Tracking Phone PPC Conversions

Conversion tracking is an essential part of any pay per click advertising campaign. But if you’re in a business that involves a lot of phone calls, it can be kind of tricky to see the impact of your PPC campaign on your phone call volume. Someone can see an ad, call your phone number, and you might never know that your PPC text ad was the reason why they discovered you. Fortunately, there are a couple of Google features and tricks that you can use to keep track of those offline conversions that start online.

One of the best ways to track offline conversions is to set up a brand new number devoted exclusively to your PPC campaigns. For most small businesses, this can seem too expensive, since it costs more money to get a new number and a new phone line. Fortunately, you can snag a new number on the cheap at Google Voice. Just make sure that this number is only distributed via PPC ads. That way, you can calculate the cost and impact of your paid search campaigns on the number of phone calls you get.

An added bonus of using the Google Voice number is that it enables you to get call metrics right in your AdWords account. To enable this, click on the “Ad Extensions” tab in your AdWords account:

Ad Extensions Tab

Now, you can add a new call extension using the Google Voice number and get metrics to track your performance. There are several metrics available, but you may need to enable them by ticking off the boxes in your “columns” menu:

Call Metrics Options

You still won’t be able to track conversions, since you’ll only be able to tell that by speaking to someone on the phone. But since you already have a unique number, you can just calculate your cost and traffic metrics with the conversions that happened on that number to get conversion rate and CPA numbers. Sure, it’s a little cumbersome, but it’s the best we have at the moment.

Tracking phone call conversions is especially important now that Google is hyperlinking phone numbers to be click-to-call by default (at least, on smartphone traffic). Even if you don’t normally use phone numbers in your ads, now might be a good time to try them as an experiment. Some customers require a little hand-holding before they complete a conversion, so having someone available to answer the phone might make the difference between your business getting the conversion, or one of your competitors.

About Shawn Livengood

Shawn Livengood is a search engine marketing professional based in Austin, Texas. He has extensive experience managing pay-per-click ad campaigns for clients in various industries, from small home-based businesses to large international companies. You can connect with Shawn on Google+.
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