How to Track Phone Calls in Google Ads
Few know that you can build detailed call reports in the Google Ads interface. In this article, I will tell you how to track phone calls in Google Ads for free, without using any third-party services.
How to Create a Custom Report in Google Ads
With a custom Google Ads report, you can get much more detailed information about your ad calls, down to customer phone numbers and call duration.
To create a custom report in Google Ads:
1. Go to Reports:
2. Select Custom Table.
3. Select the data level for which you want to see the details, e.g. in our case it will be Campaigns.
4. Also add rows: Caller phone number, Duration (seconds) and Call Source:
You can also watch the video on how to create the report below:
Now you have the report that includes user phone numbers as well as the duration of each call! Analyzing this call data will allow you to:
- Identify specific calls and find out which campaigns/keywords/ads brought them.
- Analyze the duration of calls, evaluate how quickly calls are completed on average.
- Discover whether there are campaigns/keywords/ads that only lead to non-targeted short calls.
You can learn all of this for free, using the standard Google Ads features.
The Call Source column shows the source of the call. In the screenshot, the Ad source is shown everywhere, which means that the calls were from Call-only Ads and Call Extensions. Also in this column there can be a Google My Business value. In this case, the call was made to a phone number from Google Ads Location Extension.
You can also add a Phone calls column at the Campaign/Keywords/Ads level.
Phone calls are the number of times that people clicked a phone number displayed in an ad on a mobile device or dialed the Google forwarding number displayed in an ad on any device.
Next, you can compare how many times users click on your ads and call with the number of calls-conversions. If calls-conversions are significantly less than Phone calls, it means you have a lot of short calls less than the target duration you specified when setting up conversions for calls.
If, let’s say, you have no conversions on calls with the target duration, but also the Phone Calls column has zero values — it means that users don’t click on call ads and don’t call at all.
What Are Phone Call Conversions?
If calls from customers matter to your business, the conversion tracking feature will allow you to determine how often users who clicked on your ads call you.
Tracking calls as conversions in Google Ads allows you to realize which campaigns/keywords/advertisements lead to user calls, and more accurately train a bid strategy with call-conversion optimization in mind.
In Google, you can track different calls as conversions:
- Calls from ads,
- Calls to a phone number on your website,
- Clicks on a number on your mobile website,
- Clicks on call ads and assets,
- Import call conversions.
In this article, I will not describe in detail all types of calls and how to customize their tracking. But I will describe how to set up conversion on call extensions or call-only ads.
If you need a powerful call-tracking solution, check out our article on how to set up call tracking on Google Ads using Ringba.
How to Set Up Calls From Ads as Conversions
Calls from ads are calls to special call-only ads as well as call extensions.
Call-only ads are a special type of ads available only on mobile devices, in which the user sees a phone number in the output and can immediately initiate a call when clicking on the ad.
Call extensions are extensions with a phone number that appear in Responsive Search Ads on both mobile and desktops.
To set up tracking of ad calls as conversions you need to first create a special conversion.
1. In the conversions section, create a new Phone Calls conversion and then select Calls from ads using call extensions or call-only ads:
2. Set the conversion parameters:
- Goal and action optimisation: you have the option to change the target category if necessary. Also in this section you can select optimization options for this target. Leave Primary if you want this conversion to be used by default in campaign optimization and select Secondary if you don’t want it.
- Conversion name: set any conversion name.
- Value: set value.
- Count: set whether the conversion will capture once or every time a user calls. This setting depends on the specifics of your business, but in most cases the “One” option will be the appropriate choice.
- Call length: set the duration of the call in seconds, after which it will be triggered as a conversion. You can set a shorter call duration at the start and adjust it when you understand what the average duration of your target call is. However, the most common and optimal range of quality calls is 60-90 seconds.
- Click-through conversion window: choose the conversion window that best suits your business. But if your business has customers ready to call you right from your ad, then most likely the optimal conversion window for you will be small.
- Attribution: leave the data-driven model as the default unless you have a special reason to choose a different model.
Tracking calls as conversions not only allows you to track the effectiveness of ad elements in attracting calls, but also allows you to better optimize your ad campaigns for calls-conversions.
Also, using standard and custom Google Ads reports, you can get quite a lot of data to analyze the effectiveness of your advertising activities and improve their efficiency.
Selecting the right attribution model is a crucial step in effectively analyzing your advertising channels. Check out our article on Google Ads and Google Analytics attribution models and learn how to make the right choice for your business.
Check out other valuable articles and guides in our library.
How to track phone calls in Google Analytics 4?
To do that, you will need to use Google Tag Manager. Contact us for help with this task
What does a call extension let users do that call-only ads do not?
A call extension allows users to either visit your website or call your business directly, giving them more flexibility in how they want to interact with your ad, whereas a call ad is focused solely on initiating a phone call to your business.
How to create Google call-only ads?
- Log into your Google Ads account and select “Campaigns”.
- Click the plus button to create a new campaign, choosing “Search” as the campaign type and selecting a relevant goal like “Leads”.
- Set your campaign settings, including the target location, budget, and bidding strategy.
- Create an ad group within your campaign and choose your targeting criteria based on keywords.
- Click “Ads & extensions” and select “Call ad” to create a new Call Ad.
- Enter the phone number for your business, which will be verified by Google, and fill in the ad details such as the business name, headlines, and description.
- Review your ad information, add any optional ad extensions for extra detail, then click “Save and continue”.
- Consider setting up conversion tracking to measure the success of your Call Ads.
Remember, the primary action you want from users with Call Ads is a phone call to your business.
How to turn off call tracking on Google Ads?
- Navigate to the Admin icon in your Google Ads account.
- Proceed to “Account settings.”
- Look for the “Call reporting” section and choose “Off.”
With this adjustment, call reporting will be disabled for call-only ads, call assets, and location assets.
Are there any privacy concerns with call tracking?
Can I track both online and offline conversions from phone calls?
Yes, Google Ads allows you to track online conversions when a customer calls directly from the ad, and offline conversions through the use of call conversion imports if a customer calls after the ad interaction has occurred.
What should I do if call tracking isn’t working properly?
First, ensure that you have set up call tracking correctly according to Google’s guidelines.
For calls from the site: Check that the tracking code is properly installed on your website and that your Google forwarding number is correctly linked to your ads.
It is also a common problem that call-only ads and call extensions do not pass moderation and therefore are not shown. If they are rejected, make sure that the phone number that you specify in the ad or extension can be found on your site. Otherwise, the ad and extension with a phone number will be rejected.
Performance Marketing Specialist. Working with PPC since 2016. Specializes in Google & Microsoft paid traffic for eCommerce & B2B projects. In love with analysis. When not launching effective Ad campaigns, she is reading up on the latest in eCommerce and data tracking trends.