You've likely been there: You spend hours combing through keywords, tailoring the right headline and ad text, and customizing landing pages; you finally launch your Google AdWords campaign, and after a couple days or weeks... the conversions aren't as high as you expected, and you aren't quite sure why.

Google AdWords is undoubtedly a viable medium for attracting qualified leads[1]. But to fully take advantage of the opportunity, you need to track and monitor for both online and offline conversions. And the latter requires integrating call tracking into your AdWords campaigns, landing pages, and website.

Google AdWords offers two features that enable you to capture offline conversions and associate them directly with the AdWords campaigns, ad groups, ads, and keywords that drove action:

  1. Call Extensions for capturing calls from the search results page
  2. Offline Conversion Tracking for tracking calls from your website

(If at this point you're wondering whether call tracking is worth the effort[2], consider this: We're living in a world of mobile devices, and 70% of customers using mobile search have connected with businesses using the click-to-call AdWords feature directly from the search engine results page, according to a September 2013 Google study.) 

Google Call Extension: Capturing Calls From the Search Results Page

Google's Call Extensions is a feature that enables advertisers to display a phone number directly next to a PPC ad on a search results page. As part of this feature, Google offers dynamically generated Forwarding Numbers that are associated with your campaign; any calls to those numbers are recorded and forwarded to a telephone number you specify.

When the Google Call Extension number is called, a conversion is recorded and associated directly with the campaign and reported in your AdWords portal. You incur a cost only when a mobile searcher touches the click-to-call number and places a call.

Another option with Call Extensions is to integrate your own dedicated tracking numbers in your campaigns, but that can be costly and it's a time-consuming task to set up and manage; you also lose the ability to see offline conversions directly within AdWords.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
image of Brad Reynolds

Brad Reynolds is co-founder, president, and CEO of Mongoose Metrics,  a call tracking product suite for search, display, mobile, and social marketing campaigns.

LinkedIn: Brad Reynolds