One of the fundamental things about spending money is making a healthy return on your investment, right? So in my opinion, the more ways to do that the better.
Leverage the tools your already have
Tracking leads submitted from a form is probably one of my top methods for lead generation, the chances of it being a qualified lead are pretty decent and you have an automatic record to reference back to. If you have proper tracking in place you also have a way to track that conversion through the life of the lead. Though I have to admit Google Adwords newest call conversion tracking gives you the power to lift your marketing efforts to a new level without to much heavy effort. It’s pretty easy to get started too, turning on a feature here and adding a couple snippets of code to your landing page and you are in business. You could add a phone number as an extension for some time to your ad but to actually track that call as a conversion from your landing page or site was not possible within AdWords. Now it is and without the added cost of a third-party call tracking system.
I really see this as being a decent step forward for AdWords. So having a way to track call conversions on your site from Google AdWords fits into the marketing strategy when the desired outcome is a direct call. Especially when that call comes through your own website. No more having to purchase additional virtual numbers and track it from some complex piece of software, it’s all right here within AdWords.
What exactly is it and what will it really do for my company?
It’s a dynamic forwarding number that is inserted into your landing page or website once your AdWords ad is clicked on. Basically they populate a phone number that is then forward to your actual phone. Stating again, It enables easy measurement of calls from a website visitor who landed on your site as a result of an AdWords ad click.
Remember: Your adgroup must meet the minimum click/CTR/PTR threshold to continue to accrue phone impressions.
Strategies are best served hot
Thinking through your bid strategy is a good thing, alway visit your strategy often to make sure it’s on target. Having tools to help bring that strategy together is powerful. Google is not lacking on tools that help you develop and design your call conversion strategy. You can set up and refine your strategy by device, location and time of day. If you only want certain devices to show your number, like desktops, you can do that. You certainly may not want calls at midnight, the tool is there for you to customize for your companies needs. All the available tools will make bid adjustments that will maximize your landing page call conversions, my advice is to not forget to use these tools.
Note: All conversion reporting can be found in the Call Details within AdWords. Top two in my opinion are number of calls received and call length but there are other variables to look at.
The streamline way to get this new call feature working for you
Just as working with the typical non call conversion tracking from AdWords there is some setup. They provide you 2 code snippets that you add to your website or landing page. So every time you create an ad with this feature it will generate the unique Google forwarding number every time one of your ads are clicked on. To clarify it’s one number per ad. There is a 90 day or so period where the unique numbers are being generated and displayed but it’s possible if the number is not very active it could be recycled after 30 days. So to drive home the point, the Google number is not displayed within your AdWords ad but on your actual site.
“To start measuring these website calls, place the snippet of code on your desktop or mobile website and a unique Google forwarding number will be generated for each AdWords ad click.”
With keeping your design together. Google has made this so you can customize the font, color and size of the numbers as it will appear on your site. This way you are still in control of your overall site design.
Limitations of this new feature
Yes there are some usability barriers and small gotchas. Currently Google has released this to a few countries, if your country is not listed I am breaking the news to you now, it’s not available…yet. The countries being served at the moment are the US, UK, Germany, Spain, Australia and France.
Next, keep in mind that currently you will not know that someone is calling from your AdWords number unless you ask the caller or look into your account to do a one to one match.
As with some call forwarding services Google does not currently have call recording and playback calls to the tracking number. I expect this will change in the future based on the success of this new feature and the requests from AdWord advertisers.
Testing is done on your dime
Google’s suggestion for testing your number and make certain that everything is working properly. Is for you to go and click on your own ad. Yes it will cost you a small amount of money and typically I would advise against this but currently it’s the only way to populate a number and make sure it works. Since this number will appear only if coming from a Google Ad. Your ad must be clicked on and you pay for the privilege of knowing it all works.
Important: If you are testing repeatedly make sure to delete the “gwcm” cookie from your browsers cache. Much like typical AdWord Ads Google could see a flag raised in their system for possible manipulation.
To get things going and set up, Google offers a step-by-step tutorial to help advertisers. It does take a little work setting things up but our company Lead Success can take care of that for you once you are happily a client.
Wrapping it up
Having a generated call from your website is nothing earth shattering in the marketing world but it certainly is exciting being able to track call conversions from within your AdWords account. Keep in mind that these numbers are eventually re-assigned and only last up to 90 days. The Google website call conversion will identify and measure calls from your website that occur after an ad click. Though it is good to remember this is not a full blown call tracking service but for most it will be close enough. So there are pros and cons but this new Google call conversion is pretty cool and worth a go.
Capturing leads from forms are pretty much our go to method but adding this new feature into the mix is a good step forward. Some clients will love it and others will ignore due to a lack of not needing it. If you are a small business that requires the phones to keep on ringing and you need call conversion tracking, than it’s a pretty golden solution.