Today we have a guest post from one of our PPC Hero allies! Kathleen Colan is the Director of Marketing and Content for Mongoose Metrics. Mongoose Metrics provides online marketers with data about which marketing efforts drive phone calls.


The beauty of PPC advertising is the ability it gives you to accurately track lead conversions and associate them with specific elements of a campaign, such as an ad group, ad or keyword bid. For online conversions (i.e. form completions), this is done using web analytics or the PPC platform, but what about when a PPC lead picks up the phone to call?

By integrating call tracking into PPC campaigns, you can accurately capture offline phone conversions, and associate them with specific elements of your campaign.

This information, when combined with online conversion data, offers a complete PPC lead conversion picture, which you can then use to better evaluate campaign performance, identify opportunities or areas in need of improvement, and then make adjustments based on ROI.

How to Integrate Call Tracking with PPC Campaigns

There are two main ways to integrate call tracking into your PPC campaigns:

1. Within PPC ads — In your call tracking solution, assign a unique tracking number to an entire campaign or individual ad, depending on your tracking needs. Next, put the number into your ad in one the following ways:

  • Ad Copy — You can put a tracking number within your ad text. The one drawback to this approach is space limitations, since Google only allows 35 characters per line and Bing allows 70 characters total. A standard phone number with hyphens takes up 12 characters.
  • Google Call Extensions — To combat this, Google offers Call Extensions, enabling advertisers to prominently feature a tracking number without using valuable ad copy real estate. Currently, Bing does not offer this type of feature.
  • Display Ads — If your campaign includes display ads, you can integrate a unique tracking number directly into the ad design.
  • Google Call Metrics — Google also offers its own call tracking option — Call Metrics. The catch with this is that as soon as a person lands on your site, your ability to track offline conversions stops. Note: Bing does not offer its own call tracking solution at this time.

2. Within Websites — To integrate call tracking into your website, you simply need to install a Javascript snippet provided by the call tracking solution into the code of your site. Once installed, as soon as a PPC visitor arrives his or her source data — such as campaign, ad group, ad and keyword details — will be captured and associated with a unique tracking number.

This tracking number is displayed on every page the visitor goes to, so long as the Javascript snippet is installed. This way, any calls from the visitor — no matter what page he or she is on — can be associated with the appropriate PPC campaign elements.

Complete Conversion Data to Improve ROI

Call tracking data can be feed directly into PPC platforms and analytic systems to create a single, easy-to-review hub that clearly displays which campaigns are generating conversions, both online and off.

Armed with this data, you’re better prepared to assess campaign performance and answer important campaign-related questions, including:

  • Do audiences prefer to call or complete online forms?
  • Which keyword bids generate the most qualified leads?
  • Are we spending too much on a specific keyword bid?
  • What is our total cost per conversion?
  • Which elements of our campaign are under-performing?

Use this complete lead conversion data to adjust campaigns, ad groups, ads, keyword bids and reallocate budget, and in the end improve ROI.

Are you using call tracking in PPC campaigns? How has it helped?