How Does Google Track Phone Calls Generated From AdWords?


Phone calls can be an effective way for you to determine the effectiveness of ad clicks. PPC call tracking is a service offered by Google Ads which allows you to see how many potential customers have called your business after viewing or clicking on one of your advert placements.

Functions Of Google Ads Call Tracking

This service has two main functions, namely:

  • For monitoring calls made to a Google forwarding number, as advertised in a call extension ad.
  • Call monitoring via dynamic number insertion on your website, where a different tracking number is assigned to each visitor.

How Does Google Track Phone Calls Generated From AdWords

There are four ways Google tracks phone calls from AdWords. Some of the major call tracking conversions include:

  • Call from ads: These calls are tracked when a user manually clicks on the phone number in an ad or ad extension via a Google forwarding number. It can be set up directly through Google Ads and is relatively easy to create. Calls from ads can be utilized in two main ways.

The first way calls from ads are utilized as call extensions. These call extensions appear alongside ads but might not show up for every advert impression. Call extensions are an important element for ad campaigns as they help improve quality scores and click-through rates

Call from ads can also be utilized as call ads specifically designed to generate phone calls. These ads are more specific as they show up on only mobile devices allowing users to initiate calls by clicking. Any campaign with a major focus on phone call leads should adopt this method.

  • Calls from websites: Google tracks these calls whenever users click or dial a phone number on a website. The call is then tracked via a call forwarding number. Google provides call forwarding numbers, and you can add them to your website via Google Tag Manager.

While Google forwarding numbers are free to use, you should note that they do not provide as much data, especially when compared to 3rd-party call tracking services. While 3rd-party call tracking services might provide more data than Google forwarding numbers, they are usually available at a cost. You can integrate 3rd-party call tracking into Google Ads. Once integrated, it can be used for both calls from ads and website tracking modes.

  • Click to call: This method operates by tracking tel: links. Tel: links might not necessarily result in a phone call and are mostly used as a fall-back when the call-from-website conversion tracking method is not utilized.

About Google Forwarding Numbers And Its Concerns

Google uses Google forwarding numbers to track phone calls. Google forwarding numbers are unique numbers that can be placed on a company’s website or show up in ads. When clicked, these numbers route to a business number. These numbers can also gather details such as how long the call lasted and when it was placed.

Some major concerns with Google forwarding numbers make companies hesitate to use this service. They are:

  • Local area codes: As much as possible, Google will use forwarding numbers with the same area code as your business. On the occasion that a number for that area is unavailable, Google will use an area code for the geographical location of your business. When a number remains unavailable, a toll-free forwarding number is used.
  • Temporary numbers: One major concern businesses have with Google forwarding numbers is that prospects might save the forwarding number and attempt to use it when the original number no longer works. Sixty days after a user’s initial call, Google’s forwarding will connect to the business. The 60-day window resets if a user phones during that timeframe. Most companies' lead times are well within this range.

The Phone Call Metric

This tracking method monitors every manual click or dial on a Google forwarding number. This method is different compared to conversion methods as it includes every number interaction in its monitoring compared to call conversions that only monitor calls that reach a predetermined call length as set in call conversion settings.

Who Should Use Google Ads Call Tracking?

Business owners and individuals who aim at boosting phone calls to their businesses while understanding the role of marketing in driving those phone calls should use Google Ads call tracking. PPC call tracking service also has a lot of additional benefits.

Performance breakdowns by location and demographic, a general position of your placement’s SERP result, and search keywords that drive the most calls are provided by Google Ads call tracking. This data can make PPC marketing call tracking more cost-effective while generating leads, new calls, and conversions.

Other Things You Can Do With Google Ads Call Tracking

In addition to analytics, there are a lot of additional features offered by Google Ads that can be used with call analytics. Some of these features include:

  • Click to call: This feature dials the phone number of a business once the business’s ad is clicked. Click to call can be used through standard search and call-only ads. The click-to-call feature is also tracked by Google analytics, just as standard PPC campaigns.
  • Mobile and desktop insights: With this feature, Google Ads can break down analytics to show you if your placement was on a desktop or a mobile device. This can help you optimize your PPC campaigns to meet a target audience or specific platforms.

Clicking on the “Segment” button while viewing your call campaign data in Google Ads displays important data. The data displayed includes conversion rates, clickthrough rates, and impressions by the device.

We hope that this guide has widened your knowledge of how Google tracks phone calls. Using Google Ads call tracking services empowers you with the data and analytics you require whenever you plan to launch a marketing campaign or optimize an existing one.