The free phone call ride is coming to an end for PPC advertisers. Back in April 2013, Google stopped allowing advertisers to put phone numbers in their AdWords ad copy. Today, Bing Ads announced a similar change.
Bing Ads advertisers will soon no longer be able to put a phone number in the headline, body copy, URL or extensions like Sitelinks. As with AdWords, they’ll need to use location or call extensions for phone numbers. To start, the change only affects advertisers in the US, UK, Hong Kong and Taiwan, though we should expect this change to roll out to other markets in “the near future”, Bing Ads warns in the announcement.
This change goes into effect on new campaigns starting in February 2015. Any legacy ads with phone numbers will be allowed to run until June 2015. A caveat: if you make any edits at all — fix a typo, change a URL — to those legacy ads starting in February, they will most likely be disapproved.
If you want to keep those old phone number ads running until June, don’t touch them. Your best bet? Be prepared to start using call extensions and location extensions ahead of the February change.
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