How To Set Up Call Tracking In Google Adwords

google adwords

Call tracking in Google AdWords is a match made in heaven, to achieve peak tracking prowess the first thing you need is a Google AdWords account and a few planned campaigns. AdWords call tracking shows how many users called your brand via a PPC ad. It works either by using a call extension number or by using a dynamic phone number. Dynamic phone numbers allow tracking down to the keyword that triggered the call.

Learn more about dynamic phone numbers here

This technology is attractive to digital advertisers because it helps brands understand how their online advertising is driving calls using the dominant Google search engine.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Sign into your Google AdWords account.
  2. Enable auto-tagging. 
  3. Create analytic goals for calls, this means setting up a process which matches all calls from Google SEM longer than 30 seconds or whatever time frame is chosen.
  4. Import these goals into your AdWords account. Once the goal data becomes available in your AdWords account, any imported conversions data will appear alongside your existing conversion data on a conversions page. All the benefits of conversion tracking in Adwords, such as enhanced CPC (cost-per-click), is applicable here, and here a phone call is a much more relevant goal than, for example, a landing page visit. It’s important to note that this kind of analysis can only be done with dynamic numbers.

google adwords iphone

 A few more Google AdWords features we like…

  • Another feature of tracking with Google AdWords is the click-to-call extension which allows customers to call directly from a PPC advertisement. This offers more ad space within a search result and gives searchers easier access to your brand. It can also increase both click-through rate and call volume.
  • Keyword tracking in Google AdWords monitors the conversions connected to specific keywords in PPC campaigns. This is useful because it tracks the search terms that led to a conversion

The Top 10 Metrics For Call Tracking

call metrics graphic

In this data-driven world, it can be hard to manage the large amounts of customer data streaming in and out of your enterprise. Marketers that bunch call data in with clicks are sorely missing out on a lucrative measurement.

According to BIA/Kelsey, 162 billion calls will be made to businesses by 2019. Luckily technology is on our side and there are now processes that organise and reveal the value of calls. Call tracking is one of these. But when using this system to optimise your marketing and sales strategies, what metrics should stand out most?



1. Number of calls

Starting with the actual number of calls coming in is the first step, this metric determines how many inbound calls are being received. All vital measurements for forecasting which day of the week would be the best to push a particular campaign.

2. Calls duration

This measures the length of a phone call from pick up to the conclusion and is the period when call data is collected. Calculating the average length of inbound calls vs conversions can help determine how long consumers prefer to speak to a representative. Shorter isn’t always better in some cases.

3. Recovered callers

Recovered callers are those that have been brought back after a missed call using abandonment recovery methods such as email and/or SMS.

4. Average page views per caller

These are calculated by dividing page visits by the page views within the same timeframe. One visit contains multiple page views. This metric can reveal how easy the navigation of your website is for a user.

5. Geographic origin

Is the caller nearby? If the business using call tracking is for example – an automotive dealership, acquiring this information can help prioritise leads, since a prospect living in the area can come in for a test drive a lot quicker.

6. Accounts with call traffic

Managing the number of calls coming in versus the number of agents answering is key to preventing an influx of abandoned calls.

7. Top pages leading to calls

Knowing which website pages are leading to phone calls and eventual conversions can not only optimise your SEO strategy but also help allocate those ad funds strategically.

8. Call through rate (per channel)

This focuses on the number of conversions from landing pages and ad impressions versus calls. Calls can come from numerous touchpoints such as; SEM, Google SEO, CRM and direct. It considers interactions prior to the call and after the call is made before landing on an average per channel.

9. Time of day

Time of day metrics show the most active and slowest times of day for call activity. Why is this useful? Implementing time of day into call scheduling and call routing can ensure that there is always someone available to answer or follow up.

10. Drop off per channel

If calls aren’t answered in time, callers will abandon and knowing which channel is producing the most dropped calls can help nip a problem in the bud.

Via: BIA/Kelsey

A Few Types Of Call Tracking For Marketing

marketing call tracking

In an age where we speak to AI systems called Alexa and Siri, the expectation is that this kind of process will transfer to consumer service.

Instead, calls are the new frontier in consumer communication. Why? Because humans still want to talk to other humans, especially when there’s a high-value purchase involved. Advertising and marketing firm, BIA/Kelsey “projects 169 billion mobile calls to businesses by 2020, driven by smartphone penetration, high commercial intent, and the natural handoff between mobile engagement and phone calls (i.e., Google “call” buttons).”

With the knowledge that the future shows a large amount calls arriving from multiple sources and digital ad spend increasing annually, brands need to find a new way to measure this influx of call data to fully optimise ROI and better understand exactly which touchpoint is generating the most revenue. 

Call tracking contains an array of measurements that can help paint a complete picture for marketing teams and tackle the data coming their way, here are a few that deliver.

Session-level tracking

Session level tracking is broader and uses paid search keywords to collect data during a 1 to 12-hour session. From there a dynamic number will be assigned to one session, any calls made during the session will be attributed to the keyword source.

Why is it useful?

For large companies that run multiple ad campaigns at the same time and have busy call centres, session level tracking makes it easy to target and prioritise audiences while also collecting information on where they arrived from.

User-level tracking

One prospect/user can arrive at multiple destinations before picking up the phone and in order to build an accurate customer journey and digital profile, you’ll need to collect as much data on one subject as possible. Each user is given a unique ID upon entering a specific website and with that, it is easy to collect data via; acquisition channel, sessions, user journey and revenue generated. When they return to the website, the exact number appears for them again. It helps build an entire customer history.

Learn more about implementing user-level tracking in your stack here. 

Why is it useful?

User level tracking is revolutionary. It allows sales and marketing teams to better understand their customer base individually – as in they are able to establish relevant conversations and an environment of personalisation based on a single user’s experience.

Via: BIA Advisory Services