Google advertisers can now set up AdWords local forwarding numbers for ads with call extensions. Since the call extensions will now show the area code for a business’ geographic location, this feature may increase the chances that prospective customers will contact a local merchant.

Google announced the update on Google+ last Thursday, saying:

“Many people who search for local businesses prefer to call a phone number with a recognizable area code. That’s why starting today, ads with call extensions [http://goo.gl/AcZVF]set up to use Google forwarding numbers can now show a local Google forwarding number [http://goo.gl/pF7qxh], where available.”

Those who have a local phone number already assigned to their call extensions will start showing the AdWords local forwarding numbers. On the other hand, those who use a toll-free number and want to use a local Google forwarding number will simply need to update their call extension settings.

These AdWords local forwarding numbers share the same area code as the merchant’s business phone number or the local area code for his region. A business based in San Francisco, for instance, is eligible to use a 415 area code with its forwarding number.

At the moment, the Google forwarding numbers are only available in certain areas in the US. In locations where a local forwarding numbers isn’t available, the default toll-free call extension will continue to show.