Google Call Tracking is Here!

November 5, 2010

I’ve always found it strange that Google didn’t make it easier for advertisers to track AdWords generated phone calls. Obviously, showing advertisers more value from their investment makes a lot of sense, and besides that, Call Tracking is essential for measuring ROI in the emerging Mobile and Local markets that have been such a large part of Google’s overall strategy lately. 

Phone TrackingWith that in mind, I posted last year that Google Voice would eventually lead to Call Tracking in AdWords, and even though it took a lot longer than I expected, that day has finally come! Earlier this week, Google announced Call Metrics for AdWords, a call tracking system powered by Google Voice. From Google:

Using the technology behind Google Voice, call metrics assigns your campaign a unique phone number which is automatically inserted into your ad on both desktop and high-end mobile devices, where the number is clickable…When a user calls the number in your ad, the call is automatically routed to your business, and AdWords notes that this call took place. Then, when you look at your AdWords reports, you’ll see the number of calls generated by each campaign, call duration, and in the near future, caller area code.

This is great news for advertisers. We’ll now be able to track the calls being generated by our AdWords spend right in the AdWords interface and finally get an accurate picture of the additional offline conversions that we are generating. At this point, Call Metrics works in two ways:

Ad Text Call Metrics: This places phone numbers below your ads and can be easily enabled within your AdWords account. Google will automatically generate the tracking number for you, so you don’t have to worry about setting up a Voice account or picking a number. Setting this up is as easy as checking a box in the Ad Extensions tab, under the Phone Extensions view. Now, I’m not sure how much this will help with campaigns enabled for desktop users only (they’d have to see the number on the search results page and dial it from there), but for mobile campaigns this is a must.

Website Call Metrics: This is the big one. After implementing some additional code from Google, the phone number on your site will change dynamically to a Google Voice number when users click through from an AdWords ad. With the new number in place, Google will be able to identify how many phone calls are being generated through AdWords and register those in the interface. Obviously, this one requires a little extra setup (and isn’t open to as many users as the Ad Text version at the moment), but if you get any sort of call volume, knowing which of those are coming from your ad spend makes it well worth it.

Google will be rolling Call Metrics out to all advertisers over the next month, and if you can’t see it in your account yet, you might be able to speed things along by contacting your Google rep or registering at Google Ad Innovations.


Posted by Kevin Hill