Google’s “FREE” AdWords call tracking –is it all it’s cracked up to be?

One month ago, Google introduced it’s FREE “Website Call Conversions” program.  Yes, that’s right – it’s 100% free to use this AdWords Call Tracking option.  In this post, I’m going to explain why I believe the intentions of this program may be something other than giving you accurate numbers that reveal TRUE R.O.I.  and why you NEED TO AVOID USING GOOGLES website call conversion program.

Call me a skeptic, a pessimist, or a doubter, but my belief is that this is nothing more than another way for Google to drive its revenue’s even higher.  Hear me out on this before you disregard what I’m saying.

In order to use Google “Website Call Conversions” program – you MUST enable call extensions.   Call Extensions will show the “Call” button if your ad is viewed on a mobile device.  If a user clicks this “Call” button – you are charged for a click, whether they complete the call or not!

Google may also display the phone number in your ad if the ad is viewed on a laptop or a desktop.   On the surface, this sounds great as it means you MIGHT get phone calls from customers without having to pay for a click.  But is this really a good thing?  No – it’s not!  These calls skew the numbers and make ROI almost impossible to determine!

Google’s Call Conversions may be useless in determining actual ROI.

Because of the fact your call extension is displayed in your ad on desktop and laptop devices, you have no way of knowing which calls were from existing customers, and which were from potential new customers.

The solution would be to listen to the calls but Google’s website call conversions do not offer this feature.  Google also does not provide you with the caller’s data (name, phone number, or address) and, as of this post, Google’s call conversions program is only available with 800 numbers.

My recommendation would be to stick with a third party AdWords Call Tracking solution that integrates with Google AdWords and Google Analytics.  The third party call tracking I’ve seen allows you access to all the callers data (if it’s not private), and the ability to record and listen to the calls.  The best part is – you can get AdWords Call Tracking for as little as $25 per month.  A small investment that helps you determine which keywords to keep bidding on, and which you should ditch.

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