Google PPC to Show Local Phone Numbers

11th January 2017

Google has announced that it will begin to show local phone numbers in some PPC advertising beginning in mid-January (19th January). The change is expected to affect businesses that are using both location and call extensions.

Uncertainty is building in the online community amongst those businesses who have received an email from Google alerting them to this change in advertising policy. Google says it “may” show the local retail phone number when that store’s location extension shows in an advert, even if a call extension in the campaign uses a different phone number. It is thought the search giant is looking to improve the customer experience by increasing the relevance of ads that feature specific business locations.

Whilst this might seem ideal on the surface, many advertisers will maintain a central customer service number to deal with issues. We may now expect to see that staff answering the local ‘store’ phone number, may be overwhelmed by having to deal with tools without the correct systems or skills being in place.

Other issues that may arise is the capacity to track calls going to certain support or sales lines as part of your in-house performance metrics. Google is looking into providing support for ad to call tracking for local numbers but has not yet implemented this change.

There is a form that advertisers can submit before the change to opt out of having local numbers show in location extensions, but Google warns it could negatively impact ad impressions and the number of calls you receive.

Stay with Digital Marketing News from DOM Marketing for the latest information on this important change to local PPC advertising.