November 05, 2018 Call Tracking

What Are Google Call Extensions?

Google call extensions allow you to add phone numbers to your Google Ads. Consumers can then tap, click, or call these phone numbers to ring your business directly from your ad, without having to clickthrough and visit your site. You can set up call extensions in Google Ads at the account level, the campaign level, or the ad group level, depending on your needs. Google Ads bills phone calls from call extensions the same way it bills clicks to landing pages.

Google Call Extension

Why Do Marketers Use Google Call Extensions?

Call extensions are a powerful tool for search marketers whose business goals include driving inbound calls. They create a frictionless link from the online search to the call channel. This is important since, in our mobile-first world, more consumers want to engage through calls:

Google call extensions are also powerful because, for many businesses, calls are the most valuable conversions. According to Forrester, callers convert 30% faster and have a 28% higher retention rate than web leads.

What Analytics Data Should You Capture on Calls Driven by Google Call Extensions?

Google Ads’ summary reports show a grouping of possible calls driven by your campaigns, ads, and keywords on mobile or your campaigns and ads on desktop. However, Google cannot directly attribute a call to a single keyword.  

Many search marketers are using a call analytics solution to track each call to the keyword that drove it on mobile or the campaign and ad group that drove it on desktop. Once they tie each call to its source, they mine the voice of the consumer for insights. This data-driven approach allows search marketers to make smarter bids on search campaigns that are actually driving quality sales calls and revenue. It also helps them make operational changes to convert more callers to customers. See the insights they’re capturing below:

1. Analyze Whether the Call Was a Qualified Sales Lead

Paid search ads drive billions of calls to US businesses each month, and those calls are generated two ways: either 1) directly from the search ad itself via a call button or phone number or 2) from consumers who click on the ad and call a number on your website.

It’s important to understand not only how many of each type of call you generate, but how each type impacts customer acquisition. Because the results can vary greatly depending on your industry and business.

For example, after analyzing calls that come directly from call extensions in search ads, one logistics company learned that 90% of those callers from branded keywords were not potential customers, but rather job-seekers. This was not the audience the marketing team wanted to generate from their paid search spend — so they promptly removed the call extensions.

However, a large national pest control company found just the opposite. Calls from call extensions in their search ads convert to customers twice as often as calls from their landing pages and website. After learning this, they have allocated more budget to ads with mobile call extensions, which has helped increase customer acquisition by 12%.

2. Analyze Whether the Call Was Answered

Driving calls is only half the battle — to generate revenue from your search ads, you also need to ensure you’re staffed with enough agents to field these inbound calls. A recent DT University study found that 1 in 5 calls from paid search goes to voicemail. By tracking what days and times calls from your paid search campaigns tend to go unanswered, you can improve your staffing to avoid leaving sales on the table.

View how many calls driven by your Google call extensions go unanswered

[Sample Report: track the percentage of calls from your Google call extensions that go to voicemail]

3. Analyze What Keywords and Questions the Caller Voiced

If a lot of callers are voicing certain phrases, there’s likely significant search engine traffic for those keywords. You can then bid on those keywords and update your ad copy to answer the common questions customers are voicing. In addition, by updating your website and landing pages to answer these common caller questions, you’ll convert more undecided customers.

4. Analyze How the Call Was Handled

When calls come in, your agents need to handle them correctly — otherwise, you could be missing out on revenue. The right call analytics solution can use AI to automatically score the calls driven by your marketing campaigns for lead quality and buying intent. When your agents fail to convert your hottest leads, you can dig into the transcripts and understand why — did they follow the right scripts? You can then have a sales lead follow up with these callers to turn them around, and use recordings of calls as coaching tools in sales training.

[Sample report: lead score calls from your Google call extensions and track how many convert to customers]

5. Analyze Whether Your Agents Converted the Caller to a Customer for Better Retargeting

If your business fails to convert a qualified phone lead, you can use the intelligence from that conversation to target them with the right search ads. For example, if a caller expresses interest in a particular product or service and doesn’t convert, you can ensure the future ads you serve them are related to that product or service.

If a caller converts to a customer, you can target them with a relevant upsell campaign. Or, if there’s no higher-tier product or companion product, you can exclude this customer from seeing future search ads altogether to avoid wasting spend.

Finally, to expand your reach, you can put callers who converted into your lookalike campaigns to find similar audiences to target with ads that are proven to work.

6. Integrate the Revenue from the Call Into Google Ads with Google Click ID

Google Click ID is a unique identifier that Google uses to transfer information between your Google Ads account and your Google Analytics account. By pairing calls with Google Click IDs, search marketers can integrate their revenue from calls directly into Google Analytics to see the full ROI of their campaigns. With the right call analytics solution, you can view the revenue generated by calls at the campaign, ad, and keyword level. Using these insights, you can make smarter campaign optimizations based on your true ROI.

Success Story: Statewide Commercial Insurance Brokers Uses Google Call Extension Attribution to Grow Its Customer Base

Statewide Commercial Insurance Brokers is a 20-year-old independent brokerage operating in 10 states. Their customer base includes contractors and all types of small and medium businesses. To compete in an increasingly cutthroat insurance market, Statewide needed to better track the customer journey and determine the full ROI of its paid search campaigns.

By using DialogTech’s call extension attribution, Statewide was able to allocate its Google Ad spend to the keywords that were driving the most new customers — both online and over the phone. “The use of data is the only way we can compete in our field with multi-billion dollar insurance companies and new start-ups with tens of million dollars in venture capital investment. We are not only holding our own but expanding. We are extremely happy with the results and we wouldn’t think of switching call tracking vendors,” said Eric Ahlroth, Marketing Director at Statewide Commercial Insurance Brokers.

Success Story: Branson Internet Ventures LLC Uses Google Call Extension Attribution to Optimize Its Ad Spend

Branson Internet Ventures LLC is an online guide, coupon book, and reviews site for restaurants based in Branson, Missouri. In order to optimize its Google Ad spend, Branson Internet Ventures needed more insights into the quality of calls its campaigns were driving.

With the help of DialogTech, Branson Internet Ventures was able to determine which campaigns were driving qualified sales leads versus job inquiries and other unqualified calls. “Once we had the deeper level data, we saw that not all calls were created equal and we spent a lot of wasteful money on campaigns that didn’t produce. This has allowed us to focus more money and energy on ad groups and keywords that actually produce results,” said Drew Callison, Vice President of Digital Marketing at Branson Internet Ventures LLC.

Want to see if DialogTech’s solution for call attribution and conversation analytics is right for your business? Request a demo.

Interested in learning more search marketing best practices? Check out our eBook, Driving More Calls and Customers from AdWords & Bing.

Want to learn more search marketing best practices? Check out our eBook, Driving More Calls and Customers from AdWords & Bing.

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About the author:

Derek Andersen

Copywriter, DialogTech

Derek is a copywriter at DialogTech. He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in Marketing and Creative Writing. He enjoys running, playing guitar, and staying up to speed on the latest news in marketing and technology.

See more posts by Derek Andersen

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