Thursday, November 4, 2010

Measuring Phone Calls via Google Adwords : introducing AdWords Call Metrics

Google has aired today an announcement regarding its trial for a tool that lets advertisers measure how effective their mobile search ads are at generating calls:

For some time now, Google has allowed mobile advertisers to add their phone number to AdWord text ads. The aim of that was to let customers just click on the number and place a call. Yet, so far it was hard to track how well these ads really performed, as Google didn't give advertisers a convenient way to track these calls. Today Google announced the launch of AdWords Call Metrics with a limited set of U.S.-based advertisers. The company plans to open this beta up to more advertisers in the coming months.

The tool registers every phone call generated when a consumer clicks on an advertiser’s AdWords campaign. Call Metrics uses the technology behind Google Voice to assign unique phone numbers (both toll free and local) at campaign-level and then tracks the number of calls generated by each campaign:
-total nr. of incoming calls,
-received calls and
- missed calls, plus the average and total call duration. Furthermore, in the near future Google plans to add caller area code. However marketers will only get reports on area codes in the aggregate - they won’t get individual call records.

This project falls in line with newest e-marketing trend announced by phone-tracking companies and known as “Call Conversion Optimization”.

Although Google says that Call Metrics will be “available to a limited number of US advertisers”, in the coming months more people will get access. You’ll know when the option shows up in your AdWords account. Here’s what it will apparently look like:

Google claims the feature will allow advertisers to accurately refine their mobile AdWords campaigns according to users’ responses.

“For example, you could test different ad text variations to see which results in the most calls, or reallocate budget to campaigns that truly bring you the highest ROI,” wrote Chatterjee.

Google gives a case study example on its new tool efficiency - a campaign involving furniture retailer Room and Board (which is shown in the below screenshot):

The retailer claims that about half the people who called the 800 number in the Room and Board ad bought something online. However the other half who called the number ultimately bought something in a local store!

The company insists that precisely the latter 50 percent was almost entirely invisible in determining ROI prior to AdWords Call Metrics. The company’s SEM firm figured out the in-store conversion rates by comparing the Google call data with in-store sales records and discovered “the other half”..

Let's see what other successful case studies the new tool will bring along. Until then - as always happy to keep you in the loop of e-marketing diverse menu - yours, @Digilunch.

Any ideas/suggestions - feel free to join in!
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