mobile advertising

Need to Track Calls? New Phone Call Tracking Feature in Adwords!

For many business owners a significant number of people who visit their site to learn about them call or visit their store to get more info their products or services instead of emailing or buying something straight from their site.  Tracking whether a person came to your store or called your business because they saw a traditional print ad or they came to your site has been a thorn in the side of a lot of business owners. 

For a while now there have been a number third party call tracking solutions.  But there is definitely a monthly fee for using these, not to mention implementing call tracking reporting so you can see if the visits from PPC are generating new customers and sales. 

Just the other day Google has come out with a form of call tracking for Adwords.  It generates a unique  number that a user can click on from either their desktop or smartphone and Adwords will track this.   It also uses the technology behind Google Voice to track this info.  Currently this is in beta. 

How this new feature could be useful:

Think about a call you get to your business.  How do you know where it came from?  Did it come from your Adwords accounts, someone viewing your ad and then coming to your site?  Or somewhere else?    You could ask but this is rarely accurate (even with people who swear they have their receptionists ask each caller where they "heard about our business").  Why?  Someone from your business could forget to ask where the caller heard about the business OR the person doesn't really care and either gives the wrong answer or forgets.  After all they just want to get what they have to get done by calling you. 

With Adwords call metrics now at least you'll know where people who call you after viewing one of your Adwords ads came from.  That is, as long as they use the number they see on your ad.  Which brings us to the potential downside.

Why this feature may not be a complete solution:

If the person clicks on your ad, goes to your site and uses the number on your site instead of the number in the ad, as far as we can tell right now it won't track this.  So you still don't know if those calls are coming from Adwords.

If a person comes from organic search to your site and calls you this feature won't track this.  You would still need some kind of call tracking solution for this. 


So all in all, Google Adwords call metrics is an interesting first step to something many of us have wanted Google to do for a long time but not the definitive solution to call tracking.  Ideally it would track all calls from Adwords, organic search and anywhere else and report that data in Adwords and Google Analytics.

Google has put out a kind of strange video about this.  It is on the short side and you can view it below.  For full information on Adwords call metrics and to see if it is available in your account to use, follow the links below:

Adwords call metrics help page.

Inside Adwords Blog Post on Adwords call metrics.

How to set up Adwords call metrics:  Google Ad Innovations

iAd, Adwords, App Inventor & More: Which is best for your business?

We all know iPhone was the first on the scene but 2010 can really be called the year of the smartphone.  iPhone, Android and others are leading the way for mass adoption of smartphones, not just by corporate types but by everyone.  What does this mean for marketers? 

Apple: Largest App store & iAd

App Store:  It's well known that Apple has the largest App store with over 233,408 apps as of this writing.  Businesses and marketers have been creative with making apps for businesses large and small.  Even if you're not a programmer you can find sites that will create an app for you or your business for a reasonable price to connect you with your loyal customers.

iAd:  In addition, with their iAd platform Apple is introducing in-App marketing, very interactive and slick.  This is great if you're Nike, BMW, etc.  But if you are a small business that installs sunrooms is it reasonable or cost effective to go this route?  Not at this time-see link:

The iAd platform is at this time simply to complex and pricey for small businesses.  Perhaps in the future they will open things up to the little guy, we'll see.

Google:Adwords, Click to Call & Android App Inventor

On the other side of the coin Google as introduced a number of options that allow both large and small businesses to advertise on the mobile platform. 

Adwords & Click to Call:  In the Adwords interface you can simply choose show your ads on mobile phones.  In addition, not too long ago they also added a Click to Call option where when a user searches for, say Pizza, San Diego on their smartphone they will not only get your add but if you include it the number right below where they can call right from the ad and not have to go to your site.

Android App Inventor:  Finally last week Google introduced Android App Inventor.  This program, not in public circulation yet will let anyone create an app just by dragging and dropping different pieces of the app around.  Some have feared that this could potentially flood the Android app market with tons of junk apps.  On the other hand it could allow schools and businesses to create apps that are useful and create buzz about what they have to offer.   Links:

Here is a video of the app inventor in action.  It is pretty lame as it just shows a person making an app of their cat meowing.  It is pretty obvious that the App Inventor can do alot more so this is not a great video of what it can do.  But many people love cats so who can blame them?

Bottom line:  Smartphone have caught fire and Google, Apple, marketers and businesses large and small are scrambling to get a piece of the action.  How do you think things will shake out for not only big business but the smaller ones such as restaurants, painters, electricians etc?

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