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Google and Ipsos have published new research intended to detail the use of click-to-call in mobile search.

The results show that almost half of those surveyed (42%) had used click-to-call in search, with the need to talk to a real person stated as the main motivation. Other motivations included ‘wanting answers more quickly’ and ‘needing more information than a website could provide’.

Of smartphone users, a massive 94% have needed to call a business directly when searching for information, whether click-to-call is available or not.

Google has a unique perspective on much of the mobile customer journey with search, Maps, Chrome, Places, click-to-call, Wallet, to name a few. 

Google ads drive 40m calls a month and with in-search features growing more on desktop and smartphone, customers are using them more and more. The research showed 47% were aware of additional information displayed in search results.

Here are some more findings from the research and an additional click-to-call case study from sk:n clinics.

For further information on this topic, check out our blog posts looking at five good and five bad examples of click-to-call mobile CTAs, or 12 useful tips for optimising mobile landing pages.

Six minute calls

Google’s new research shows an average click-to-call conversation length of six minutes, suggesting the option can lead to decent level of engagement. 72% of click-to-call conversations lasted longer then 30 seconds.

The ads can of course be served dynamically using dayparting to display, for example, during call centre opening times.

High value or complex goods are easier to sell on a phone call and time sensitive services or products that may not be bookable online, such as restaurant tables, are often found via mobile search. 40% of respondents said they may use click-to-call in search to inquire about inventory or asking for booking information.

Google’s ‘Full Value of Mobile’ calculator allows retailers to calculate the value of mobile – from calls, apps, in-store, cross-device etc. by looking at traffic levels and conversion.

You can link it to your AdWords data, too.

One third regularly need to call from search

The new survey shows that just under one third of respondents (32%) regularly need to call a business from search when looking for services or products on their smartphone.

52% of mobile searchers say they find the click-to-call button useful.

Most important in the purchase phase

Click-to-call is seen as most important for mobile searchers in the purchase phase. 48% find it extremely important to be able to call the business when they are about to make a purchase (here we are perhaps talking about click-to-call from mobile landing pages on a company’s site, not in-search CTAs).

36% have needed click-to-call when researching an item or service.

Customer expectations

The findings also indicate that businesses not offering click-to-call may lose customers, if not all together then to another channel with the potential of losing some percentage in the leap.

  • 36% of mobile searchers indicated they would be more likely to explore other brands if click-to-call was not available when required.
  • 32% would feel frustrated or annoyed and 30% would be disappointed in the brand in this situation. 

Google Adwords research has previously found that click-to-call service increases average mobile search ad click-through rate by 8%.

Ian Carrington, director of performance solutions & innovation at Google comments:

Globally, we know that 40m calls are driven by Google Ads each month so it’s fair to say that click-to-call is a clear sales driver. Moreover, for businesses that haven’t yet built a responsive or mobile site, click-to-call is a great way to ensure consumers can still reach your business easily, showing that mobile advertising doesn't just have to be for the mobile-ready.

Across sectors

The study also explored behaviours in organic and paid search results on mobile, within the context of seven verticals: automotive, finance, local services, restaurants, retail, technology and travel.

Respondents were smartphone users that search several times a week and had purchased in at least one of the verticals in the past six months.

It found that consumers use click-to-call across each of the seven survey sectors. Percentage of respondents at some time having needed to call companies in each industry is as follows:

  • Local services - 63%.
  • Automotive - 42%.
  • Tech businesses - 38%.
  • Travel - 36%.
  • Hospitality - 27%.

Check out the new Google research in full, here.

sk:n click-to-call case study

sk:n used click-to-call as part of an AdWords enhanced campaign and saw a 42% increase in calls.

Results showed that click-to-call conversion rate was 26 times higher than that of the standard mobile campaign.

The enquiry-to-consultation conversion rate for the click-to-call mobile campaign was 2.2 times higher compared to all search channels. 

Myles Tippett, Digital Manager at sk:n commented:

…mobile is now considered an essential lead channel for the business.

Ben Davis

Published 25 February, 2014 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is a senior writer at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

834 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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Arun Sivashankaran

Thanks for pulling this data together. I've been wondering about the broader conversion numbers behind click-to-call, so this was really helpful.

over 2 years ago

Oliver Ewbank

Oliver Ewbank, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

Nice post. Click to Call works great with mobile ads. I find them very useful when I am using my Iphone.

over 2 years ago

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