From algorithm updates to under-the-radar features, Google is constantly working behind the scenes to provide internet marketers with the next best thing. This week, they’ve certainly adhered to their cutting-edge reputation, as we were introduced to their newest testing campaign: click-to-call phone numbers in organic mobile search results.
Click-to-Call Meets SEO
That’s right! Click-to-call is no longer just for paid ads, folks. With this new feature, phone numbers are being placed directly within mobile search results, right below page descriptions. Leave it to Google to make getting in touch easier than ever!
California-based internet marketing agency, SEO Inc., has noticed the change impact one of their own clients, stating, “As you can see, our client’s phone number occupies its own box. It’s not an extension of the Contact Us page, nor is it showing up as part of the meta description. It’s a click-to-call number with only one function: getting the user in touch with a business”
Wait… Isn’t This Old News?
You’re not imagining it – yes, we have seen business phone numbers appear before, both in paid search ads and local organic search results. However, on the PPC side of things, Google provides a wide variety of targeting tools and ad extensions to build an ad with, while local organic search results have only ever featured a phone number to locate the closest business. It wasn’t until the first reports of Google’s click-to-call additions to organic search (released late February/Early March 2016) that players in the SEO game began to notice just how impactful the addition of business contact information truly was.
Mobile Organic Phone Numbers Make a BIG Impact
Well, now that the reports have surfaced, the results have shown that phone numbers displaying within organic mobile search results suggest the following:
One Size Doesn’t Fit All – Not every search result is lucky enough to display a phone number. In fact, the criteria for this new algorithm is still somewhat of a mystery. What we do know is that right now, this new “feature” is still in the testing phase, so a month from now, we might be without the phone number addition altogether.
Conversion Rates Impress – Businesses that are lucky enough to be included in Google’s most recent test have seen a dramatic increase in conversion rates. What does this tell us? Phone numbers are wildly beneficial in local search results! After all, put yourself in the user’s shoes – would you rather scour a website searching for a phone number, or have one served up to you the moment you completed your search?
Three Pack Problems – One main issue associated with the new phone number addition lies within Google’s local three pack. Including a phone number within the search result goes directly against what Google has developed with their local three pack, meaning the criteria to be within the three pack will eventually change, or a whole new set of criteria will be developed to qualify for this new feature.
Another week, another update – this is the life of internet marketing! While some updates can go unnoticed, some (like this one) make a big splash. Adding phone numbers to local search results would add more than a healthy dose of competition in the SEO world, and would make measuring conversions that much easier. What do you think – are click-to-call numbers in organic mobile search results here to stay? It’s too early to tell, but we certainly hope they are!