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Google Rolls Out Call Tracking Tool

WRITTEN by: Chris Moll |
categories: Interactive , SEO

Sep 2014

ALL INSIGHTS

Earlier this month, Google rolled out an interesting new Adwords feature called Website Call Conversion. Marketers running Adwords campaigns should absolutely be tracking calls back to the keywords, ads and campaigns that drive them. There’ve been multiple studies that have confirmed what many marketers have suspected for quite some time: inbound calls are the most valuable and lucrative type of leads. Sales teams want inbound call leads more than any other because they know those are the types of leads most likely to convert to actual revenue. The fact that Google is now providing a service like this validates how important inbound call leads are, and how this is becoming the new metric to replace "clicks."  Google’s new call tracking feature allows you to track phone calls from your website that resulted from a user arriving to your site from an Adwords ad. Like anything, there are both pros and cons to using this feature, which I will go into below.

The first step in utilizing this feature is implementing the tracking code. All you have to do is put two Javascript code snippets on every page of your website where you want Google to track website call conversions. Once the code is in place, Google dynamically inserts a Google forwarding number and tracks the call, regardless of whether the user clicks on it from a mobile device or they call directly.

Benefits

There are three major benefits of using Google’s new website call conversion tracking feature. The tool is free to use, it's very customizable, and the reporting is available directly in Adwords. When it comes to customization, Google allows you to modify the color, font and size of the numbers to match the look and feel of your website. Since you are already using Adwords, the fact that reporting for your phone calls automatically funnel into your existing account makes data easy to find and analyze.

Limitations

However, there are a few limitations to using this feature that marketers should be aware of.

  1. The number only tracks Adwords’ phone calls from the search network. So if a visit is coming from any other traffic source (e.g. referral, organic, email or social media) this feature will not track it.
  2. The number that Google dynamically generates is only valid for 90 days. So if you have a visitor that writes the number down and they try calling it after 90 days, it will not work.
  3. The feature is currently only available in the US, France, Germany, UK, Spain and Australia – where Google has forwarding numbers.

While the new call tracking feature from Google is very useful and free, we need to remember there are a number of ways marketers drive web and call conversions outside of Google Adwords. Display ads, email, video, content marketing and social media all play a major hand in driving call and web leads. As a marketer, you may want to track more than just phone calls occurring from their website after someone clicks on a search ad. If that’s the case, you should consider investing in a more robust and complete solution that will keep track of the calls originating from multiple traffic sources, offer call recording and more.  For marketers starting at the ground level, the Google call tracking feature is certainly a great place to start. Tell us in the comments what you think of the new feature!

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