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How to Untangle AdWords Phone Call Metrics

Published: January 22, 2014

Author: Susan Waldes

Enhanced Campaigns have brought a host of new phone tracking features to the table. Along with these great new tools and tracking comes a tangled web of fairly confusing new metrics and reports to sift through; segments, dimensions, extensions …oh my!
So how do you do it? Let’s break it down for an example account. Note that beyond the “click” metric reported in segments, all of these more advanced reports require you to opt in to using a Google forwarding number

Click-to-Calls in Segment Reporting

If you are in campaign view (for instance) and segment for “click type,” you’ll see a row under each campaign for mobile click-to-calls. The “clicks” here mean somebody clicked the phone number in a mobile ad extension; the conversions mean that somebody stayed on that call for 60 seconds or more. This is a value you can change in the extension, the default is 60 seconds.

Edit phone number
So for our example account,  this month’s data to date shows 109 click to calls (“clicked the phone number”) and 3 conversions (“stay on the phone for 60 seconds”)
Data to date

Call Extensions on the Ad Extensions Tab

The call extension metrics on the ad extension tab show all activity that happened when the extension was displayed. So, for our example account:
All Online Campaigns
64 conversions this month came from ads that were showing the phone number extension. They may have just clicked the ad and filled out the form like normal; all these stats mean is that the extension was showing, not that the user interacted with it. However, they can still be a useful tool.
The extensions report shows  211K impressions and 64 conversions on the call extension ads vs. 314K total search impressions and 71 conversions overall for search:
Extensions report
This means that only 67% of impressions are seeing those ads with phone extensions BUT that they have led to 90% of conversions. This indicates that even when people don’t interact with the phone number, it adds value to these ads and makes people more likely to convert.

Call Details on the Dimensions Tab

If you go to the dimensions tab and go to the call details view, you’ll see call details for 56 calls:
Call view
These are ALL the calls that Google tracked via their forwarding numbers. Remember, we had 109 mobile click to calls; the reason they are not all here is that a big chunk of those probably didn’t double-verify (little pop up that came up when you click to call).
Double Verify
It could also be that folks did verify but disconnected before the call went all the way through.
Here in the call details report, we can also see the 3 calls with >60 second durations that are mobile click-to-call, and being counted as conversions in the segment reporting:
Segment Reporting
TIP: With Enhanced Campaigns’ new call extension scheduling tools, if your converting calls are clustered during certain times, because of scheduled phone staffing or just user behavior, you can optimize against the “start time” findings in this reporting by scheduling your extension to show only when it’s working well.
In addition, this detail report shows the manually dialed calls. For our example client, we have 10:
Manually Dialed
The 10 manual calls mean that 10 people saw the ad extension and did not click to call it, but dialed that tracking number (in other words, they see the phone number in the desktop ad and pick up their mobile and call it). If any of these manually dialed calls had stayed on the phone for 60 seconds or longer, they would not be counted in the regular conversions column in your segment reports, but instead are counted in the estimated total conversions columns. For now, these manually dialed calls are free!
So, breaking that all down:

-109 people clicked the mobile click to call extension.
-3 of those people stayed on the phone for >60 seconds.
-10 people saw the extension (likely on a desktop ad – note that Google is showing phone extensions on desktop with increasing frequency) and manually called.
-46 of the mobile click-to-call people actually double-verified and connected the call. (56 calls recorded in detail report minus the 10 manually dialed calls).
-64 of the total 71 conversions this month originated on search ads displaying the phone number extension.

So once you’ve tightened up everything you can in AdWords, what next? When people click on ads, go to the webpage, and then call the number on the website, AdWords does NOT register credit for that. This is why advertisers should look at a 3rd-party tracking system like Mongoose Metrics or ifbyphone in order to track that user behavior.
In the case of this example advertiser, the metrics indicate this is a valuable next step. They have ample calls off the ads themselves (the above metrics are 9 days of data) and a bunch of mobile-to-site clicks, and the phone number is prominent on their landing page. So, it’s very likely that people are clicking ads and then calling the on-site number; these third-party tools can help verify and optimize to that behavior.
With these new call reporting capabilities, estimated total conversions, and increasingly sophisticated attribution tools, the digital marketer’s world is reaching further into the real world all the time. Make sure you keep up; it’s only going to get more complex!

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