Advanced Call Tracking with CallTrackingMetrics

April 02, 2019

In the age of AI, Chat, and 24 hour websites, it’s surprising that a vintage idea such as the phone call from a customer can be an important factor in digital marketing. Browsing the internet has its limits: a specific question might require a unique answer and this is where a phone call saves the day. Clients who call have a higher intent for your product/service and businesses should be capitalizing on this low hanging fruit when possible. This article will expose how your business can make the most out of advertising your phone number online.

Let’s start with some available call tracking tools:

Google’s call reporting feature is a free tool that allows for basic call reporting. It can report start time, end time, duration, caller’s area code, and whether a call was connected. That said, this feature has its shortcomings such as no call recording, no explicit attribution for campaign/ad group/keyword responsible for the call, or tracking calls from other sources (ex. Facebook or  Google My Business). Here at Four15 Digital we’ve enlisted the help of a third party tracker called CallTrackingMetrics (CTM) to better qualify calls from the Google platform.

Source: CallTrackingMetrics

Connecting Call Tracking to Google Ads

In order to establish proper tracking we recommend that you link your Google Ads, Google Analytics (GA), and CTM accounts. If you’re already concerned about tracking user experience – as you should be – you should already have installed the Analytics tracking code on your site and linked Google Ads and Analytics. The additional, more tedious parts involve linking CTM to both GA and Google Ads and installing the CTM tracking code on your site.

Once your accounts are linked you are now ready to purchase tracking numbers for your Call-Only ads, Call Extensions, and Google My Business. We recommend using different tracking numbers for each because you must set the source in CTM to Google Ads for calls from your site or Ad Extension for calls from an off-site source (ex. Call Extensions and Google My Business). Tracking numbers with source set to Google Ads should now begin to dynamically insert on your site – swapping the number on your site to your CTM tracking number. If you use CallTracking Metrics this article provides a method to determine whether number swapping is working on your site.

You can also switch out the phone numbers in your call extensions and call-only ads for the CTM tracking numbers with source set to Ad Extension. You can also set up goals in GA that correspond to these new calls and upload your newly created goals into Google Ads. This creates streamlined tracking of calls across your reporting platforms.

Another benefit is that you’ll now able to track calls from other sources such as your Google My Business (GMB) since the CTM code can track referring sites. You can also track calls displayed on other sites. For example, in GMB, you simply move your actual business number to “Additional phone” and applying your CTM tracking number to “Primary phone”. This CTM tracking number should also use the source as Ad Extension because your location extensions are sourced from your GMB listing. Since GMB calls are not attributed to paid search efforts, please remember to separate out your conversions for GMB calls by turning off reporting for this conversion goal in Google Ads. This way you can still monitor conversions in GA without running into attribution problems in Google Ads.

At Four15 Digital, we’ve recently relied on CTM’s features to listen to and gain more insight on client calls – what makes/breaks a conversion and the customers’ intent. We’ve used this data to shine light on things such as call durations for conversions, good/bad ad copy, and proper geotargeting locations. With this feature, I hope you enjoy uncovering new areas of opportunities for your business!