Over the past month, many marketers have begun to notice phone numbers appearing in organic listings on the search engine results page. Google, as they do, has been experimenting with this feature to enable a quicker connection between a Google user and a business. This phone number is not a part of the business’s Google My Business account, nor is it an extension of an About or Contact page of the respective website associated with the listing. It is essentially a click-to-call feature using a phone number that Google found by crawling the website.

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At this time, Google only seems to be testing this feature on mobile devices. The fact that Google is testing this feature further validates that we are in a time where people are more willing and wanting to contact a business via the phone.

The Positive and Negative Impacts

  1. Better User Experience: As with call extensions and call-only ads, having a number appear in an organic listing provides searchers with a direct connection to a business and means that they can find what they’re looking for more quickly.
  2. Increased Conversions: With this direct connection between searchers and businesses, appointments and sales can occur faster and hopefully more frequently.
  3. Attribution Holes: Although having a phone number in organic search results greatly benefits the consumer experience, there is no way to differentiate calls generated in the organic results from other sources where this number is used (i.e., a Google My Business page, a listings website, or other places where this number may appear). As a result, a marketing organization would not be able to claim the revenue generated from these calls even though they were driven from an organic search result, which they influence as a department.
  4. NAP Inconsistency: If a business has many inconsistent phone numbers displayed throughout its website, there is a possibility that the wrong phone number or no phone number may show. If Google launches this feature (which currently seems to be limited to secondary results pages) it will be important for businesses to audit their sites to ensure NAP consistency.

We will be sure to keep an eye on this exciting new feature. If you would like to learn more about using click-to-call to drive more customers from search, download a copy of our Click-to-Call Playbook.