How should you track website call conversions for your Google Ad campaign?

2020-06-24

Phone calls are probably the top key performance indicator metric (KPI) for local business clients when managing a Google Ad campaign. It’s easy to understand why. For many local businesses, calls are still their main sales channel. The fact of the matter is, it’s still really common for local customers to call local businesses in our modern age.

That’s all good and well but this presents some challenges when tracking call conversions on your Google Ad campaign. It’s not quite as simple and straight forward as tracking form submissions or online purchases.

How so? Because there are 2 different ways for a prospect or web visitor to engage with a phone number online. Typically they can click or tap on the phone number to initiate a call or they can read the phone number off the computer screen and manually enter it into their phone.

You can set up Google Ad’s Call Conversion tracking which uses a dynamically generated Google Forwarding number that essentially replaces your phone # on the screen for all Google Ad visitors. Each visitor getting a unique phone # to call.

This is how Google tracks the 2nd type of call conversions. The type where the user reads the phone number off the computer screen and manually enters it into their phone.

This set up will NOT however track the first type of call conversion, where the user clicks or taps on the phone number on the computer/phone screen. The reason being is technical, but it basically comes down to the fact that the phone number format used for the hyperlink URL and the phone number format used for displaying on the website are not the same.

To track clicks or taps on the phone number you’ll want to set up another type of conversion tracking; a click conversion. I’ll typically set this up using Google Analytics, then import it into Google Ads.

By setting up both of these call conversion tracking methods, you’ll be able to more accurately track your Google Ad campaign’s call conversions.

You’ll probably want to still record each phone call by setting up a CallRails phone number to be able to see listen to the calls coming in to determine lead quality. This comes in handy if your client every questions the quality of the calls, you can go back and listen for yourself.