Google validates need for Call Tracking

4 September 2014

Google has launched a call tracking feauture for Adwords that validates what we've been saying since day dot!

Google recently announced Website Call Conversions, a new tool that will enable AdWords users to use one of their forwarding numbers to track call conversions that come after a user visits a web site directly from a Google paid search ad. In the past, Google only tracked calls that came directly from the mobile search page.

This announcement further validates what our customers already know: calls are the highest value conversion. Study after study has confirmed that inbound phone calls are indeed the highest value, and highest converting lead type. It is very tough to optimize conversions and ROI from Google paid search without tracking these leads. In that vain TechCrunch also wrote an interesting article on how calls are changing the face of mobile conversions which is worth a read.

Track Everything

Whilst call tracking from Google AdWords is extremely important, this is also true for all your marketing. Google’s new feature only tracks calls that happen directly from Adwords. What about other traffic drivers like Facebook ads, SEO, display ads, video content, eDMs or affiliate networks? Marketers need to think about other digital marketing channels, as well as offline campaigns if they are going to get the most out of their marketing spends. Tracking phone leads from these other channels is just as important as tracking calls from Adwords.

Conversions don't happen in a vaccuum

Good marketers know that web conversions don’t occur in a vacuum. Often there are many points of interaction before the visitor makes the call or fills in the form. With Googles new feature, only calls that happen directly from an Adwords click will be attributed to paid search. What if a visitor came via Adwords using an un-branded search term to get to the website the first time, then came back via organic search or a re-marketing campaign and then made the call from the third visit which was a direct one? Google’s new feature won’t be able to see this, and without this visibility you won’t be able to optimise messaging for each marketing channel. Google's Adwords tracking feature is like paying the waiter for the delicious meal the chef prepared at your favourite restaurant. What about the chef and the rest of the staff!

What about call scoring or recording?

What happens after the call is just as important as measuring what generated the call. Google don’t offer any call recording or scoring methods to accurately measure whether or not the caller became a sale or lead, or how much the sale was. Marketers wanting to know the effect of marketing initiatives on their bottom line will have to look elsewhere. Our Call Wrap Up feature and CRM integration allows marketers to close the loop between lead and sale for Adwords phone conversions, as well as all other marketing channels.

Other call handling points

If you have any specific or custom call handling requirements, chances are Google’s feature won’t work for you. Google doesn’t support state based routing, time of day diversions or anything else that isn’t just a single answering point – and let’s face it, they aren’t a Telco. Google own your numbers so if they want to re-purpose them they can, unlike most call trackers out there.

How much is it really costing you?

Google’s new feature is called free, and it is for calls that occur from your desktop website. However, if someone clicks-to-call from a mobile visit, the calls will be charged like a ‘click’, Most industries have competitive cost per clicks these days, so one phone call could become extremely expensive and take a significant chunk out of your search spend. Imagine paying $5 or even $45 for each phone call.

There are some other interesting points to note when comparing Google’s call tracking feature with Call Tracking providers offerings. If you are interested in a call tracking solution that will track every call your marketing generates with the flexibility many companies need or want to learn more about Google's new feature contact us today.