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The Daily Stream

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How To Measure PPC ROI With Website Call Conversions

September 30, 2014 // By: Stream Companies


After 7+ years of working within the Google AdWords system, I’ve seen a lot of changes both good (Ad Extensions) and not-so-good (Enhanced Campaigns).  What makes PPC advertising so important to anyone’s marketing strategy really comes down to two things – 1) direct response and 2) ROI.  A dealership can deliver ads tailored to exactly (or as close as possible) what their potential shoppers may be searching for and track how that budget is being spent, down to the keyword and zip code level.  Google recently kicked it up a notch in a VERY good way on the ROI front.

Google AdWords, as well as Bing adCenter, have allowed us to include phone numbers in our PPC text ads for the past few years.  These calls can be tracked as conversions and help gain further insight on advertising ROI by going a step beyond website leads or purchases.  But as you are probably aware from your CRM, many of your dealership calls don’t happen within PPC ads, but from your website.  This has been a sticking point to track back to PPC advertising unless you have a dynamic call solution software package.

Google recently introduced a new way for advertisers to track their PPC website calls through Website Call Conversions.  Website Call Conversions make it possible to identify and measure calls from your website by someone that has visited from AdWords PPC.  With phone leads increasing nearly 50% over the last two years, being able to identify ALL calls is an important piece in tracking true cost/lead data.

It works like this – within AdWords, you create a series of codes to be placed on your website.  Once in place, this code can swap out your phone number for a Google forwarding number when someone visits from a PPC ad.  When they call this number, it will be forwarded to the original website number, but the new code will track the call back to your AdWords account as a conversion value.   This will work for either calls dialed manually or those who click-to-call from their mobile phone.  You can also assign the length of a call as a true conversion to say that, for example, any calls less than 30 seconds don’t count as a phone lead.

A bit of a warning, getting started can be a little tedious on the IT side of things.  You’ll need a phone number that can be crawled within HTML that can be manipulated by JavaScript.  You’ll also need someone from your PPC team to create the code as well as a website provider who will work with them to make sure the code is customized in the right way.  A bit of testing may be involved so close communication between your website and PPC teams are crucial. However once testing is complete, the lead data will automatically be generated in your AdWords account for conversion reporting.

Stream highly recommends pursuing any and all conversion tracking for your advertising efforts.  End-of-year sales will be here before you know it so best to get started now!

For more on PPC, check out our free webinar replay, 7 Tips to Conquering Paid Search, and learn the most critical tips to improving your paid search campaigns and driving results.



Brock Clauser is the Director of Paid Search at Stream Companies, a Philadelphia area advertising agency.


Topics: Digital Marketing, Pay-Per-Click, PPC, ppc, PPC Secrets