Google enabled advertisers to track their phone calls. Using the technology behind Google Voice, Google AdWords call metrics assigns each campaign a unique phone number which is automatically inserted into advertiser ads on both desktop and high-end mobile devices. Phone tracking is currently limited to the Campaign Level, so keep that in mind when setting up a new account with the intent of using this valuable feature.
When a user calls the number in an ad with call tracking enabled, the call is automatically routed to the advertiser’s business, and AdWords notes that this call took place. Then, when looking at the AdWords interface, advertisers see the number of calls generated by each campaign, call duration, and in the near future, caller area code. Advertisers will still only pay for clicks on their ads, but Google intends to charge for call metrics in the future, so be prepared for Google AdWords Pay-Per-Call.
AdWords advertisers can take Google call tracking one step further if desired and have the call tracking number follow a new visitor through to their website. Google provides the necessary tools and code to make this happen and this functionality can be installed without too much effort. To be clear, this feature enables the newly created call tracking number that appears in an ad to then follow this user to the website and appear at the website as well. This enables advertisers to see how many visitors call directly from the ad versus those who first go to the website & then call later.
Once advertisers know where their calls are coming from, they can better determine the results of their AdWords advertising efforts. Advertisers could test different ad text variations to see which results in the most calls or reallocate budget to campaigns that truly provide the highest ROI.
Call tracking can certainly be a valuable tool to better gauge Google AdWords advertising success. One current limitation is that advertisers do not get to keep the phone numbers assigned to their campaigns for call tracking. These numbers will constantly change, which has proven to be a concern for some advertisers.
For those seeking a more advanced call tracking solution, there are additional services available from various companies, including Marchex, Mongoose Metrics and others. More robust call tracking solutions offer insight into all your traffic sources including organic, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, display advertising, email marketing as well as traditional print and broadcast advertising. Furthermore, additional features such as recording calls are available as well.