Most of the Google Ad campaigns I manage for clients are what you would consider 'local lead gen' campaigns. The goal with these campaigns is, you guessed it, to generate leads (i.e. calls, form submissions, chat initiations, etc).
This is in contrast with Ecommerce type campaigns where the goal is to drive sales directly.
Up until recently, I would add the Call Ad Extension without a second thought. The more ad extensions you have, the more screen real estate your ad will take up. I also would see a lot of call conversions coming from the Call Ad Extension.
No brainer right?
Not exactly! Lately I've been encountering a problem where my ads would be triggered by a competitor brand search term and the user calls my client using the Call Ad Extension thinking they're actually calling a different business entirely.
My solution to this had been to just add competitor search terms as negative keywords. The problem is, there is a seemingly unlimited number of competitor terms. Just when you think you have them all as a negative keyword, others pop up. It's like playing a game of wack-a-mole!
Also, competitor terms can be some of your highest converting keywords. This is because a good percentage of people searching for your competitors have yet to become their customer or patient and they're far enough down the sales funnel that they practically have their credit card out ready to take action.
So instead of maintaining a never ending list of competitor terms as negative keywords, I've decided to just remove the Call Ad Extension completely.
This way the visitors have to come to the website to convert, which will 1) cut down on people calling my clients THINKING they're calling a different business entirely and 2) hopefully increase conversions and lower cost per conversion while delivering a higher quality lead.
So far it's still too early to see the results but it looks promising.