November 10, 2010
Many advertisers have run into this common problem—you can’t track the impact that your Adwords campaigns have on sales more than through the amount of clicks that your ads are getting. It’s hard to explain to a frustrated client that yes, your agency is responsible for clicks, but there are other unseen factors that may be affecting sales that aren’t shown in your statistics. Most times, this leads to a frustrating conversation, and hours of pondering as to how to show your client that you are doing your job. But now, Google has announced Google Call Metrics. To be clear, this won’t be available to all advertisers for a couple months, but the impact that it could have on illustrating the success of your ad campaigns is worth a heads up. To start, it is important to explain the technology behind Google Call Metrics—Google Voice.
Google Voice is Google’s way of helping you to consolidate your phone numbers. As shown in the basic introductory video supplied here, Google Voice takes all of your telephone devices, and allows you to assign one phone number that connects to all, some, or none of them. Google Voice gives you many personalization options, such as the ability to choose a custom phone number (even ones that spell out your company’s name, for instance), to be able to choose a different area code than the ones attached to your other phones, the ability to block certain people or area codes from calling you, and also allows you to pick a personalized voicemail greeting. Also, Google Voice will take your voicemails and transcribe them to text to be saved in a Gmail-esque inbox online, which makes it easy to sort your messages and access them in an easier interface. And to top it all off, it works on all the major smart phones as well as an app. Without the addition of Adwords, this is already worth a look from a business standpoint—you can personalize how people contact you, and also remain easily connected to your business lines from anywhere.
So Google Voice is already something you should look into as a business. But much like how Google operates, there is much more planned in the future. Google Voice and Google Adwords have announced that the two applications will be having a merger of sorts. Basically, Google Voice will allow you to track the calls that your ads are generating by adding a phone number to the bottom of each of your ads, and it is going to be called Google Call Metrics. This eliminates the need to hassle your customers with questions about how they found the number, how they heard of your business, etc. Google plans on doing this by utilizing the ability to reassign your phone numbers to one single Google phone number. So, you can create a phone number that is easy to remember or spells out your name (easier is better for most potential consumers) and assign it to an ad group or campaign. This number will appear either at the top or bottom of your ad text, and won’t count against you in the already hard to appease character count rules. So, when someone sees your ad, they see the number to call as well. This counts as a conversion for your ad, and Google will track multiple statistics about these conversion calls, such as duration, which ad triggered the call, and also how much revenue came from the call. Much more is undoubtedly coming as well.
In addition to this, Google Voice and Adwords are making it easier for mobile devices to access your ads. Google Voice is now available for all major smart phone types, and your ads, which only display phone numbers for laptops and desktops, can be called directly from the phone just by clicking the number in the mobile phone’s browser. This may not seem like an epic innovation, but it does make it easier for the potential customer to contact you, and removing any barriers to a conversion will undoubtedly result in more conversions and more exposure for your client/business.
This combination of Google Voice and Adwords opens up many future possibilities for your advertising campaigns. To start, Google will not be charging for the calls that your ads are generating as they do for clicks. This will change after Call Metric’s wide scale implementation, but for now you can generate much more revenue without much more cost to your campaigns. Also, you can tailor specific phone numbers to your clientele, or to what campaigns are converting the most. Funny or creative phone numbers aside, being able to give your ad’s phone number an area code that either corresponds to a place that gives you great business, or is easy to remember can help more people to call, and can minimize caller mistakes in the dialing process. Also, this area code factor combined with campaign level geotargetting can give you the advertiser much more ability to tailor ads specifically to who you are trying to target. Basically, Google Voice combined with Adwords gives you a whole new level of customization for your ad campaigns.
So to summarize, you will be able to more accurately gauge the impact that your Adwords campaign has outside of online sales. You will be able to track the number of phone calls that your client gets through the Adwords interface, and won’t be left in the dark as to how people are hearing about your client/business without the corresponding click data. Also, if this is implemented correctly on your end, you will be able to show a much-improved ROI to your client. So be on the lookout for Google Call Metrics, and while you’re at it, get on Google Voice!