Earlier this year, we reported that Bing was readying Skype-integrated click-to-call mobile ads, and now it has finally announced them.
On the Bing Ads blog, Microsoft's Ambrish Verma introduced Bing's new Call Extensions, which work across all devices, and utilize Skype. This is something that "no one else can provide," as Verma notes.
This is one way where Microsoft's acquisition of Skype can have a direct impact on revenue.
"Advertisers can connect with customers through phone calls directly from their ads, regardless of device," explains Verma. "With Call Extensions for Bing Ads, businesses can now provide a phone number alongside search ads on PCs, tablets and smartphones. Your potential customers can then can call your business by clicking on the phone number that appears on the ads. These are opportunities exclusive to Bing Ads. In each of these scenarios, advertisers will be charged on a cost-per-click basis."
Naturally, thanks to the Microsoft Yahoo search advertising deal, the extensions will be seen on Yahoo in addition to Bing.
Microsoft is also providing advertisers with a set of analytics reports to help monitor the effectiveness of the ads. They will include impressions, calls and spend data, and advertisers will get detailed reports for individual calls received from the extensions.
They've also improved the reporting for the recently launched location extensions.