Digital Advertising has changed the way we track, attribute, and report on our marketing budget forever. For the most part, the tracking metrics provided by online ads aren’t easily applied to more traditional advertising and outbound marketing like sponsorships, billboards, banners, and flyer marketing. Fortunately, Google has chipped away at this problem by allowing you to build and track campaigns around calls to your business.

Google has built what they call your “Google Forwarding Number.” This definition may shock you, but this is a number provided by Google that it can trace activity while forwarding callers to your actual phone line. Your Google Forwarding Number is not your actual phone number, so if you’re trying to get customers to memorize your number, we do not recommend this (that was a joke).

Just like website conversion tracking, call tracking is an essential tool for local businesses to gauge ad performance and better understand how customers wish to interact with their store and brand.

How to set up AdWords Call Tracking

  1. From your AdWords Dashboard, Select Tools > Conversions from the top menu.

AdWords Conversion Tracking

2. Click  Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 9.44.56 AM

3. Select Phone Calls. There are three different types of calls that you can choose to track through AdWords, each with specific requirements.

A. Tracking for Call Extension & Call-Only Campaigns. These options allow you to show a phone number in your AdWords ads. Required: Google forwarding numbers, which you acquire when setting up the Call Extension & Call-Only Campaigns.

B. Calls to a phone number on your Website or Store. Required: adding a tag similar to conversion pixel or Google Analytics tracking code to your website.

C. Clicks on your phone number on your mobile site. Instead of showign a phone number in your ad, Google will simply include a “Call Button” as seen below. Required: adding a tag to your mobile website IMG_3831

4. Specify the definition of a “Conversion”. Google allows you to decide what to consider a “Conversion”. This customization allows you to tell Google what you consider a successful phone call.

Name your Conversion – BE SPECIFIC

Value – attribute monetary value to the conversion.

Call length – how long the call needs to last to be considered a conversion

Count – how to count conversions to your websitee

Conversion Window – how long after a click you’d like to track conversions.

Category – what type of call is this? Lead – Sign-up – Purchase/Sale – Other

Check the Include in “Conversions” check-box

Depending on the type of call campaign you are tracking you will receive further instructions to finalize tracking set up.

A. For Call Extensions & Call-only ads:
Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 10.02.47 AM

B. For Phone Calls from Website Phone Number:

1. Install your conversion tracking tag:

2. Add code to replace your number with a Google forwarding number. This tutorial makes it super easy!

3. Configure your call extensions. Assign your new conversion to a Call Extension

C. For Mobile Phone calls from Your Mobile Site: Copy the provided tag and follow the instructions provided in the code.  <!– THESE ARE INSTRUCTIONS ADDED TO CODE –>

Did we miss something? Is there a tutorial you’d like to see next? Comment below or Tweet us at @AdHawk

2 responses to “How to Set Up AdWords Call Tracking

  1. Now a days call tracking has become an essential thing for all businesses to evaluate the performance of their ads to know how the customer have found your store or website. But it is also essential to know the ideas on how to setup Adword call tracking with your business. I really appreciate your idea of posting what is required when setting up the call extension.

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About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.