Monday, June 13, 2011
Those of us who use Google AdWords love reports, statistics, and metrics. We like knowing who's clicking our ads, when, where, and even synthesize all that information in order to discern why. With the introduction of AdWords Phone Extensions (recently renamed Call Extensions), we got to see another metric: how many calls online ads were driving. And for PPC marketers, that's an irresistable temptation. Unfortunately, Call Extensions also cause a lot of confusion. And while I don't claim to be impartial, there's a few things you should be aware of when configuring your AdWords campaigns: 1) You can use any phone number in your Google AdWords phone extensions. However, these phone extensions only appear on searches from mobile devices with full internet browsers, such as an iPhone or Android. The only way to guarantee your phone number appears in an ad (on mobile, laptop, and desktop devices) is to include it in the ad copy, but including your number in the copy will not make the phone number clickable (like in #2): Google Call Extension 2) If an ad displays a call extension on a mobile device, the mobile searcher can click the phone number and immediately call your business. This is known as click-to-call. Standard cost-per-click (CPC) applies. So if you're paying $1.05 for a click to your landing page, you would also pay $1.05 for a click to your phone number. You can also enable the call-only format, so that there is no landing page option, only a calling option. Call Only Format 3) If you use the Google offering of Call Metrics (at this time, only some US AdWords advertisers have this enabled in their accounts), Google will assign you a Google phone number. Your ads will display the Google phone number, but forward to your business phone number. Google warns that 'custom phone numbers used with call metrics are a property of Google and may be discontinued or reassigned as needed.' But, if you use your own phone number (such as a CallFire phone number), the displayed number and the direct-dial number will be the same. 4) If a person sees the Google phone number but doesn't use click-to-call, and instead dials the phone number by hand, you will be charged $1 per call. This was a change Google introduced last month. Google Call Metrics 5) At this time, call metrics through Google offers the following statistics: total calls, received calls, missed calls, average call duration, total call duration, call start and end time, and caller area code. Call metrics through CallFire offers all these statistics, plus a geographic distribution map with real-time view, the ability to tag phone numbers for easier management, and the ability to record and download all incoming calls. You can also configure a CallFire Hosted IVR to make a Google Analytics call every time someone dials your number. In the IVR Designer, click to "Advanced" and you'll see a tag for "Analytics." This way your CallFire phone number can interface with the sophistication of Google Analytics, which offers much more information than the current Google Call Metrics offering. CallFire call details Still confused? I don't blame you. Leave your questions in the comments. You can also refer to my previous blog post with video, Linking Your Call Tracking Number to Google AdWords. Update, 7/29/11: Google recently sent this to all AdWords advertisers' inboxes:
If you currently have a phone number in your ad text or have plans to start adding your phone number in an ad, this is an important notice that in the coming weeks, we will be launching a new enhancement to AdWords ads that will impact charges on clicks to these numbers. To help our mobile users connect more easily with advertisers, all non-clickable phone numbers displayed in AdWords ad text will be automatically converted into a Click-to-call number. Currently when advertisers enter a phone number directly into their ad text instead of using Call Extensions, the phone number is not clickable and will not generate a call. This can be a frustrating experience for mobile users who attempt to initiate a call to this phone number. The new Click-to-call enhancement ensures that all phone numbers shown in AdWords ads are clickable and allows users to easily place calls from their mobile device. If your ad text includes a phone number, you will begin to receive clicks and calls on this number once the enhancement is enabled in your account. As with phone calls placed via a Call Extension, you will be charged for clicks on your phone number that result in a call. Please note that AdWords policy does not allow for phone numbers to be inserted into ad headlines. As with all Click-to-call ads, advertisers will be charged when a user either clicks on the headline or the phone number listed in the ad. Please see below for additional information regarding this change. Which phone number shows? If you are currently using both Call Extensions and a phone number in your ad creative, only the newly clickable phone number in your ad creative will show. This is designed to help reduce user confusion from seeing two potentially different numbers. If you would like your Call Extension number to display, simply delete all phone numbers from your existing ad text by following these steps. You'll also receive an additional line of ad text displaying your phone number if the Call Extension is used. Measuring results You'll be able to review how many calls you receive on the clickable phone number listed in your ad text for each campaign, ad group, keyword and ad on the "Campaigns" tab in your AdWords account. Just select the "Click-type" option under the "Segment" drop down and view your report. Please note that since these are not calls generated from a Call Extension, they will not be reported in the Extensions tab reports. Recommendations for featuring a phone number You can simply leave your phone number in your ad text and benefit from this change which will automatically make your phone numbers clickable and enable users to call you. However, to get the most value from click-to-call, we recommend that you remove your phone number from your ad creative and create a Call Extension with your phone number directly. This has several benefits. With a manually created Call Extension your number will appear as an additional line of ad text which frees up space in your ad creative for other promotion. In addition, when you create a Call Extension, your phone number appears on a separate line in the ad, and you're able to take advantage of other powerful enhancements such as Vanity Numbers, Call-only and Call Metrics reporting.