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What Are Google Call-Only-Ads? (Your Secret Weapon For More Calls!)

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Want to dramatically increase calls to your business – and reduce your ad costs at the same time?

Well, you can!

With Call-Only Ads, you can get right in front of potential customers that are searching for your products and services.

In this article, I’m going to break down how to use Google’s “Call-Only” ads and show you how we drive calls to businesses every single day.

What are Call Only Ads?

“Call-Only” ads allow a visitor to call you directly from the search page.

You may have seen these when you’re on a mobile device and you’re looking for a local service in your area.

While a user is searching for your service on their mobile device, they can literally click the call button and be instantly connected to you.

This is great because it dramatically reduces the friction on having to find your number on your website and manually type it in.

What Is The Difference Between Search & Call-Only Ads?

Although “Call Only” ads are displayed on the Google Search platform, they’re a world apart for the user.

Normally when someone does a search an ad appears. They click on it and it brings them to a landing page.

Once the user gets to the landing page, they have some more content to skim over and then they finally make the big decision.

This works really well for prospects that need a bit more information before picking up the phone.

But in some cases, the prospect doesn’t need a lot of convincing, and they are really just looking for a number to call that can provide the solution.

Then that’s where the “Call Only” ad comes in place.

Who Should Use Call-Only Ads?

Call only ads are great for customers that are searching for solutions on their phone and want to talk to someone right away.

If the customer is in a situation that they have an immediate need, or a type of service that doesn’t need a lot of research – this is the perfect opportunity.

Some examples of businesses that do extremely well with Call-Only ads are:

  • Emergency Services (Plumbing, Locksmith, etc)
  • Leaky Roof Repair
  • Basement Flood
  • HVAC
  • Restaurants
  • Doctors Offices
  • Dentists
  • Lawyers
  • …And many more!

When someone is looking for these services, they will often have a problem NOW, search on their phone, and are apt to start making moves and getting a solution in motion.

Call-Only Ad Performance

We’ve had a lot of success implementing call-only ad campaigns alongside regular campaigns.

I do have to preface this to say that not all conversions are the same – sometimes calls can be unqualified if they haven’t seen the offer. But with that said, as long as you do your targeting correctly, you can get some great results!

Example 1: Dentist

Our first example is for a dentist that we started deploying their “Call Only” campaign within the first week.

Cost Per Conversion Is > 50% Cheaper!

Example 2: Lawyer

Our second example is for a personal injury lawyer. We started their account with a typical search campaign and then expanded their account with a “Call Only” campaign.

With the lawyer industry being one of the highest CPC’s inside Google Ads, we knew we had to drive that conversion rate way up and get their firm’s phone ringing.

In this case, the Cost Per Conversion is > 70% cheaper!

As you can see from the results above, a “Call Only” campaign can perform well and help reduce costs if set up properly!

Benefits Of Call Only Ads

As you can see from the examples above, call-only ads bring a lot of success, but I want to now dive deeper into the benefits of why call-only ads are perfect for your business

Get Leads That Want To Buy Now

If you need calls now or you can close your product/service over the phone in minutes.

Even though we live in a digital world, 65% of consumers still prefer to call businesses for their first purchases.

From our experience, we have seen that “Call Only” campaigns consistently bring in leads that need your service now.

Reduce Costs

When planning your next campaign you may want to see how far your monthly ad spend will get you.

Will it bring you a positive ROI?

How many phone calls will I receive?

From the results above you can see using Call-Only ads can work wonders!

Less Setup Time

The best part of “Call Only” ads is the setup time.

They have quick setup time which allows your business to start generating new opportunities within a few days.

You need to make sure you have eye-catching ad copy, but the overall setup is simpler as it does not require a landing page, extensive tracking in Google Tag Manager or large amounts of keyword research.

Now that we understand the framework of Call Only campaigns, let’s look into the best practices.

Best Practices For Call Only Ads

Call-Only ads work best when you consider these factors when setting up your ads:

Keep Keywords In Tight Ad Groups

For starters, the keywords are some of the most important pieces of a well-structured campaign.

