Google has decided to let all advertisers utilize its Click to Call program (only mobile, on high-end smartphones). Before you needed a physical address (i.e., local business). You associated a phone number with an address as part of Google’s location extensions in AdWords.
Now you no longer need a physical address and can use any phone number in your ad. So the call can go to a local distributor, store or national call center, however the advertiser would like to route or handle the call.
Google is still only charging for the click. In other words there’s no additional cost or separate bidding for the inclusion of the phone number. Google has done this to avoid complicating its system. But the company hopes that savvy advertisers will “get” the value of this and start bidding up the price of keywords and ads that contain phone numbers.
National advertisers apparently were seeking access to the program, so Google decided to expand it. These ads perform quite a bit better than conventional AdWords on smartphones, according to Google.
This is the PPCall program that everyone has waited for Google to implement, except that it’s a deal right now because you only pay the cost of a click. Early adopters will reap the benefits and the relatively low cost of these calls.
I’ve also written about it at SEL.