Call Tracking for Google AdWords Advertisements

Call Tracking for Google AdWords Advertisements

Google has finally released call forwarding for Australian AdWords advertisers. Originally only available for U.S., U.K., French, and German phone numbers, the move opens the door for businesses using call extensions to gather reporting data such as call duration, call start and end time, caller area code, and the connection status of each call.

How it Works

Businesses running call extensions will be able to set up Google call forwarding to display a unique (and trackable) toll-free phone number to users who search via desktop, laptop, and tablet devices:


For users who search via mobile, they will simply see a button prompting them to call directly from their device:

Call button on mobile devices

When users call the number listed or interact with the call button, they will then be forwarded onto your existing business number. Details of the call will be tracked (see ‘Call Forwarding Metrics’).

Learn more about adding call extensions

There is no cost to implement the call tracking number.

Call Forwarding Metrics & Features

Call Duration

Measuring call duration allows businesses to see the effectiveness of their call enquiry and/or sales process over the phone. With ongoing tracking, businesses can get an idea of how long the conversion process takes on the phone. If there are a high quantity of short calls without conversions, this may indicate that callers may not be receiving all the information they require for your website, or that the ad is not targeting the correct audience.

Call Start and End Time

In addition to call duration, identifying start times of calls is beneficial for businesses who want to optimise their AdWords budget by time of day. By measuring call start and end times, your business will have a better outlook on popular times of the day that your customer wants to get in touch with you, and readjust your bids accordingly.

Caller Area Code

Similar to call start times, analysing caller area codes can help your business identify where your current target audience is, and also identify other cities that present opportunities for business growth.

Connection Status of Call

This refers to whether the call was successfully connected to your business, or if the caller hung up before the call was answered. This metric is beneficial to businesses who want to improve their internal call procedures and reduce the number of missed calls.

Called ID

Although the number is forwarded from Google, Businesses who use caller ID will still see the same information as if the call had come from the caller directly.

Google Call Forward Limitations

While this is a great FREE feature for AdWords advertisers, there are still a few limitations that may prevent your business from implementing Google call forwarding successfully:

  • Ad Groups will need to receive a minimum number of 20 clicks within a four-week period to show the Google forwarding number for desktop ads.
  • Space and quality restraints can prevent the Google forwarding number from showing on desktop searches
  • Not supported on call extensions targeting the Display Network
  • If users click on the ad, and then call the number listed on the website – the conversion is not attributed to paid search ads (unless the internal call process asks customers how they arrived at the website).

Google Call Forwarding vs. Paid Options

Google call forwarding is a great solution for businesses with small budgets looking to measure the ROI of ad campaigns with call extensions. However, as already shown, the system does pose some limitations for businesses looking for a true ROI. At E-Web Marketing, our call tracking system extends beyond AdWords, measuring organic search, social media, email marketing, and traditional advertising channels simultaneously.

In addition to the features offered by Google call forwarding, paid call tracking systems provides:

  • Email/SMS notifications of missed calls
  • Call recordings
  • Intelligent call routings
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Professional analysis

For more information about how our call tracking system works, visit our earlier post: “Express CRO Tip Series #7 – Introduction to Call Tracking“.

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E-Web Marketing

We’ve been in the digital marketing field for over 18 years and worked with hundreds of Australian (and international) businesses to grow their web presence. Specialising in SEO, search ads (PPC), social media, content marketing, email marketing and conversion rate optimisation.

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