The Mobile Search Boom - How to grow your business with paid search and click-to-call

Graham Cox
Founder | Graham Cox PPC
5th May 2016

The number of web searches on mobile phones is booming. In fact, according to Google, more than half all UK web searches now take place on mobile devices.  And this figure is likely to increase even further over the coming years as smartphone and 4G adoption increases.

Mobile traffic therefore represents a massive opportunity for any business that needs phone calls to generate leads, customers and sales.

In this article, I’ll show you how to take advantage of the rapid increase in mobile search to drive more calls to your business with click-to-call and pay-per-click (PPC) marketing.

Use Google Analytics to study your mobile visitors

The first thing to do is to look at your website traffic in Google Analytics (GA) and see how it’s split between desktop, tablet and mobile devices.  You might be surprised just how much mobile traffic you have!

Select Audience -> Mobile in GA and you should see something like this:

GA Mobile Desktop Tablet Image 1

If your site isn't getting much mobile traffic compared to desktop, one cause could be that your site is not mobile friendly.  If you're unsure, run it through Google’s mobile friendly test to check…

Google Mobile Friendly Image 2

There are 3 great reasons to ensure your website is mobile friendly.  First, Google will rank your site higher in the organic search results.  Second, you’ll see higher conversion rates. And third, if you’re running paid traffic, it will save you a lot of money.

Design your website with mobile users in mind

If your site needs updating to a responsive design - where the site layout and presentation responds to the size of the device viewing it - then a drag and drop design tool like can help you achieve this very quickly. 

Webflow also hosts a directory of talented freelance web designers who’ll create the design for you, if you prefer.

Whichever design tool you use, remember to adapt your design’s layout and content for mobile devices, like in this example:

Call Button Image 3

The key takeaways are:

  • Use a large click-to-call button in a contrasting colour to the rest of your page. 
  • Place the button so it’s visible without scrolling (above the fold).
  • Use Call-to-Action copy, eg Call Now, Call For A Quote etc.  Attention spans are short online, so tell your visitors what action you want them to take.
  • Use short, concise headlines and clear, easy to read copy. 
  • Display your 'lines open' hours so mobile visitors know you are available to call.
  • Optimize images and graphics to reduce their file size so your page loads quickly. You can test page speed on sites like and  Ideally your site should load in less than 2 seconds.

Generating calls from pay-per-click advertising

Ok, so your website is optimised for mobile, now it’s time to start driving calls to your business using pay-per-click marketing. 

I’ll use Google Adwords here as it’s the largest paid search platform but Microsoft’s Bing Ads platform (which will display your ads on Bing and Yahoo) is very similar.

The first thing you need to do is setup conversion tracking so you can see which ads and keywords are generating calls, as well as any other relevant  conversion actions like form completions, registrations and sales. 

Without tracking in place, you’ll never know which ads or keywords are generating conversions, or your cost per acquisition (CPA). 

Nor will you be able to optimize your campaigns by adjusting your bids, keywords and ads accordingly. So it really is vital for your campaign’s success.

The specific details of setting up conversion tracking are beyond the scope of this article. But Google has some excellent documentation here which should help.  The two main call conversion actions to setup are:

1. Track calls to a phone number on your website.

2. Track calls from ads

If you need help with this, try posting in the Adwords Advertiser Community Forums. Or you can hire a developer inexpensively on sites like and

Calls to a phone number on your website

Unless you are running call-only ads (see below), you’ll probably find most calls to your business are generated from people who visit your website. 

Call Details Image 4

Bear in mind that, especially on mobile devices, searchers are often looking to take action immediately. As long as they can do so quickly and easily. 

By following the Design Your Website With Mobile Users In Mind section above you’ll stand an excellent chance of converting your website visitors into live prospects eager to speak to you. 

Calls from ads

There’s two types of calls from ads. The first type uses a call extension in your search network text ad to show a click-to-call button like the top ad below:

Call Extension Image 5

With calls from ads, either the headline or the call extension can be clicked. If the headline is clicked, the visitor will be taken to your mobile optimised website (of course!). 

If the visitor then calls your business from the website click-to-call button, this will be tracked as a mobile click-to-call call type and website call source.

If the visitor clicks the call extension in your ad, this will be tracked as mobile click-to-call call type and ad dall source.

Google will charge you the same amount regardless of whether the ad headline or call extension was clicked. 

By the way, always create mobile preferred ads for your mobile visitors with mobile friendly calls to action (eg Call For A Fast Quote) and display urls. For example: or

The second type are call-only ads which have their own campaign type in Adwords.

Setup Call Only Image 6

Call-only ads are just served on mobile devices and as you’ve probably guessed, generate calls not website visits.  Whilst your website url is listed in the ad, the ad headline displays your telephone number. 

Here’s an example of a call-only ad and some tips for driving high click rates.

Setup call only ads Image 7


Mobile traffic has the potential to transform any business that relies on phone calls from prospects.  By optimising your website and ads for mobile, paid search and click-to-call can give you a huge advantage over your competition, driving growth and boosting profits. 

About the author

Graham Cox is the founder of, an official Google Partner for Adwords PPC Management.  Based in Bristol, the company helps SME’s grow their business through data driven paid search marketing and landing page conversion rate optimisation.

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