For the past several years, Google has been working to create a more robust click-to-call solution for mobile advertisers. Google Voice gave them the opportunity to generate call tracking numbers for advertisers, which meant they could provide useful data to advertisers and charge for phone calls. Now they’ve taken the next logical step and integrated that data further into the AdWords system.
In your typical AdWords report you can already find several columns of conversion metrics. The traditional 1-per-click conversion metrics and view-through conversions (people who saw your ad and converted through another channel) have served as a means of automatic campaigns for years now. Until this change, though, click-to-call conversions were separated into their own column named “Phone Call Conversions”.
With the update to reporting, those calls will now be included in the regular conversion columns. Keep in mind that this only applies to advertisers that opt to use Google’s call forwarding numbers.
Thanks to this change, advertisers can now create campaigns that take advantage of call conversion data to automate their ads. Instead of having to manually dig into reports and make bid changes, you can now make use of the same sorts of bid strategies you’d use for traditional pay-per-click ads. With the conversion optimizer, you can have Google use their prediction systems to modify your bids and maximize profitable clicks. If that seems like giving up too much control, you can opt for enhanced cost-per-click bidding. This will limit the initial modification to half of your account and stay within your maximum CPC bids to make sure things don’t get out of control. If you decided to use enhanced CPC, keep in mind that over time the scope of the modifications can change depending on account performance.
Existing advertisers who are using Google call tracking numbers should just be aware that their reporting and optimization processes will have to change to keep up with the updates. Those who aren’t using call tracking should consider putting together some new campaigns. Keeping up with these new ad types and opportunities can give you an advantage over your less observant competitors.