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How to Set Up Call Tracking in AdWords With Call Extensions

Google AdWords is one of the most measurable advertising channels. Advertisers are able to easily calculate their exact return on investment by tracking conversions to their campaigns. Metrics that can be measured include e-commerce sales, new leads, and email signups.

But one metric that often goes unreported for paid advertisements is phone calls.

Lots of prospects click on ads but may choose to call the company instead. Potential customers might have additional questions or they are simply not able to make a purchase directly from the site (e.g. service providers). Any caller could very well be a new customer so businesses are glad to take them.

But conversions that take place offline are often not attributed to the ad group that delivered the customer in the first place. The campaign might be highly profitable but without call tracking in place, conversions appear lower than they actually are.

This is where call tracking comes in.

Why Your Business Should Track Calls in AdWords

Calls are an important channel for consumers.

A survey commissioned by Google found that 70% of mobile searchers have used click-to-call in ads to contact a business. Understanding how customers are contacting your business provides a wealth of information that can better inform your decisions.

If a certain landing page generates more calls, you can allocate more funds towards that campaign. Tracking calls and their results also means that you can split test different offers to see which one gets a better response. But perhaps the biggest advantage is being able to determine which campaigns and ad groups are producing results, even right down to the keyword level.

Here is an example of a mobile text ad with a phone number included:


Tapping on the number lets searchers quickly call the business without having to copy down the number. Call extensions are not only free and easy to set up, Google has even stated that they can increase click through rates by 4-5%.

Here we look at how to set up call tracking in AdWords with call extensions.

Add a New Conversion in AdWords

Login to your AdWords account then click on the Tools link at the top. In the dropdown list, click on Conversions and click the red +Conversion button.

You should see the following:


Under Phone calls click on the Select button. Then choose the first option and click Continue.


Where you can enter in additional details for phone call conversions:


The next page is where you can enter in additional details for phone call conversions:

Here is an overview of each:

  • Name: This is the name of the phone call conversion you want to track and shows up in your conversion reports.
  • Value: Here you can enter in how much a call is worth for your business. You can also choose not to assign a value.
  • Call length: Here you can enter the minimum number of seconds that a call needs to be in order for it to count as a conversion.
  • Count: This option lets you choose how you want to count your conversions.
  • Conversion window: Conversion window refers to how long after a click takes place to track conversions.
  • Category: Choose the appropriate category that best fits the conversion. If none of the options fit the desired action, select Other.
  • Include in “conversions”: Selecting this option (on by default) includes conversion data in the Conversions reporting column.

Then click save and continue and you will see the following:


Click on the Go to call extensions button to set up a call extension.

Set Up Call Extensions

Click on the red +Extension button or select an existing number in your campaign to edit it. Then select the option to show your ad with a Google forwarding phone number.

Google forwarding numbers offers more insight on any calls that your campaign receives. The way it works is rather straightforward. Google provides a unique number that is displayed with your ads. The number then routes callers to your business number while tracking certain details about the call. You can also add Google forwarding numbers to call-only ads.

Just like with ads, extensions go through an approval process to ensure they are being used properly. Once the call extension is approved you can begin tracking calls in your conversion reports.


Call tracking cannot be stressed enough as the data provides invaluable insight.

If certain ad groups are generating more calls with higher conversions, you can allocate your budget accordingly. Similarly, if a campaign is failing to gain any traction you could pause it while you focus your attention on better performing campaigns. But you wouldn’t know these facts unless you had a system in place to track calls. Call extensions and Google forwarding numbers take the guesswork out of AdWords and enable you to better optimise for performance.


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