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Want a Buck? So Does Google – AdWords Changing Call Metrics

By Justin Seibert| 3 Min Read | April 27, 2011

Google has announced that they’re making changes to the way they handle call metrics.  If you’re currently running these in your AdWords account, here’s what you need to know about new charges and reporting that should happen on May 16th.

AdWords Call Metrics Changes Boiled Down

  1. When you use Google forwarding numbers in your ads and someone from a desktop or laptop dials that number, you’ll get a flat $1.00 charge.  This was free before, so enjoy it for a couple more weeks while it lasts.
  2. Reporting gets better.  You’ll now get your detailed stats like duration of call and the area code from where it was placed in the Dimensions tab.  Yes, they continue to move more data here.  Previously it was in the campaign tabs.  The good news is that you’ll get the info broken down by both campaign and ad group.
  3. It doesn’t sound like this will be ready right on May 16th, but you will – at some point – be able to bid more than $1.00 if you’d like.  Just like your CPC bids, that bid will influence your Ad Rank, which if you’re not familiar is the basics for two of the factors you care most about: how much you actually pay per click and how high your ad appears.
  4. Click-to-call ads where someone rings you from their mobile phone (at least high end ones like iPhones and Droids) will not generate any additional fees.  You’ll just be charged for the click based on your bid and Ad Rank, just like old times.

Neither here nor there, but I was kind of hoping the minimum charge would be $2, just so I’d have a chance to embed something from Better Off Dead.  What the heck!

Anyway, here’s the full email they sent to AdWords clients currently using call metrics:

google logo
Important AdWords call metrics changes coming soon! Please read.

Dear AdWords Customer,

Since one or more of your AdWords campaigns has call metrics enabled, we wanted to notify you about important changes related to pricing and reporting that are planned to happen on or after May 16th.

New pricing for phone calls to Google forwarding numbers
We will begin charging $1.00 USD per manually dialed call completed to your Google forwarding numbers. These calls occur when potential customers who are using a desktop or laptop computer see your ad and dial the number shown.

Charges for calls from click-to-call ads on a high-end mobile device are not changing. Such calls continue to be charged as ordinary mobile search ad clicks. Learn more.

Reporting changes
Detailed call statistics, including call duration and origin area code, will be found on the Dimensions tab rather than the Campaigns tab (how to review reports on calls). And based on advertiser feedback, call summary reporting will be available at the ad group and campaign level.

What’s next
In the near future, calls to your Google forwarding number will be factored into Ad Rank calculations, which determine an ad’s position and cost per click. You’ll be able to influence your ad position by specifying a bid per call greater than $1.00 USD — similar to increasing your max CPC bid today.

We’ll contact you again in a few weeks to confirm the timing of these changes and provide any additional details. In the meantime, the latest FAQs for call metrics are available at the Help Center.

The Google AdWords Team


Written by Justin Seibert

Justin Seibert is the President of Direct Online Marketing. Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. He contributes a wide range of online business-oriented topics, including the subject of exporting. His contributions can be found on publications such as the Pittsburgh Business Times, AdAge, SES Magazine, and La Voz del interior. Justin and his family enjoy learning about new cultures during their travels.

View Justin Seibert's Full Bio

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