Is tracking Google Ad Call Conversions enough to satisfy your client?

2019-09-16

You know all Google Ad campaigns should have conversion tracking. It’s crucial if you want to optimize the campaign over time to increase ROI. If your client wants the phone to ring then, naturally, you want to set up Google Ad Call Conversion Tracking on the campaign. You’ll get to show them how many ‘call conversions’ they received from their Google Ad campaign, you get to optimize the campaign on a ‘cost per call’ basis.

Everything will be hunky-dory right? Your client should be happy to see these kinds of results right?

Yes and no.

You see, Google Ad’s Call Conversion Tracking doesn’t tell you who called. It just lets you know if a call lasted a certain amount of time. Unfortunately, for most clients I’ve worked with, this just isn’t good enough, rightfully so.

To properly track their ROI on the campaign, they need to know how many calls actually resulted in a sale and how much the sale value was.

You can achieve this 2 different ways, one being better than the other.

Best Method: Google Ad Offline Conversion Tracking

This is going to give you your best data. You’ll be able to find out exactly which keyword, ad, demographics, location, time of day, and day of week generates your best cost per sale, not just your best cost per lead. Once you have this data you can adjust your bids accordingly to maximize profits.

The catch-22 is that your client needs to use a CRM and they need to use it consistently in order to use Google Ad’s Offline Conversion Tracking.

This is a problem for most small businesses and in the past, I’ve had to decide between refusing to manage the Google Ad campaign for them or simply running the campaign with normal call conversion tracking.

I’ve normally chosen the latter which has sometimes lead to regret as the client doubts the quality of the call conversions and doesn’t know if any of them resulted in a sale.

They’ll typically resort to asking customers directly ‘how did you hear about us?’ which leads to bad data.

In the future, I’d avoid running any campaign that doesn’t have sales conversion tracking implemented; online or offline.

You can learn how to set up Google Ad Offline Conversion Tracking here.

‘Better Than Nothing’ Method: Record The Phone Calls

This is easy to implement and doesn’t require your client to use a CRM. You can use software like CallRail to do the recording. When your client complains about the quality of calls, you can go back through the recordings with them to determine value.

The downside is that software like CallRail costs money. On top of that, having to listen to each call to determine its value is a huge time sink, which from my experience only happens when the client complains about lead quality. The biggest downside, however, is that you can’t track the sale back to the Google Ad keyword, ad, location, etc. This means you don’t have the data you need to properly optimize the campaign like you do with the ‘Best Method’ explained above.

Recording the phone call is better than nothing obviously, but you want to strive for the ‘Best Method’ as it is the holy grail in Google Ad Conversion Tracking for any business that handles sales offline, which is a lot of businesses.