More threads by standenman


Aug 2, 2012
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I'm a long time, grumpy Google Adword's user. Never feel like I am getting close to my money's worth, or that Google provides me with tools to really assess what is going on. The "grassy knoller" in me thinks Google keeps it vague and complex for a reason.

So in response to my whining about my inability to assess campaign effectiveness, and the fact that the majority of my conversions are calls, Google suggested a call-only campaign. So we did that - set up a click-only campaign.

After some weeks now I am now seeing that over 1/2 of the clicks are in fact abandoned. Since I get the click, of course, I get charged, and it seems puzzling that folks would click the ad, then decide they don't want to call after all.

Google doesn't really offer me much help on this. Any one have any ideas?
Hi Stan,

We have some Adwords pros here for sure. Joy in particular. Hopefully they'll weigh in today or tomorrow when they see this.

I'll Tweet this in the AM to ensure you get some feedback from those in the know.
Hi Stan,

A lot of those can be "accidental" clicks. The user can be scrolling and "accidentally" click on your phone number.

I would recommend utilizing the Search terms report at the ad group level and dig deeper to find keywords that aren't performing well.
Two possible reasons for the abandonment.

If your business is operating in an area with multiple area codes you'll find that many clickers will abandon the call if they see the number that displays doesn't match what they were expecting. For example you show a number with a Chicago area code and the clicker is in the Southwest Suburbs expecting to see a local area code. Click abandoned.

2) Click fraud. Your competitors are clicking your ads but not following through with the call. You can set up a click fraud monitoring service (We use PPC-Pal for $30/mo.)
and hope to block the IP's of your overzealous competition. On mobile it's tough because the phone ips change so easily but the small investment is still worth for the times it does work.

My two cents and I'm in agreement with your outlook on Adwords, maddening.
Google really should have a way to tell if the call connects or not and only charge you if you speak to the person or they hit an answering machine.
Edit: thought this was a different thread and we were talking about something else. I agree with Joshua, if they're going to measure whether or not the call connects, seems like they shouldn't be charging for those that abandon after clicking.
Such wishful thinking. In many emergency-type businesses they're getting clicked 2 - 5 times by the same caller. Price checkers, people who forgot who they called, etc. It's always easier to hit click-to-call in the results than try to figure out if that number in your call log is the company you thought sounded best. I'm quite sure Google is well aware of this but until they have any serious competition why would they not charge for each and every click. Part of doing business with them. and yes it still works well for many companies. And no, I'm not bitter much. And yes their complexity helps me make a living. and no I don't usually rant like this til the fourth glass of vino. and yes I know it's only Wednesday. Rough week so far. forgive me.
I see a very low percentage of abandons on calls if the campaign is set up properly. It's hard to diagnose without seeing the account but can you answer these questions:

1. Are they call-only ads or just calls from the call extension?
2. Can you try using a 3rd party like CallRail to record the calls to see what's going on?
3. Are you opted into the Display Network by any chance?
4. What match types are on your keywords?
5. Can you list a few of the keywords?
6. What are the advanced location settings set at?

I'd be happy to peek at your AdWords account if you want to PM me your client ID# and I can link to it.
Hi Joy, thanks for the well laid out response. I just started typing with a head of steam while thinking about things I've seen with different adwords accounts, and hit send.

So I don't have a specific account to take a look at (Though it woud be great to get an expert's eyeballs on a couple I'm dealing with) but I think the click abandonment can be unavoidable if you're dealing with a combination tire-kicking + emergency service type business. Think towing, emergency garage door or plumbing repair.

If the person who answers the call isn't closing hard from the get go or what they say on the phone doesn't match the offer within the ad or they don't show up when they say they're going to, multiple clicks from the same person are coming.

It's more evident in companies that are trying to dominate the search results, if you're in the first position a majority of the time you'll see that we're part of a click-happy world in which many people don't realize those clicks are monetized.

I'm rambling again, so I'll stop but thanks again for taking the time to respond.
Well, just so I am clear, my concern is click, not call, abandonment. As I understand how a call only campaign works, the user would click the ad, costing me money, only to decline the next offering to actually connect a call to me. Some good theories here, but I still not sure I understand why something would click a "call" button, only to decline to connect the call.
Well, just so I am clear, my concern is click, not call, abandonment. As I understand how a call only campaign works, the user would click the ad, costing me money, only to decline the next offering to actually connect a call to me. Some good theories here, but I still not sure I understand why something would click a "call" button, only to decline to connect the call.
It happens a lot on the Display Network. Not much on search. I call them "accidental clicks".
Okay after looking at the account, here are my observations.

73 clicks-to-call yet only 32 calls reported

55 of the clicks-to-call were on the Mobile Call Only Campaign so this is the one I'll look deeper at.

Observation #1: The keyword match types and location advanced settings are too broad causing you to get clicks from people searching for thinks that don't apply (Ex: you got a click from someone searching for an attorney in Florida, and you're in Texas)

Observation #2: You're only targeting one set of areas yet that metro area has a bid adjustment. I'd remove this as there is no need for it.

Observation #3: You've opted not to use call reporting on the call extension. This could be causing issues with not all calls recording properly. I wouldn't rely on Google's call-tracking whatsoever but would set up an account with (it's only $29/month).

Observation #4: I'd change your settings on the conversion to count every single call as a conversion. Right now it's only counting calls over 60 seconds. This will allow you to add the conversions column to different tabs and figure out which keywords or ad groups are dropping off and not even starting the call.

Observation #5 - Quality Scores are pretty low which means you're probably paying more per click than you should. I've found this typical for call-only ads and rarely use them. We've seen better success with regular ads showing on mobile with call-extensions because you can add other types of extensions that help the ad look better and get a better quality score.

That's my 15-minute analysis but if you wanted to have our team manage and take over the account for you, we charge a 10% management fee ($199/month is our minimum fee) so if you're spending $2,000/month or less , our fee is $199/month. If you're over that, it's 10% of whatever your monthly budget is.

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