How to reach more customers searching for a plumber using Google Call Only ads.

Reach More Customers Using Call-Only Ads in Google.

How to reach more customers searching for a plumber using Google Call Only ads.

Today I want to go over with you how to use Google’s call only ad feature to generate more phone calls into your plumbing business. I’ve been having some great success using Google’s call only ad feature with a local plumbing company I’m currently working with.

So what is the call only ad feature in Google?

How are these ads different from the standard paid ads when setting up a campaign?


The call-only ad feature displays ads only on mobile devices that are capable of calling. These ads only display on mobile devices such as a cell phone. When people Google search a keyword you are biding on, in our example, we were bidding on local city + plumber keywords (and other long tail plumbing related keywords). Our ad then only shows up on a person phone allowing them to click the ads to call us direct. Our ad does not display on computers.

What’s the difference between normal ads and call only ad?

When someone clicks on your ad, instead of redirecting that person to your website the ad displays your phone number allowing the customer to call you direct eliminating and shortening 1 step allowing someone seeking a plumber to contact you direct. The less steps the customer has to take to calling you the better. The call only ad features removes the “landing page” step and allows them to directly call you. And this is what you want right? Plumbing calls! And these calls are hot and convert very well. From our experience we were able to convert roughly 3 out of 5 calls that clicked our ad.

Services ranged from drain cleaning to slab leak repairs to water tank change outs. The calls that didn’t convert were looking specific plumbing company they used in the past or were price shopping. As far as cost goes the same bidding strategy applies when using typical Google ads and in here you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

The second your ad is clicked on you are charged. Sometimes the caller doesn’t call all the way through, they might hang up even before the call connects to you and Google still considers that a paid cost per action which you have to pay for. Yes that sucks but from my own experience in running these ads this didn’t happen much.

So why run call-only ads?


Mobile usage is rising enormously than before. Everyone is on their phone! The growth from people now using mobile to get online is now growing past desktop/laptop usage. Google understand it and created this new feature that only allows your ad to show up on mobile phones and works great for plumbers because of the need to fix a problem quick in someone’s home or business when a plumbing issue occurs.

Are we say to switch from using typical ads to call-only?

No, of course not. It’s best to test this option in addition to using typical ads to see which is best effective for your business but call-only is a powerful feature that would work great for plumbers. If you aren’t yet using this feature in Google below I’ll how you how.

Bing hasn’t yet jumped on this feature (but definitely needs to asap). Even Facebook has now a call-only ad feature that does the same thing. However we haven’t yet tested it out and am not sure if results will be the same as with Google. When your on Google searching for something, you have a problem. When you are on Facebook skimming through your timeline seeing an ad for a plumber probably won’t convert well because that person is on Facebook probably for amusement and boredom vs needing help. However it’s worth try and we will give it in a shot soon.

But if you are a plumbing company and aren’t yet using call-only ads, give it a go!

Here are a few important tips when using the call-only feature in your plumbing campaign to generate more calls.

  1. Make sure you are using negative keywords in your campaigns!

Super super super important!

Negative keywords are keywords that you do not want your ad showing up for. For example, let’s say someone was searching plumbing parts. Do you really want your ad showing up for this keyword? No, your a plumbing service, not a part store ( in this example).


By adding in the negative keyword in your campaign the word store, your ad wouldn’t show up for any search phrase anyone searches for using the word parts. This does a few things, it helps your ad convert better by showing up on search phrases that are beneficial to your business, it helps lower your cost by not spending it on wasted keywords and helps display your ads to searchers better by delivering more accurate ads to those in seek of a plumber.

You will never stop adding in negative keywords in your campaign. I monitor my campaigns weekly and always find new negative keywords to add to the list. However once you start fine-tuning this campaign and adding inappropriate negative keywords your ads convert better and costs are more manageable and not wasted.

I still to this day see dozens of plumbing companies waste thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars each month on wasted negative keywords that have nothing to do with plumbing! If you’re running AdWords check your search queries to find every search phrase that someone typed in Google and found your website. This will uncover negative keywords which you can then apply in the list. Negative keywords aren’t just for, call only ads but for all Google paid campaigns.

2. Run at least two different ads equally per ad group or campaign. This allows you to lower your cost per click and increase conversions. Run these ads equally and evaluate both ads after at least 1000 impressions.

Which one has delivered last cost per click?

Which and has delivered more conversions?

Pause the one that’s weaker and add a new ad to compete against the one ad that won. Rinse and repeat.

The goal here is to lower your cost per click and and most importantly deliver more conversions. If your not split testing ads your definitely paying way more per click than other advertisers. This technique will help lower your costs and deliver higher ad placement and better conversions.

3. Use geo-targeting to laser target in your area. If your plumbing company in Dallas Texas what good does showing your ad in New York for someone searching for a plumber? Google allows you to geo-target your city to have your ad only display in that area when someone searches a keyword you are bidding on.

Below is a list of a few popular negative keywords you can add to your plumbing AdWords or Call-only campaign. This is great for plumbing companies in any city. This isn’t meant to be an entire list of every negative keyword you can have but it will at least get you started to help you cut some costs and deliver more accurate ads to people seeking a plumber in your city if you don’t yet have one. These negative clicks costed us from the range of $10-$40. Just copy the list and add it to your negative keyword list campaign.

If you are currently needing help setting this up or would like help marketing your plumbing business online to reach even more customers contact me today. I specialize in helping plumbing companies with digital marketing and help manage and run their online marketing.


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