Google AdWords and Call Tracking

May 11th, 2015 by Jeff Kramer

BLOG-AdWords-and-Call-TrackingThe importance of tracking call activity in the PPC world has long been understood. However, with the number of options available today, knowing the difference between them all can be confusing. In this blog post we will review options available for call tracking with Google.

At the most basic level, call extensions can be enabled to have your phone number display alongside ads. There are two options that can be enabled through the AdWords interface called Call Extensions: “My Own Phone Number” and “Google Forwarding Phone Number”.  The third option, “Website Call Conversions”, requires additional work of placing code snippets on your business’s website.

Call Extensions

“My Own Phone Number” will use your business phone number alongside ads. You may consider this option if you have branded your phone number and wish to maintain it as part of your AdWords campaign. “My Own Phone Number” does not allow for tracking or analytics to be associated with the number.

Enabling “Google Forwarding Phone Number” will insert a unique phone number alongside your ad to allow for basic tracking and analytics. Details such as area code, time the call was placed, how long the call lasted and if the call was connected are all tracked. Although the number is forwarded, the number on caller ID still appears as the originating phone number.

Adding phone numbers through call extensions is easy and should be enabled in most campaigns.  Both features can be enabled through the AdWords interface.

Website Call Conversions

“Website Call Conversions” is a feature that leverages the benefits of “Google Forwarding Phone Number” but carries the number to the website. A snippet of code is placed on your website which allows a unique Google Forwarding number to display on your site.

If the number is called from the website, this would be tracked the same as Google Forwarding number with the same analytics available. The benefit of having Website Call Conversions is that it allows for calls made from your website phone number to be tracked too.

Google provides some good options for including and tracking calls. The limitation is that tracking is exclusive to Google advertising and does not provide a means for tracking phone calls that fall outside of this advertising medium. To have a complete phone tracking solution you need to consider a third-party solution such as JumpFly Call Tracking.

JumpFly Call Tracking and other third-party services offer more complete solutions that allow for phone tracking regardless of advertising platform.

Third-party tracking is perhaps the best and most hassle free way of monitoring call activity. Independently adding website call tracking to your online advertising strategy will ultimately result in a more dynamic campaign. As with any solution, understanding the pros and cons of each as they relate to your business goals is ultimately going to dictate which option you choose.

Please call the team at JumpFly if you would like to discuss any of these options.

 


Google AdWords Call-Only Campaigns

April 28th, 2015 by Krystal Urlaub

BLOG-CallOnlyCampaignsWith more and more consumers searching on their smart phones for products and services, the need for mobile advertising is more important and valuable than ever for businesses. According to Google, 70% of mobile searchers call a business directly from search results. To address this, Google recently introduced a new campaign type called Call-Only Campaigns.

This is exciting news for advertisers who rely heavily on driving calls to their business. Now with this new AdWords campaign type, consumers will see your ad text with your phone number, call button and business name on their mobile devices. Once a consumer clicks on your ad, they will only be able to call you and will not have the option of being directed to your website.

One of the reasons that this new campaign type is so exciting has to do with the way you can now structure your mobile bids. Currently the only option to increase your mobile bids is to apply a mobile bid adjustment that uses your desktop bid as the baseline. For example, if you are currently bidding a $1 for the keyword “ppc advertiser” and have your mobile bid multiplier set to increase your bid by 100%, your max mobile bid CPC would then be $2. The potential issue with this type of bidding strategy is that if you need to raise your baseline bid, your mobile bid automatically increases and can quickly grow.

With the new Call-Only Campaign you can now bid for calls based on your target CPA, ROAS or by applying a manual max CPC. You also now have the ability to set your max CPC bids at the keyword level instead of a mobile multiplier at the ad group level. It’s important when setting these bids to remember that you are now bidding based on how much a phone call is worth to you and not a click to your website.


Will Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Change Impact AdWords?

April 14th, 2015 by Brad Garlin

Google-Mobile-Friendly-Algorithm-ChangeWe’ve been hearing from clients who are concerned about Google’s approaching mobile-friendly algorithm change. Per Google’s recent announcement, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

Now advertisers are reasonably questioning if this change will also impact mobile results on AdWords. All indications are that this change will not impact AdWords at this time. Google has not made any mention about this change impacting AdWords, and historically they have pre-announced changes similar to this well in advance of it actually happening. It certainly stands to reason that this same algorithm change may eventually also apply to AdWords, but it doesn’t appear likely to have an impact with this upcoming algorithm change. Google’s shareholders would certainly be none-to-pleased if Google abruptly shut down a substantial number of their mobile advertisers without even giving any warning, plus they would be creating a huge headache for themselves by needing to deal with confused and upset advertisers; That just wouldn’t make any sense on multiple levels.  So should advertisers be concerned about making their website mobile friendly according to Google, and what should they do right now?

The first thing I personally suggest is for website owners to review Google Analytics results to determine exactly how much traffic is actually generated from Google mobile organic results. In many cases, I have seen that Google mobile organic traffic represents an incredibly small portion of overall total traffic. Based on this reality, I am not too concerned about Google’s upcoming algorithm change for those businesses.

For others who are are receiving a decent amount of Google mobile organic traffic, this change is very important and should be addressed immediately if it has not been already. Google said the new algorithm will start rolling out on April 21st and will take a few days to a week to fully implement. They also stated that websites are either mobile-friendly or not, with no degrees of mobile-friendliness, at least not at this time. The fastest way to see if a web pages is mobile-friendly according to Google  is to check it with Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.

If you are an AdWords advertiser, the next thing to review is how much mobile PPC traffic you are generating. If AdWords mobile traffic is relevant and converts, then making sure that your website is mobile-friendly according to Google is likely a good idea to start taking into consideration. I would suspect that it is just a matter of time until mobile-friendliness does impact AdWords advertisers, and it’s always better to be prepared in advance rather than need to rush to get something done by a specific deadline… especially if is really important and related to technology. Over the years, I have seen over and over again that website development often takes twice as long and costs twice as much as planned. So even if your AdWords account is generating favorable results from mobile traffic, you likely have nothing to worry about right now. However, I strongly encourage advertisers in this position to consider looking into making their websites mobile-friendly according to Google. It’s always a good idea to cater to best-practices that Google suggests, so exploring mobile-friendly web design is likely a good idea for every business, but of course that could be said about many things that require time and money. Therefore my suggestion is to review Google Analytics, review Google AdWords, and then determine how high of a priority making your website mobile-friendly to Google should be on your to-do list.