When it comes to Call Only campaigns we recommend no more than 10 keywords per ad group and keeping your ad group as tight as possible.

Ad Group 1:
Ad Group 2:
Family Dentist
Ad Group 3:
Emergency Dentist
Dentist Near Me
Dentist + Location
Dentist + Zip CodeKeywords:
Family Dentist
Family Dentist Near Me
Family Dentist + Location
Family Dentist + Zip CodeKeywords:
Emergency Dentist
Emergency Dentist Near Me
Family Dentist + Location
Family Dentist + Zip Code

See how we made sure that we kept Dentist, Family Dentist, and Emergency Dentist all separate?

This is due to message match.

When someone types in Emergency Dentist they have a sense of urgency.

So, we would want to show them ads catered to their needs.

Whereas with Ad Group #2 when someone types in Family Dentist our ad will be centered around Family Dentist and talking to that specific audience.

We want to include ad copy that describes and paints the picture of what a parent would be looking for when they type in Family Dentist.

With message match, if someone types in Dentist, we know they’re looking for a dentist but we don’t know if they’re looking specifically for a Family Dentist.

To recap, it is very important to make sure your ad groups are extremely tight and organized.

This will allow you to increase CTR, lower your CPC, and increase conversion rates, whether you’re running a Call Only or Search Campaign.

Select The Right Keyword Match Types

Another topic and question I receive a lot is what type of match types to use when it comes to Call-Only ads?

When starting a Call-Only campaign, we have seen the best lead quality coming from Exact & Phrase match keywords.

An Exact Match keyword shows your ad for the exact phrase you’re bidding.


If our keyword is [dentist near me]

Then our ads will only show up when someone types in Dentist Near Me.

With Phrase Match keywords almost the same rule applies except our ads will populate if there are words around our keyword.

KeywordSearches It Could Populate“Dentist near me”Dentist near me st. pete
St. pete dentist near me
Tampa dentist near me
Dentist near me 33701

As long as the phrase is there and in order our ads will show.

This is why it is very important to build a solid negative keyword list before spending a penny on advertising.

For every client campaign we always build out a comprehensive list of negative keywords that we do not want to show up for.

Ad Copy

Your ad copy for Call-Only ads needs to be focused on the user as well.

Since we’re trying to get individuals who need your service now, then we need to make them want to take action now.

Compared to normal text ads, we only have two headlines to get our message across, whereas search campaigns have three.

You will want your ad copy to be focused around urgency and then give instructions of what will happen if they call you now.

Headline Examples:

  • Call Now For An Instant Quote
  • Speak To A Team Member Now
  • Get A HVAC Pro Within An Hour
  • Free Over The Phone Case Evaluation
  • Book Your Appointment In 2 Minutes
  • Get An Insurance Quote In Minutes
  • Act Fast For This Special

Notice how these all give a sense of urgency and a reason for the user to call now.

Device Bid Adjustments

One of the final best practices that any solid Call Only campaign needs is the proper device bid adjustment.

With over 60% of Google’s traffic coming from mobile in 2019, it is imperative to be advertising to your potential customers on mobile.

When using Call-Only campaigns, you want people able to call you as soon as possible, which is just a click of a button.

We spend 100% of our budgets on mobile devices by completely decreasing our desktop and tablet bids.

This way we know people can call us and have no barrier to contacting us.

Use Extensions

Even though this makes it look like a limited campaign compared to the almighty search campaign, you can still use all the extensions you like.

We recommend using the location extension in tandem with your Call-Only ad.

If someone is browsing on mobile, you’ll also have the opportunity to be number one in the map pack.

Plus, they can call you right away!

Ad Schedule

Before enabling your campaign is it very important to set your ad schedule based on the times you or a team member can answer the phone.

The last thing you want to do is wasting ad spend for someone to go to voicemail.

In some cases, if you have someone answering the phone 24/7 then you will see some great opportunities to capitalize on call cost when other advertisers are not advertising.


By using Call-Only ads you’re able to connect with individuals who need your service now.

Want some help setting up Call Only ads for your business? Check out our service HOTH PPC where we do it all for you!

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