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06 Dec 2010

Call Metrics

December 06, 2010PPC Advertising

Google offers detailed call tracking within AdWords. This long-awaited feature, known as Call Metrics, is associated with your Phone Ad Extensions and provides details regarding the calls you receive from your AdWords ads.

By enabling Call Metrics, you allow Google to display a custom phone number in your ads that is used to track calls and their duration. Google then forwards the calls to your phone number, and no one notices any difference. Although they plan to charge for it in the future, for now you won’t be charged by Google for any calls that are placed from the custom number.

To activate Call Metrics, edit your phone extensions under the Ad Extensions tab in your account and select the “Call metrics: use Google forwarding number to track calls from my ads” check box. You can have one for each campaign, and although you don’t know what the number is, you can specify whether the number has a toll-free or local area code so that it still relates to your business.

Once you customize your columns in your account, you will begin seeing Call Metric statistics in your campaign reporting such as missed and received calls, their duration, and sometime soon, caller area codes. Because the custom number from Google will only appear in the ad copy and not on your website, it should be noted that Call Metrics will not track all calls generated from AdWords traffic.

With the current metrics available, we have found the greatest use for Call Metrics has been in our client’s mobile campaigns. Phone number clicks usually will not match up with actual calls, so this detailed reporting is helpful for better gauging the performance of mobile ads.  Confused about phone number clicks?  Including Call Metrics, Google now reports three different methods a user can interact with your ad with phone extensions. The standard click we are all familiar with. Next we have a call, as reported in Call Metrics. Last is the phone number click which is the initiation of a call on mobile devices.

For example, if a user is viewing your ad on a smart phone they may click the phone number to call you instead of visiting your website on their mobile browser. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a call was placed. The user could have clicked the number intending to place a call but was interrupted. It is also possible that they saved it in their contact list intending to call later, or they could have even clicked it on accident. Unfortunately, you are still charged for it either way. If you want to view the number of phone number clicks in your account, simply segment by click type in the Campaign view.

When dealing with phone calls, phone extensions, and phone clicks in AdWords things can get convoluted rather quickly. The important thing to remember is that for your mobile campaigns, Call Metrics will give you better and more accurate reporting for the calls and phone number clicks you are receiving. More importantly, if you haven’t already separated your mobile campaigns from campaigns with other devices this will be even more imperative when interpreting results with Call Metrics.

If you have questions regarding mobile advertising or would like to get started on AdWords, contact a pay per click analyst at 602-314-3479.