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New trend with advertisers (or am I just slow?)

   
3:19 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have been noticing a new trend among adverts being shown on my website - more and more display phone numbers urging the visitor to call now (rather than click). So they get the customers (or at least some) without paying for any clicks.

Anyone else seeing this?

3:25 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Google should forbid it as I see no difference in that than a url in the text.

Maybe those are ads that haven't been reviewed? I would see if they come up in a few days and contact support.

3:39 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jenstar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Advertisers are allowed phone numbers in the ads. But they still need to keep their CTR high enough that the ad doesn't get disabled.
3:50 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The advertiser can't lose then if Google allows phone numbers.

At worst that ad gets disabled. At best they get lots of free customers.

I will filter the urls out. No point displaying them.

3:53 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Advertisers have always been allowed phone numbers in their ads. I doubt that very few people would call up on the strength of just seeing an ad. Most would click through to the site itself.
4:20 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



imagine the scenario... the visitor arrives on a page about widgets, and notices a very short ad about widgets that includes a phone number. what percentage of people would actually call without clicking through to see if the place is worth calling. virtually every user of the internet realizes that they can click through, check out the site, and click back if they are unsatisfied. i would bet that the actual number of people who call without clicking is miniscule.

on the other side, if their strategy worked, and a substantial number of people were calling without clicking, their CTR would drop and their ad would get disabled.

actually, i think advertisers who include an 800 number have a different intention altogether: legitimacy. the presence, and the presense alone, of an 800 number seems to convey to a visitor that it is a reputable and legitimate site/business. even if no one ever calls a toll free number, it is what it conveys that carries weight.

alternatively, other advertisers may list a phone number with a local area code to give confidence that this is a nearby business.

i doubt that these advertisers are trying to get calls without clicks, and if they are, i suspect that they are failing.

4:24 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)



Advertisers have always been allowed phone numbers in their ads. I doubt that very few people would call up on the strength of just seeing an ad. Most would click through to the site itself.

That's what one advertiser reported in an earlier thread on this topic. He pointed out (quite reasonably) that the phone number provides reassurance that the ad is from a real business, and most users will prefer to click on the ad.

4:35 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



The ads basically say "call for more details". So whatever the advertisers say their motives are, they obviously want people to call.

The ads are also for in demand events which will be over by the time CTR gets the ads banned.

A visitor either wants to go or doesn't - they don't need to be sold on the idea - and with tickets as scarce as they are, why wouldn't they "call for more details" as told to?

I appreciate you all giving the advertisers the benefit of the doubt, but in this case there's no doubt it's done to avoid paying for click throughs.

It's also very easy to forget that many many people still prefer to talk on a phone than surf the internet.

4:57 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)



It's also very easy to forget that many many people still prefer to talk on a phone than surf the internet.

But AdSense ads are shown only to people who are surfing the Web.

5:05 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Once an advertiser included their email address in an ad on my website. Is is common?
5:08 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I agree with the phone number on the ad offering reassurance, especially if you sell a high priced product or service. It also works well with people who know roughly what they want, but will pick up the phone to discuss things in more detail.

<Edit - never heard of that caran>

5:13 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"But AdSense ads are shown only to people who are surfing the Web."

Doesn't mean they are experienced web surfers though.

Doesn't mean they wouldn't rather use the phone in some instances.

If you go to see a friend or relative who spends little time online it can be like watching paint dry when they "surf".

Basically advertisers want to pay the least possible for the most leads. Hence the inclusion of phone numbers no matter how else you want to reason it away. I'm not saying EVERYONE will phone. But some people will. And that's where I / you lose out.

5:18 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



That's a good idea, I'm going to put my phone number in all my ads now. :)
5:26 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Presumably just to reassure potential clickers :-)
5:44 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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New trend with advertisers (or am I just slow?)

This is from (almost) two years ago

[webmasterworld.com ]

5:56 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



But some people will. And that's where I / you lose out

Actually, you still might not be losing out if that is a high paying advertiser and that phone number is causing MORE clicks because of the very reason stated in this thread (buyer reassurance).

So if that ad is getting a high clickthrough ratio and giving you a high CPC and you filter it out because it "might" be giving you one or two less clicks from the people that call, then you are missing out on all the revenue of the people that did click the ad.

Might be worth some extra thought and testing if possible.

6:52 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)



The reality is that Google does allow phone numbers in ads, and the only way to keep phone numbers from being displayed is to block the advertisers' domains.

BTW, don't forget that Google depends on clickthroughs just as much as we do. So it's reasonable to assume that Google has done research to determine whether phone numbers affect CTR.

7:38 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hinso - I knew it. I'm slow.

Rodney -testing is the best policy. I will do that.

Europedforvisitors - that's true what you say about Google needing click throughs too. Whether they have tested CTR with and without phone numbers I don't know. For my industry at least I can see only an upside for the advertisers because of the need for immediate action if the buyer is genuinely interested and the time frame these ads will be displayed for (days not weeks).

8:03 pm on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Hinso - I knew it. I'm slow

I don't think so - they seem to come and go. Not immediately obvious.