Google Ads Call Tracking – Updated 2018

Google ads call tracking is essential for any business that needs to track calls from potential clients and customers.

In this article we will be looking at 3 different ways you can tack calls in Google:

  1. Call extensions
  2. Call only ads
  3. Google website call tracking

Google Ads Call Tracking with Google Call Extensions

Extensions offer advertisers a variety of ways to add extra information to their ads. One of these extensions, is call extensions.

Getting this type of Google ads call tracking set up is very simple. By following the simple steps in this article, you should have this set up in a couple of minutes.

Firstly, we will need to set up an extension. To do this click Ads and Extensions in the left-hand side of your Google Ads account and then select the extensions tab.

If this is the first time you have set up an extension you will see a message that looks something like the image below:

setting up call extensions

Scroll down the page until you see the call extension option. Once you have clicked a new page will open where you can create the extension.

google ads call tracking

In the image above, you can see what this process looks like. Overall it is very simple to implement.

For a standard call extension, it is a 4 step process:

  1. Select the level you want your call extension setting at. The default is Account, but you can also select from Campaign, or Ad group
  2. Add a phone number. To do this simply select the country and enter the phone number you want to use
  3. Make sure call reporting is on. This tells Google to register these calls as conversions.
  4. Select a conversion action. There should be a default already selected here named “calls from ads”. For now leave this as the and click save.

Creating a conversion for your Google Ads Call Extension

Once you have the extension set up and saved, click on the tool’s icon in the top right of your Google Ads dashboard.

Next you will need to select conversions from the drop down and on the next page click the button to create a conversion.

At this point you will be given several options.

select google ads call tracking

Obviously, we are tracking calls from ads, via call extensions, so we need to select phone calls, following this we want to select “calls from ads using call extensions or call only ads”.

Select-google ads call tracking type

On the next page you will have to enter the settings for your conversion. You can see the settings below:

  • Conversion name – Give your conversion a name. For this example, I will be calling it “Ad Calls (120 seconds)” this tells me it is an extension and also the duration needed for a conversion.
  • Category – This is usually going to be a lead, so you can leave it as the default setting.
  • Value – Here you can assign a value for each call. You will need to determine how much a call is worth to you. Alternatively, you can select the option to not use a value.
  • Count – Select how many conversions to count per click or interaction. Leave this as one.
  • Call length – Set a minimum call duration that will be recorded as a conversion.
  • Conversion window – This determines how long a conversions can be recorded after a click.
  • Include in conversions – Select yes
  • Attribution model – Again we can leave this as the default which is last click

Once this is completed click continue and your conversion will be created.

call extension conversion set up

Final Step: Add  Your Conversion To The Call Extension

The final step now is to add your new conversion to the call extension we created earlier. To get this set up navigate back to the extensions tab.

Once you have the extension open simply use the drop down under conversion action and select your new conversion.

That is the first type of Google ads call tracking complete.

Next we will be looking at Call only ads

Setting up Google Call Only Ads

This type of Google ads call tracking can be useful if your only goal is generating calls.

By using Google call only ads, you are telling Google that you only want to receive calls from mobile devices. This means that when somebody clicks your ads, the only option they get is to call your business.

In your Google Ads dashboard click on campaigns in the left-hand column, next click the blue +campaign button.

Select search for campaign type and fill in the next section as shown below.

Once completed click continue

On the next page you will set up your campaign. For the most part this is very self-explanatory, simply complete each field as appropriate.

The main thing that will need changing on this page is the Networks field. Here we want to turn of Search Partners and Display Network.

When you have checked all the other fields and added a budget, hit save and continue.

On the next page name your ad group and add in some keywords if you already have any.

Finally, you will be sent to the create ads page. Currently the create ads page displays a template for an extended text ad, as we are creating call only ads we can skip this step by clicking the cancel link at the bottom of the ad.

cancel ads creation

Make sure you cancel the ad by clicking the top cancel link in the image above. Clicking the bottom link will cancel the whole campaign and you will need to start again. Once complete click save and continue.

How to create your call only ad

On the next page, click Create Ad, this will take you to the ads and extensions tab in your Google Ads dashboard, here we need to click the blue +ad button and select call only ad.

google call only ad set up

In this section select the ad group you want your Google call only ad, fill in your business name and phone number and then write the ad text

Make sure you have call reporting turned on and select a conversion action from the drop down.

For the conversion action you can use the same one as you would use for your call extensions, alternatively you can create a new conversion using the exact same process as the extensions example.

Google Website Call Tracking

Google website call tracking is the final type of Google ads call tracking we will be looking at in this article.

As the name suggests this method allows you to track calls directly on your website. Google have recently made this process much easier, meaning it can be set up in a matter of minutes by simply adding two pieces of code.

To get started click the tools icon in the top right of your dashboard and select conversions again.

We are going to select the phone calls option again, but this time we are going to select the “calls to a phone number on your website” option and click continue.

google website call tracking

To set up this type of Google ads call tracking you will need to add a couple of small snippets of code to your website. If you are not able to do this yourself, you will need to have your developer install the code for you.

On the next page fill out the conversion settings, this is exactly the same process completed we used setting up the call extension conversion.

After this is completed the next step is to decide how you will install the necessary tags to make google website call tracking work.

select how to install your google ads tag

There are two main options here.

  1. Install the tag yourself
  2. Email the tag to your webmaster

There is also a link below with instructions for adding your tag with Google tag manager.

We will be selecting the first option and installing the tag our self.

Generating your Global Tag And Phone Snippet

For the purpose of this tutorial I will assume you don’t already have Google’s global site tag installed, if this is the case you will need to select the top option displayed in the image below.

google website call tracking tag

Copy the code and add it between the <head></head> tags of every page of your website.

Next you will need to generate and install a phone snippet

google website call tracking phone snippet

Here you will need to add your phone number to create the code.

Important: you need to enter your phone number here exactly as it appears on your website (with or without spaces). If you format the number differently website conversion tracking won’t work.

Once the code has been generated it should be added between the <head></head> tags of the page where your phone number appears, right below the global site tag.

After installing these two pieces of code, Google website call tracking will be active on your website.

Choosing which Google ads call tracking is right for you

All three of these Google ads call tracking methods have their uses and a combination of more than one might be a good option depending on your goals.

A favorite combination here at CPS Media is a using call extensions in ads and also using call tracking on landing pages. This gives you the most flexibility and allows your ads to show on all devices.

We have also tested this with ads only targeting mobile devices and found that delivery tends to be better using this combination compared with call only ads

We hope you found the article useful and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by Contacting us here

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