Google beefs up AdWords call conversion reporting

AdWords advertisers using Google forwarding numbers in click-to-call ads and on their websites now have an easier way to measure their success.

Up until now, advertisers have had to estimate conversions based on the length of the phone call. That is, unless they have set up AdWords’ Conversion Import to add customer relationship management system (CRM) conversion data to AdWords. Doing so is a none-too-trivial undertaking that requires developer involvement to reap full benefit.

google forwarding numbers

Now there’s a simpler way, allowing advertisers to attribute conversions right down to the AdWords ad and keyword that prompted the call.

Clicks-to-call from mobile ads will be tracked as will calls from a website after someone clicks a desktop ad. However, Google does not yet support manually-dialled calls from desktop ads.

Sales calls need to be logged (typically in a CRM), including details such as the caller’s phone number, time and length of the call, and whether or not a conversion resulted. Using a Google template, you’ll then need to upload this information into AdWords — a manual operation that could nevertheless be automated, and in any event should be done frequently for best results.

Why should you care?

Call conversion import requires Google forwarding numbers, which are currently available in Australia, the US, much of Europe and the UK — but not in New Zealand.

Imported call conversions will be a good option if your business gets much of its sales from phone calls, and you have sales offices in those countries in which Google forwarding numbers are available. With call conversions included in AdWords reporting, you can then optimise campaigns to deliver calls at your target return on investment (ROI).

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.