If your business relies on converting customers over the phone, it’s vital that you’re able to accurate log calls and conversions, as well as keeping an eye on where your leads are coming from. This becomes even more crucial if you’re running marketing campaigns online, in the hope of triggering offline conversions.
Tracking phone calls in Google Analytics can provide you with rich data such as individual keyword and campaign performance. It also gives you a clearer picture of the customer journey and the various conversion paths your customers take, enabling you to optimise your website and campaigns to drive more successful call outcomes.
So, how can Google track phone calls and how do you set up call tracking? In this blog, we’ll outline the process of setting up Google call tracking. We’ll also explore the benefits of tracking phone calls in Google Analytics and how you can get set up quicker and easier.
What are the benefits of tracking phone calls in Google Analytics?
Call tracking can cover your blind spots by accurately connecting the customer journey to the call, providing the insight you need to invest your budget in activity that works. Connecting the dots of your incoming calls with the marketing activity gives you the full picture, making budget optimisation and campaign performance more straightforward than ever before.
Tracking phone calls in Google Analytics can provide granular insight on each and every call. For example, you can see the source or medium that led to the phone call, individual keywords, performance of different website pages and which pages customers actually called you from and provide key demographics about your customers where available. All of this data is instrumental in fine-tuning your sales and marketing strategy.
How do you track phone calls in Google Analytics?
There are a couple of different ways to track calls to a phone number in Google. We’re going to focus on how to track phone calls from your Google Ads in Google Analytics, which is Google’s native tracking tool. However, it is also possible (if slightly more complex) to do this using Google Tag Manager, which you can read about here.
Here’s your step-by-step guide to tracking phone calls in Google Analytics:
Log-in to your Google Analytics account and click the spanner icon in the top-right hand corner of the tab. Under the Measurement menu, select Conversions.
Select New Conversion and choose Phone calls. Then select Calls from ads using call extensions or call-only ads and click Continue.
In the Goal Category section, choose your conversion action, as this will allow you to segment conversions in your Analytics reports. Give your conversion a name and select a value, you can either assign a set value to calls or choose to assign none.
Next to Count, choose whether to count every or one conversion per ad click. Google’s advice is that Every is best for tracking sales and One is best for tracking leads.
Once you’ve configured that information, you can set your call length, conversion window and attribution model. In layman’s terms:
Call length – You can determine the minimum length a call needs to last for it to be counted as a conversion.
Conversion window – This allows you to decide how long after an ad click you want to track conversions. This could be 24 hours or a whole week, it’s up to you.
Attribution model – This allows you to pick a set model type. If you’re not sure which attribution model is right for you, it’s well worth reading this.
When you’re done, click Create and continue.
Last but not least, you’ll need to create a conversion tracking tag. This involves adding a piece of code to your website that helps your Google Ads and Google Analytics communicate information properly.
And you’re all done! It usually takes a few hours for the code to start working and filtering calls correctly.
Are there any limitations with using Google call tracking?
While Google's native call tracking is free and provides a useful starting point, if you're serious about linking your call data to conversions, you may wish to consider using dedicated call tracking software. Limitations with Google call tracking include:
Conversions are counted by call duration – Because Google isn’t connected to your CRM system, it counts conversions based on the call duration you set. This isn’t completely accurate and needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, spending ten minutes on the phone with a lead does not a sale make.
Google call tracking is only available for paid ads – As you probably noticed in our step-by-step guide, Google’s tracking is only available in relation to Google AdWords and other advertising formats. This means you’re missing data from other sources such as paid social or affiliate partners
It can’t identify the whole customer journey – Google Analytics and ads are just one element in your marketing and sales strategy. The data you’re collecting on conversions from Google Analytics doesn’t capture each and every touch point. If you want the full picture, you’re going to need more data from more sources.
How to make tracking phone calls in Google Analytics better
Using Infinity's call tracking and Google Analytics together helps you make continuously smarter decisions. Infinity allows you to seamlessly integrate call data into Google, giving you a more complete picture of the customer journey.
For example, call tracking can assist with creating better multi-channel marketing attribution by connecting the dots between your online and offline activities. Using Google and call tracking together, you’re able to:
Send goals and phone call data in real-time, along with call type and value.
Record individual calls and goals as events in Google Analytics.
Send revenue and outcomes into Google as Goal Value.
See which keywords work, and which don’t, within your bid management solution.
Identify whether display impressions have contributed to phone calls.
Thanks to our latest upgradeTailor display budgets confidently, with the knowledge that the ROI is proven.
Thanks to our latest upgrade, our Google Ads integration can now captuer granular insights on the keyword groups, ads and campaings that trigger calls directly from Search Ads. This is significant since 70% of people browsing on mobiles call by tapping the phone numbers in call ads, call extensions and location extensions.
Every conversation matters. Start one with us today to unlock the benefits of tracking phone calls in Google Analytics.
Product Marketing Manager Andy has spent years obsessively analysing B2B and B2C digital marketing campaigns and technology. Outside of his family, his main loves are Woking FC, his Xbox and his National Trust membership.