Call tracking vs Google’s forwarding numbers

March 16, 2022 11:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

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Your Google Ads account can provide you with forwarding numbers. Whilst useful for gaining insights into a campaign’s basic success, they don’t give all the metrics that data-driven marketers need to optimise their marketing.

Google’s call forwarding service provides information such as the duration of calls and the area code of callers. This data barely scratches the surface compared to full-scale call tracking using software like Calltracks.

Here are some of the places you will benefit…

Campaign Monitoring
Forwarding numbers only track calls generated by call extensions or call-only-ads. These often only make up a small proportion of your digital marketing efforts. If you need a wider view of your campaigns, such as remarketing or partner marketing campaigns, call tracking software allows you track the performance of all your PPC campaigns and gives you a complete picture.‍ You can also create custom events to see how phone calls compliment ‘online’ conversions such as form fills and e-commerce transactions

Journey Data
Call tracking can also provide far deeper insights into ad performance and customer behaviour. Google’s standard features allow you to see the keyword and ad that brought a caller to your site but that’s about it. Whilst this information can be helpful for a quick view understanding how they navigate through your site gives you even more insight.

Calltracks places a cookie on each visitor which allows you to track their interaction with your website before, during and after the phone call. Even if they don’t call on the first visit to your website, if they come back later you get to see the whole journey and associated history where applicable. This feature allows you to learn more about your landing pages, optimise your content and SEO strategies by understanding their behaviour.

Where Call Forwarding fails
Aside from the additional data you can get from call tracking, there are instances where Google’s call forwarding won’t work at all. If your ad group doesn’t get enough clicks in a 4-week period, Google won’t show a forwarding number anyway meaning you can’t track or record anything. Call extensions targeting the GDN don’t support Google forwarding numbers meaning you also lose access to a huge potential audience and ad style.

Google forwarding numbers shouldn’t be used outside of Google ads. Google can change or reassign numbers to user’s ad accounts at anytime which could impact call routing and call delivery if the number is used for other marketing sources.

Extra Features
There are also extra features that Call tracking can provide that Google’s call forwarding cannot, like Call Recording. Call recording refers to the process of recording phone conversations between a representative of a business and a customer. This includes both inbound and outbound calls. Many organisations have hundreds of call recordings each day. As a result, it’s essential that these are managed effectively and that the urgent and most valuable calls are handled quickly.

Call recordings can be used for training (to improve call handling and customer engagement) or marketing purposes. Identifying and actioning lost enquiries helps increase sales conversion and reduce marketing investment.

Get in Touch
If you use Google Ads for your marketing efforts and want to improve your ROI or gather more in-depth data, speak to our team. We specialise in providing call tracking solutions to a wide range of businesses, in a variety of industries.

If you have any questions about how your marketing efforts convert on the phone and want to understand what works, get in touch!

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This post was written by nick frost

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