Since Google AdWords introduced click-to-call ads back in January of 2010, I’ve been testing their usefulness on several of our law firm AdWords campaigns. The results are in…they work extremely well.
For those who haven’t seen a click-to-call ad, its most likely because you aren’t performing Google searches on a smartphone with a full web browser (yet). This includes iPhones and Androids phones but not currently Blackberries. If Ad Extensions are enabled, the ads will include the phone number beneath the text ad. I have attached a screenshot of a search for “real estate lawyer vancouver.” The top two search results are AdWords ads. You’ll notice that the second of the two has enabled the click-to-call extension. By clicking on the phone number, you’ll dial directly from your smartphone.
These numbers do get clicks. For one of our clients (a personal injury firm) 40 of the 239 clicks in May were calls directly from the search results, at an average cost per click of $2.43 (in contrast to $6.11/click for the campaign as a whole). While I’m certainly not suggesting that all of these clicks represent new clients, some of them inevitably will be. What better way to gauge return-on-investment than saying we pay A for each call to the firm relating to keywords B, C, and D? Phone calls trigger the client-intake process. This is as good as it gets for tracking conversions.
While cold-emails by way of law firm websites are certainly increasingly common, getting a phone call from a prospective client remains preferable for assessing the quality of the lead. Once more lawyers discover this option, the cost-per-click will almost certainly increase. With last week’s release of more Google mobile search functionality and the sheer number of smartphones flooding the market, this could get very interesting. A better question will be whether lawyers actually want to take all these calls.