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You know how you can click on a phone number on your smartphone to call? “Of course” you say. Well, how mad would it drive you if you clicked a dozen times trying to call, and nothing happened? Unfortunately we see this on an almost daily basis. It’s a very common mistake. And it’s a bit of a waste having the worlds best Google AdWords Advertising if your website is making it difficult for customers to call you!
Why do some phone numbers not do anything when you press on them?
- Websites use hyperlinks or ‘links’ to tell your web browser that when clicked, a certain item should do something. For example, a link that navigates to another page on the website with more details, enlarge an image, and so on. To make a phone number ‘clickable’ these need to be hyperlinked as well, using a TEL hyperlink. So why isn’t your phone number clickable? Because it’s NOT properly hyperlinked!
- Hyperlinking phone numbers is very easy to do, you just need to use the tel: prefix. For example, you might hyperlink to tel:1800 123 456 — you probably don’t need to worry too much about the exact coding, but in it’s full HTML form it should look something like this:
<a href="tel:1800 123 456" style="text-decoration:none">tel:1800 123 456</a>
Different behaviour on different mobile browsers:
- Some mobile browsers behave differently. Notice how in the screen recording video above/left that the Chrome mobile browser (shown first) does not automatically make phone numbers clickable, and the Safari web browser on iPhone (shown second) is a bit clever, and will generally try and make phone numbers clickable even if they haven’t been hyperlinked properly.
- It’s often easy to spot if a phone number is hyperlinked or not:
- This phone number is hyperlinked: 1800 123 456
- This phone number is NOT hyperlinked: 1800 123 456
- Since Chrome and some other mobile browsers (at time of writing) do NOT automatically make phone number links clickable it’s ALWAYS strongly recommended (and best practice) to make sure ALL phone numbers on your website are hyperlinked correctly as per the example above. That way you can be sure they work across all browsers so it’s easy for customers to call you! If you’re unsure, just ask your website designer. It’s generally an easy thing to fix, that can have a significant impact on user experience, conversion rate and the overall performance of your Google Advertising.
TEL Links — the bottom line:
- Make sure ALL your website phone numbers are properly hyperlinked using the tel:123 456 789 format (as outlined above). If you don’t, a significant chunk of customers will have a frustrating experience on your website, and may not be able to call you, which is not what you want! This is a really simple thing that can have a big impact on your website, user experience, and the effectiveness of Google Ads, SEO and any other marketing that you do.