Call Tracking for AdWords

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This is a question that we get asked regularly by our clients. Tracking phone calls, then measuring them is obviously really important to maximise ROI from advertising.

Setting up Call Extensions

To get started on call tracking within AdWords, you’ll need to set up a call extension, which can be at either campaign or ad group level.

1. Navigate to the ‘Ad Extensions’ tab within your AdWords account, then click on the ‘View’ dropdown underneath:

Dropdown of an AdWords Call Extension

2. Select Campaign or Ad group using the green switcher button

3. Click the green +Extension button, select your campaign/ad group

4. Click +New Phone Number, and you’ll be served this popup:

Google Adwords Call Extensions Options

5. Here’s where you get the option to use Google’s forwarding number, or your own. We tend to set the time limit for conversions to 10 seconds. You can also set the device preference to mobile for greater flexibility.

What does a call extension look like?

When a call extension shows up on a mobile device, it comes up with a click to call button, or sitelink. This means that the user can call directly from the Google search results.

Mobile Click to Call Ad

For desktop devices, the number is shown to the right of the URL.

Once a call is made using Google’s call forwarding number, and it lasts longer than 10 seconds, these advertisers will have a conversion logged against that campaign.

External call tracking providers

If you’d like to dynamically track calls from all sources (such as display ads and landing pages) you’ll need to get onboard with a call tracking provider, such as:

  • Infinity
  • ReponseTap
  • Mediahawk

The call information can then be sent to Google Analytics, where it can be counted as a goal completion. It can then be sent onto AdWords as a conversion afterwards.

One downside is that dynamically generated numbers can’t integrate as an ad extension, so you’ll have to continue to use Google’s forwarding number for that. The upside is that you’ll have granular tracking for all instances of your phone number. This allows you to determine the effectiveness of other marketing campaigns, including:

  • Print advertising
  • Special promotions
  • Remarketing ads
  • Radio
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