How to Set Up and Use Google Conversion Tracking for Phone Calls

It has long been known that to properly measure the success of a campaign you need to measure both online and offline conversions.  Last year, Google introduced website call conversions to AdWords, but it remains fairly obscure, and it can be confusing to set up. When implemented correctly, it is a powerful way to identify and quantify calls from your website that happen after an ad click.

If you use a toll-free number on your website, and any phone numbers on your website are represented in a text format (rather than embedded in an image) it may be a good option for your business.

What follows is a high-level recipe for implementing this great tracking feature.

First, you will need to create the phone call conversion type in AdWords.   You can choose to simply count calls to a call extension (using a Google forwarding number), or go for the gusto and measure calls to a Google forwarding number which will actually show on your website (this is what we will be doing for the purposes of this article).   You must decide on your parameters for counting a call as a conversion – whether or not you only wish to count unique calls, minimum call length, and a maximum number of days after the click you wish to count the call as a conversion.

Next, you will need to place this conversion tag on your site in order for AdWords to track properly. This tag will work in conjunction with the next step: placing a code snippet which will replace your phone number with the Google tracking number on your website.

You must wrap your text phone number(s) with a class you will reference later, so that Google’s JavaScript knows which elements to replace.  We typically use one called “goog_number”,  and invoke the number replacer on pageload:

<body onload=”_googWcmGet(‘goog_number’, ‘1-800-555-1234’)”>

<span class=”goog_number”>1-800-555-1234</span>

If you have multiple phone numbers, or mobile click-to-calls, you will need to use a custom callback function and invoke on pageload instead of the above.

The last step is to be sure that you have a call extension, which utilizes a Google Forwarding Number.

Voila! You now have a setup to track calls, and count them as conversions (if the call meets certain parameters).  This data becomes invaluable for optimization.

Ferocious Media optimizes your AdWords account using a variety of metrics, and Google’s call tracking is one type of tracking we use.  Ferocious Media also offers additional phone call tracking and call recording features, enabling playback of calls to determine associated business revenue, insight and auditing best practices for speaking to customers!