How Does Google Track Phone Calls Generated From Google Ads

Google Ads is a complex PPC service that allows all businesses to attract new customers and increase their revenue. One of the main perks of this service it’s the ability to set up exactly what type of action you want to increase in order to lead to a conversion, from link clicks to landing page views, or website call conversion.

When it comes to the later, Google Ads allows you to run ads that put your brand’s phone number in plain sight and increases the likelihood of customers pressing on it to make a call. But how does Google Ads track these calls? When does a call get counted as a conversion, in which case the service actually charges you? Let’s take a closer look at this subject.

Website Call Conversion 101

To track your calls, you’ll need to first create a call-only ad where you’ll still use your copy to describe your service, but instead of using a link that leads to a landing page, you can swap it with a phone number. This way, users can directly contact you to book a service.

This type of conversion will then count a call as a conversion when it lasts longer than whatever minimum call length you choose, even just 30 seconds if that’s what your goal is. This allows you to exclude shorter calls that prove unfruitful, as the person did not spend enough time on the line with you to book an appointment or place an order.

You can enable call conversion tracking at all levels of the ad groups and campaigns, so if you want to run a more comprehensive digital marketing strategy to promote your phone number, Google offers this option.

Who Needs to Track Calls?

Businesses who rely on direct contact from their audiences may need to track the calls made from ads, or from any other sources they have. For example, if you own a local salon, which offers the option of booking via phone call, it may be a lot more effective to simply create an ad that promotes the phone number, as opposed to the usual landing page where the user clicks a link.

When your goal is phone call conversions, removing some of the usual steps a user has to go through in the ads’ funnel can lead to an increase in conversions, as you’re giving the audience a chance to instantly call your business, ask your representative more questions, and buy or make an appointment.

How Do You Set up Call Tracking?

To actually track phone calls that come from ads, you first need to tell Google you want to enable call conversion tracking. Otherwise, even if your ad contains your phone number, Google will only tell you the number of times a user tapped on the number, but have no information regarding call length, which is the usual baseline when it comes to counting a call as a conversion.

To enable call conversion tracking, you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Go to your Google Ads Account, and select the Conversions tab under Measurement;
  • Click on Phone Calls, then select Calls using call extension or call-only ads;
  • Then, select a description for your conversion from the drop-down menu. This way, you can segment your audience in the reports and have a better understanding of your results;
  • Select if the ad should count every conversion per ad click, or one. Choose “every” for sales and “one* for leads;
  • Choose a call length. Write down the seconds a call needs to last to be counted as a conversion. This will tell Google to only track when calls last a particular time frame;
  • Click on the conversion window to choose how long after a click on the ad you want to track this action. The window can be anywhere from 1 day to 60 days.

This is the basic way to set up the calls conversion action. Once you’re finished, you can click Create and continue and start running your ads.

You’ll need to enable call reporting, which will generate the Google forwarding number, a unique phone number assigned to you that will be used to track all calls throughout multiple campaigns. You can enable this feature in your Google Ads Account, and visit the Account Settings to enable the call reporting feature.

Where Do These Ads Appear?

If you want more calls from ads, you should know these promos don’t appear in every single corner of Google’s reach.

First, ads that promote calls as conversion will only appear on devices that can make phone calls, such as smartphones, so your ads should be optimised for mobile. Then, these types of ads are only available on the Search Network and will appear in the search engine result pages when a user types in a query.

This makes it essential to plan out the keywords for your ads, and make sure you are targeting the right ones. It may also be beneficial to target different keywords within the same ad groups if you’re doing a larger campaign to make sure your phone number reaches a wider audience.

Call-only ads or ads that allow direct calls are not available on the Display Network, where you’d need a banner ad (meaning a visual element) to appear on another website.

Australian Internet Advertising Is Here To Help

If you want to dive into the calls conversion action, we are here to help out in this endeavour. As an official Google Partner and trusted Australian Google Ads Agency, we know the ins and outs of Google Ads and can plan out a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that leverages this type of ad.

Get in touch with us now to find out more!