AdWords unveiled a new approach to click-to-call ads today, with the launch of the “call only” campaign type. Unlike previous click-to-call extensions, which existed as just one part of a larger ad unit, these new ads immediately open a new call regardless of which part of the ad is clicked – bypassing the website altogether.

To use this format, marketers simply input their ad information, URL, and call information into a new “call only” campaign, and AdWords produces an ad which automatically opens a call when clicked.

This new campaign type is no doubt geared toward mobile marketers looking to make quick conversions through calls. Although creating a type of “call-only” ad was previously possible by having an ad display only a phone number, the setup process for the new ad type is much more simple and user friendly. “Call-only” campaigns also include the ability to count calls as conversions, just like standard call extensions.

The new format comes with a host of other benefits, including allowing marketers to optimize their bidding strategy around their ROI for calls, and allowing ads to target a single call-to-action: phone calls. According to the AdWords blog on the topic, 70% of mobile users calls businesses directly from their search results, so this kind of targeting will allow business to engage their mobile audience even more effectively.

Image of call-only ad creating menu

“Call-only” ads are, of course, typically targeted towards mobile users, because those users have immediate call capability and more limited viewing capabilities for some websites. As with call extensions, the new ad type can display either the actual number for the ad, or a Google forwarding number. Because the ad includes website URL, the consumer can still see who they’re actually calling, despite being unable to follow the link.

To learn more about the “call-only” campaigns, check out the AdWords blog post on the subject. To learn how to upgrade your existing call extensions to the new ad unit, visit the AdWords Help Center.

“Call-only” functionality represents just another step in the footrace toward mobile-first advertising and design. Does this seem like something your business could take advantage of? Any thoughts on the movement towards “true mobile ads” in AdWords? Let us know in the comments!

If you’re missing call-extensions altogether, check out this helpful video: