Earlier this week Google announced Bid-per-Call, a system that will allow any business to bid for calls to their local business.  Google will be releasing this feature over the next couple weeks to every business in the US and UK.  Should be a very good system for getting call to businesses!

How do I Optimize my PTR?

Phone though rate is factored by the maximum CPC bids, CTR, and Quality Score of your ad.  All these factors add up to your ad rank and how often your ad will be shown.  Obviously, you can bid more and your ad will be seen more.  But our goal is not to have  you paying more but to have your ad showing more while paying the same.  Test, test, test.  This is the key to any campaign but especially in improving the phone through rate on your AdWords campaign. Testing will help you to know what keywords and keyword phrases within your ad are working and which are not.  Only by trying can you know if they are going to convert.

When you set up each ad, make sure that you are testing words in the body of your ad.  Typically, I always have the keywords that I’m bidding on in the Title of the ad to help readers know exactly what they are looking at.  Then you should give 2-3 variations of the ad.  Make sure that your settings are set to test all the different ads and not optimize the best ad.  After 1000 impressions per ad you should be able to see which one is working the best out of the 3 ads.  Then change your setting to optimize to the best ad.  Pause the two lower performing bid-per-call ads and write one new ad.  You should always have two ads running at the same time.

How do I get lower CPC costs with Bid-per-Call?

I have found that the key to getting lower CPC costs is to know what you’re doing.  Separate keywords into different AdGroups.  You should only have 2-5 keywords per AdGroup, never any more then that.  Also, you should always have two different ads running per AdGroup and they should have the keywords in them.  This will not only help your ads get a better CTR (click through rate) but it will help your account look like you know what you’re doing.  I even have some AdGroups with one keyword in them.  This helps me stay very organized and it always results in lower CPC costs and  higher CTR’s.  Pay attention to search query data and make sure you’re optimizing your account for this.

How do I improve my Phone Though Rate Quality Score?

This is a tricky one, because you aren’t pushing them to your website.  Therefore, Google isn’t searching the keywords, load time, and different types of metrics.  To improve your Quality Score you should be answering the phone fast, not letting it go to voice mail, and spending quality time on the phone with the potential client.  I have found that the faster I answer the phone, the longer you spend on the phone, the higher my quality scores will be.  Don’t let it go to voice mail.  Proper phone etiquette should be used.  I really can’t’ prove it but on phone calls where I’ve used a harsher tone and been kind of a jerk to “test client” the quality scores have gone down.  The calls where I have been very nice and used a very kind voice my quality scores have gone up.

John Rampton is a PPC Entrepreneur, Author, Founder at Due a finance company helping small business owners. Follow me on Twitter @johnrampton

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