Why Google Voice will be Good for Advertisers

April 1, 2009

Digital Marketing ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

No one’s going to argue with the trackability and accountability of Google Adwords advertising, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Yep, I’m talking about call tracking. With the web and the phone being more or less the only two ways for customers to purchase from the ecommerce businesses that dominate the sponsored links, I’ve often wondered why Google only bothers to support conversion tracking on one of those channels.

Of course, in the good ol’ days when bankers were fair and honest and the Dow was above 14,000, most businesses were quite content in the knowledge that as good as their Adwords return on investment was, it was probably even better once all the conversions that they couldn’t track were taken into account. For those that wanted more, there are businesses that offer call tracking services and creative workarounds for implementing it themselves.

Nowadays, as budgets tighten and conversion rates level off, the number of businesses that are content to know that their Adwords campaigns are probably driving phone orders is dwindling. As budgets tighten, it is becoming more and more necessary to see results from every penny spent.

Enter Google’s new phone service, Google Voice. Announced earlier this month Google Voice is the reworking of the GrandCentral acquisition from 2007. Including impressive features like a single number for all your phones and the transcription of voicemails (making them searchable), this new service offers a lot to get excited about.

Obviously, this could just be one more step towards the day when voyeuristic Google employees will know all of our deepest darkest secrets. (My favourite headline so far: “Google Voice: Press 1 to Invade Your Privacy”). Or maybe it’s just one more high traffic property for Google to serve ads on. I think there’s more to it though, I think this is the first step in Google getting serious about call tracking.

I’ve always thought it was inevitable that Google would integrate call tracking into Adwords, and the stars seem to be lining up for that move to come soon. Google’s not immune to the economic downturn, and logic dictates that the more revenue companies can tie back to Adwords, the more they’ll spend there. I’d imagine that this idea has been kicking around the Googleplex for some time, and if they are actually going to roll out this functionality in 2009, it couldn’t come at a better time.

Written by Kevin Hill
(Kevin.Hill at ChannelAdvisor dot com)