You may notice a new icon while cruising the Google search results this summer. Once again, Google will be testing a Click-to-Call feature.
Expected to be in place by the end of June, the Click-to-Call phone icon will appear to the right of select paid search results. The phone icon indicates that the searcher can speak directly to the business indicated in the ad.
Here’s how it works: when a searcher clicks the phone icon they will be asked to type in their phone number. Then the searcher clicks ‘connect’ and Google calls the number they provided. Once the searcher picks up their phone they will hear ringing on the other end as Google connects them to the company running the ad.
The call itself is free to the searcher and the company. However, the company will be paying on a pay-per-click (to-call) basis.
For the searcher, Google Click-to-Call will provide an alternative to traditional internet sales and service by allowing the searcher to speak directly with the company of interest. The feature will also give skeptical searchers an alternative to purchasing online with a credit card.
For the company, Google Click-to-Call will provide the opportunity to reach new customers via the web and speak with them directly. The ability to use both internet and traditional sales techniques could be a great combination.
However, a few questions come to mind that Google has yet to answer:
- How will Click-to-Call affect Pay-Per-Click?
- Will bids increase across the board?
- Will Click-to-Call ads be cost-effective?
Because Google Click-to-Call will be available on a limited basis, only time will tell, but it will be interesting to see how this new advertising option affects paid search.