your competitors’. Include a “call to action” phrase at the end of the ad, such as “Learn more,” or “Free download,” to let them know what to expect when they click.

2. Use long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are three or four word phrases that are more specific to your product. Long tail keywords are less popular, meaning bidding on them is less expensive. Also people who are searching using long tail keywords are usually further along in the buying process, which means once they come across your ad, they’re more apt to click and buy.

3. Create a landing page. Your website homepage is not a landing page. Your landing page is there for the sole purpose of enticing your potential customer to buy. The landing page needs to pick up right where your PPC ad left off, not confuse them with unnecessary content that the homepage sometimes is guilty of providing. The more the landing page relates to the content of the ad, the more likely it will be for your ad to appear higher than other PPC ads. When the keywords for your ad are more relevant to your landing page, it also lowers the bid on that ad. This is a form of PPC optimization.

4. Test your ads. Run two different ad campaigns at the same time and see which one does better. Also pay attention to the times during which your ads are at their highest conversion rate and restrict your ads to run at only those times.

5. Focus on location. Make sure to focus your impressions by location by using the geo-location features of the PPC service you’re using. These features allow you to target your market based on IP addresses or geo-specific keywords. Don’t forget to set these restrictions, otherwise your ads may be showing up in a location where your potential customers can’t even get your products/services.

6. Change the content of your ad at least once a month. No one wants to keep seeing the same ad over and over; it’s boring. Changing your ad copy once a month is a great way to test different call to action phrases and copy to see which ads get the most attention. Fresh content is more appealing to users, so write several ads and alternate them, making changes according to your monthly PPC analytics reports.

Pay-per-click advertising can be a difficult task if you are inexperienced. However, it reaps great benefits for many businesses who have figured out how to use it correctly. Local Splash has many Google Ads certified individuals who can help you set up the best campaign for you business. To get started, call 877-635-6225 or learn more about PPC advertising here.