#PPC and Display

Call Tracking : Measuring the Impact of Paid Search on your Phone Calls

With digital and offline business being so closely intertwined, companies are facing an ever-growing need to track the online-to-offline purchase funnel. A great place to start is with effective call tracking for your Adwords campaigns. 

Why Should You Be Using Call Tracking?

Chances are a large amount of your business’s leads come from phone calls, making it critical to understand where those sales are driven from and how you can further leverage those sources. Need a better reason to get ahead of your business’s call tracking? Calls to businesses from smartphones are set to reach over 160 billion globally by 2019 – this represents a 73% increase from 2015. Fortunately, Google offers call tracking that is integrated within your current search campaigns, and simpler to implement than many third party call tracking systems. 

How It Works

There are three types of call tracking available through the Adwords platform. All three allow you to track your calls at the keyword level, making them a valuable tool when assessing and optimizing your campaigns. Below is a breakdown of the call tracking options available:

  • Text Ad Call Tracking allows you to track calls that came directly from your call extensions or call-only ads. This option allows you to not only track the calls, but to customize the conversion by setting a minimum call length that you wish to count as a “converted call” based on your business data.
  • Track calls to a phone number on your website: This allows you to track calls made from users who click on your ad and then call a number on your website using a forwarding number provided by Google. The Google forwarding number will show as either a toll-free or equivalent to a local number on your website, and will allow you to track details such as the start and end time of the call, it’s duration, and the caller’s area code. This option is also available for mobile websites, where it is tracked as a click on the call button on your site as opposed to the actual call. 
  • Import Call Conversions: This newest tool from Google allows you to use a Google forwarding number on your site, along with a customer relationship management system (CRM), to import specific information about each call (such as the conversion type and the revenue attributed to the call) directly into Adwords. This allows you to assess the value of various types of calls and optimize accordingly to deliver the best return on investment (ROI). 

How Can You Get Started?

If you’re currently using Adwords call-only ads or call extensions, you can easily set up a conversion for phone calls by using your chosen call length and adding it to your current campaigns. The other two more elaborate options, however, are a bit more complex. Once you’ve obtained the conversion tracking tag from your AdWords account, you’ll need to have the tag added to your website, and create a JavaScript snippet to display your Google forwarding number. Your Adwords marketing specialist will be able to follow these steps to implement your call tracking. Once implemented, your account will have an indispensable additional layer of data that will allow you to optimize for calls to your business and drive the best possible ROI.


To date, iProspect clients have seen very optimistic results. The gains from this strategy are twofold: it both attributes additional revenue to their paid search campaigns, while also providing incremental increases to their leads (and thereby revenue), all through optimizing for this new layer of data. With this, businesses are that much closer to closing the gap between their online and offline channels.