Google has announced a new set of tools that allow advertisers to track the success of phone numbers on their ads. For the first time, advertisers can track phone calls generated via desktop ads, as well as through 'click to call' from mobile searchers.
New Call Metrics features on Google's advertising tools allow advertisers to view detailed reporting on phone calls that come from mobile click-to-call or Google search ads. Ads are equiped with a unique trackable phone number, and calls are reported in real-time alongside smartphone click-to-call stats.
Amanda Rosenberg, Google's mobile business development manager says: "When businesses receive phone calls they would love to be able to measure how the potential customer found their number, where they are calling from, how long the call lasted for and how much it cost to drive them to the telephone number. Now, they can with Google call metrics which provides detailed reporting on phone calls that come from their Google ads - whether those ads contain a hyperlinked click-to-call number or are manually dialled after being seen."
Google says that many businesses value calls over clicks - financial or health services for example - and so the company has also introduced a 'Bid Per Call' feature to its advertising offerings. This feature allows advertisers to bid for phone calls separately from bids for clicks that direct users to your website.
If an advertiser values a phone call more than website traffic - and many do - they can separate their phone call and website bids and bid higher for phone call leads.
The other aspect to this change to ad tracking is rankings, says Rosenberg. Google's Quality Score system will for the first time take into account calls. So, the more calls an ad generates, the higher it will move up Google's rankings.