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  5. Tracking and Recording Google Call Only Ads and Call Extensions

Tracking and Recording Google Call Only Ads and Call Extensions

One of the key challenges to evaluating conversions is measuring the quality of call only ads and call extensions within Google AdWords. Since call only ads and call extensions clicks never actually land on your website, WhatConverts is unable to associate the call with a specific Google AdWords visitor (GCLID). This means we are unable to send those types of conversions directly into the AdWords interface, but WhatConverts has a way of recording those calls while tracking the conversion.

Create a Tracking Number for Call Only Ads and Call Extensions

1Within WhatConverts, create a Tracking Number that will be used exclusively as either a Call Only Ad or a Call Extension. Give the tracking number a name that will make it easy to identify such as, “Google Call Extension” or “Google Call Only Ad”. Make sure the Dynamic Number Insertion option is “Off” for the tracking number as the number will be used as a static number only.

WhatConverts Call Only and Call Extension Setup

2Go to your Google AdWords account and setup a Call Extension. Use the tracking number that was setup under WhatConverts and enable call reporting. Make sure to select the, “Count calls as phone call conversions” and select the appropriate conversion action.

Google Adwords Call Extension Tracking Setup

Once the call extension has been setup under Google Adwords, WhatConverts will track and record all phone calls that are generated from your call only ad and or call extension, but Google will record the conversion.

What If Google Disapproves My Tracking Number?

Tracking numbers are sometimes disapproved by Google because Google is unable to verify the tracking number for the corresponding website of the campaign. There could be other reasons they disapprove of the number. For more information please check Google’s Destination Requirements.

There are two ways to verify your tracking number. The two rules can be found below, but we want to focus on the second rule which would be applicable to our tracking number.

  • Display the number on your site.The phone number in your ad must be present on the website featured in your ad. This means that if the phone number appears in ads for different websites, then that phone number must appear on at least one page for each of those websites. Remember that the verification URL must have the same domain as your ad’s display URL. The number must appear in text and will not meet the policy if it appears as an image. Your phone number will be more easily detected and verified if it is featured on a landing page that is visited frequently.
  • Verify domain ownership.You can also verify your phone number by proving ownership of your ad’s display URL domain. Do this by linking your Google Search Console and AdWords accounts or by adding your unique AdWords conversion tracking tag or remarketing tag to your website.

As long as Google Search Console is linked to your Google AdWords account or an AdWords Conversion Tag or Remarketing Tag is found on the site, your call extension should be approved by Google.

Important side note:

Check and verify that your WhatConverts tracking number is being replaced with a Google tracking number. If Google is not replacing your number with one of their own, keep the following in mind regarding call extensions. Call extensions are deployed at the ad group level, even when set-up at the campaign level, especially when it comes to utilizing forwarding numbers. Each ad group must reach a threshold before the call-forwarding number is deployed and substitutes the static number in your extension. The threshold is approximately 20 to 50 clicks per month to start showing the forwarding number proceeded by 10-20 clicks per month to maintain that threshold. Google hasn’t explicitly stated the minimum threshold, but that seems to be the general consensus among advertisers.