Mobile search prompted 30 billion calls to businesses in 2013, and BIA/Kelsey forecasts that number could be as high as 70 billion in 2018.

Moreover, 70% of mobile searches within Google result in a call to a business. Google Ads alone prompt 40 million calls each month. The majority of those calls last six minutes or more. Now those are qualified leads!

Those numbers reflect the staggering amount of business (and revenue) up for grabs, and your business can't afford to miss out on those calls.

Use the following guide to start enticing your target audiences to click-to-call.

Prep Your Business for Mobile Leads

First, you need a mobile website solution. Whether you choose a mobile website or responsive design, visitors should have a high-quality experience. Format images and text accordingly. Are they readable? Are your calls-to-action still prominent and on the best places on your page?

Increased visits to a mobile website are useless if your visitors leave before they convert due to an unsatisfactory experience.

Set Up a Number You Can Track and Analyze

Yes, you can use your public number... but then how will you know whether your click-to-call campaign is working?

You can use Google Voice or another of the many number-purchasing services out there to set up phone numbers for your campaign. Most of those services offer powerful tracking tools.

Keep in mind that the more metrics you'd like to analyze, the more distinct numbers you will need. To separate your campaigns, set up a unique number for each source. Consider branching off into more focused analysis by further segmenting phone number allocations by service or product areas. That will help you determine whether more calls come through certain mediums compared to others.

You also have to ensure you can effectively keep track of this information. It's pointless if your team experiences an influx of calls but doesn't keep track of each specific number and its indication of source and/or service and product area.

Sources of Click-to-Call

There are three major places from which your audiences can click-to-call.

1. Organic search results

When a mobile user uses a standard search engine, such as Google, a variety of results (informational pages, nearby businesses with a helpful map and listing feature, review sites) show up. Many calls start within the local listings below the map because a helpful phone icon and integrated click-to-call option points them in the right direction. Clicking to call is a no-brainer for searchers.

Is your business popping up in relevant mobile search results? If you haven't set up and optimized Google Places, then, no, your business is not. Google Places is the first place you should start. Complete your listing with relevant keywords, plenty of contact information, a website URL, and every other feature it offers. The more information you put out there, the more paths a searcher has to get to your business.

As always, test everything to ensure your audiences are seeing your business.

2. Paid search results

Within the above results, a visitor is also presented with paid ads offering the ability to click-to-call. That requires a search engine marketing budget and more resources for management, but if you're already running pay-per-click campaigns, a healthy chunk of them should go to display on mobile devices. In Google AdWords, you can set this up by enabling call extensions within your campaigns.

Paid tools often translate into more benefits as well. Many digital ad networks offer analytics, so you can effectively measure how many visitors are clicking-to-call directly from the ad within the campaign tools themselves.

3. Mobile website visit

Sometimes, mobile audiences are looking for more information before contacting a business, so they take the next step onto a brand's website. If a visitor's destination isn't primed for a mobile experience, a visitor will hit the back button in the browser and find another option more prepared for a mobile visitor.

To give those visitors an easy way to contact your business, give the phone number a prominent place in both your website's header and footer. Once visitors have enough information, they can call you immediately and don't have to cross a barrier to find a contact page.

The three sources above hardly build an exhaustive list. Many online directories and profiles now offer click-to-call options. Investigate the ones you already focus on as a part of your online marketing strategy and research whether they provide any options for your business.

* * *

As the stats above indicate, mobile searchers aren't always just looking for quick information. They often seek a specific answer to their question, and they're willing to call a business to find more information. By using click-to-call strategies and partnering online marketing campaigns with a powerful mobile solution, your business can effectively capture those searching from various devices and increase lead flow.

Do you have any click-to-call ideas to add? What marketing tactics do you use to increase conversions from mobile audiences?

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Using Click-to-Call to Capture Mobile Audiences

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image of Joe Marcallini

Joe Marcallini is vice-president of Mobile Strategy at SteadyRain, a digital strategy, Web design, and development agency specializing in mobile solutions, DNN, SEO, and PPC.

LinkedIn: Joe Marcallini

Twitter: @joemarcallini