Are Your PPC Campaigns Getting the Credit They Deserve?

It’s hard to believe 2013 will be here tomorrow! The New Year is always a great time to re-evaluate your PPC campaigns and make sure ”all your ducks are in a row”.

More times than not PPC campaigns are designed to drive potential customers to your landing pages and perform the desired conversion goal. If you are not an e-comm advertiser this is typically filling out a form, signing up for whitepapers, etc. However, it’s no secret that there is still a large percentage of advertiser’s whose customers are calling more often than completing online lead forms. This is why it’s crucial for your campaigns to be properly formatted to attribute phone calls to PPC. Below are two simple yet efficient options you might not be utilizing to optimize campaigns.


Call Extensions

Call extensions are a great option for advertisers looking to track phone calls without extra coding on their end. Call extensions are available for both desktop and mobile campaigns but will have different features depending on what devices your campaigns are targeting.


In order for a phone number to appear with your desktop, laptop or tablet ads you will need to use call extensions with Google forwarding phone numbers. With this option Google automatically generates a Google Voice number for each ad group and automatically displays this number with your ads. Customers manually calling this number will then be forwarded to your business phone number.


Google forwarding is also available for mobile devices. However, call extensions can still appear in mobile ads without Google forwarding numbers. With mobile call extensions, your business phone number will appear in the ads and will be clickable. This feature is known as “click-to-call”. Advertisers that do not wish to drive traffic to a mobile landing page also have the option to make only the phone number clickable (and not the ad headline) by enabling “allow only clicks-to-call”.


Call extensions can help you drive more phone calls to your business and provides you detailed reporting on the calls received. Google charges $1 for all calls manually dialed to the Google forwarding phone numbers shown on desktops and tablets. Calls generated from mobile click-to-call ads will be charged cost-per-click (CPC). For more information on bid-per-call recent changes you can check this blog post from my colleague, Francis.

Dynamic Phone Numbers

Dynamic phone number insertion is another popular option available to advertisers looking to gain further insights into online marketing success. With dynamic phone number insertion a unique phone can be displayed for each keyword, URL, campaign or search engine. To do this, call tracking software uses a piece of code (usually JavaScript) to replace the HTML phone number. Depending on what an advertiser puts in the URL, a different unique number will be displayed on your site depending on the traffic source the visitor was referred from. This allows you to track phone call conversions to specific online marketing efforts.

Advertisers can view call-tracking reports to fully measure the success of PPC campaigns and online marketing ROI. Getting started is as simple as assigning phone numbers to each traffic source and implementing the code provided.


Reviewing Reports

When reviewing your call details reports it’s important to keep a couple things in mind:

  • Keep an eye out for duplicate calls. We’ve found, at times, one customer will call multiple times from the same number. Depending on your business model, most of the time you'd only count one of these calls as a qualified lead so you want to be sure to remove duplicate calls.
  • Evaluate call duration. One valuable metric on your call reports will be the duration of phone calls received (also wether or not the call was answered). If you know from your internal sales process that a qualified lead is 2+ minutes in duration you would not want to report 45 second phone calls a qualified lead. This will vary between advertisers so make sure you establish a qualified duration when getting started.

Dynamic phone number insertion and call extensions are both a great way to track phone calls, not just clicks, as conversions for your website. With the ultimate goal being able to track online marketing ROI and optimize your campaigns towards success.

If you are heavily investing in paid search, doesn't it make sense to invest in all aspects and efficiently tracking phone calls if your PPC campaigns are making the phone ring?

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