One of my favorite aspects of online advertising is the fact that you can precisely measure and track performance.  With Google AdWords search ads for example, you know exactly how many times your ad was displayed in the search results, how many people clicked on your ad, and how many people completed a form on your website.

It’s just not as easy with other forms of advertising like TV, radio, and print ads to get those kinds of measurements.

Now with that said, there has always been one area where AdWords was falling short: phone call tracking.  AdWords has never had a great solution for advertisers to see exactly how many phone calls were generated from the clicks on their ads.  Of course there are workarounds to this problem, but the data was not readily available within the AdWords reports to optimize campaigns.

That was the case until just last month… Luckily things have changed and on August 18, Google announced a brand new feature, Website Call Conversions!



The 2 Types of AdWords Call Tracking

There are really 2 types of call tracking now available within AdWords.

The first one is the Call Extension, which has been around for a while now.  Call Extensions allow you to add your phone number as another line in your text ad.  And if you use Google’s toll-free forwarding numbers, then AdWords will report on all of the calls generated from those Call Extensions.

But here’s the problem with that approach… most prospects do not call directly from your ads.  Instead, they will typically click on your ad to learn more and then call from your website.  And that’s why Call Extension tracking was not nearly enough.

As I mentioned above, Google finally released Website Call Conversions as a way to track the calls from your website.  Again, you can use Google’s toll-free forwarding numbers so that AdWords tracks every call that comes in after prospects click on your ads.


How Does AdWords Call Tracking Work?

AdWords call tracking is fairly simple to use.  In fact, if you have set up webform conversion tracking, then you can easily set up both forms of call tracking.

Technically speaking, the website call tracking relies on toll-free numbers that Google owns.  After a prospect clicks on your ad, then Google automatically swaps out your real website number with a toll-free Google number.  Then if the prospect calls this “tracking” number, Google can match that call to the exact keyword and ad that generated the call.

Pretty cool, right?


How Much Does This Cost?

I know what you’re thinking… What’s the fee? Is it one-time or monthly? Is it really going to be worth it?

The answer is it’s FREE!

Yup, no extra charge.  Google is giving away the ability to track ALL of the calls generated from your ads.  It’s a smart decision because they know if you have the tools you need to be more profitable, then you’ll never want to turn off your Google ads.

So if you’re advertising right now, there’s really no reason to not set up Website Call Conversions.  You’ll finally get visibility into which phone calls are coming in directly from your AdWords campaigns.