For 2 years now, the full version of the incredibly popular Adwords program has allowed businesses to track phone calls using Google Voice to create unique phone calls for each campaign.
Starting today, Adwords Express, the simplified version of Adwords geared specifically towards small businesses, will also offer this feature.
Small businesses often had no way to track this important piece of information, which is necessary for evaluating the ROI of Adword campaigns. With call reporting turned on, Google will replace a business’ phone number with a toll-free Google number. The calls are then forwarded to the business’ local number while Google collects data on these calls for future analytics. This is a vital service for small businesses as Google expands their options for local searches.
Google noted in their announcement “when people search for local businesses on Google, they may want to check out a website, but there’s a good chance they’ll want to just give you a call.” By offering this option, local businesses don’t lose out if customers have a question not answered on their website or if the businesses website is out of date.
For Google, these calls also generate revenue. Manually dialed calls to the Google forwarding number will cost $1 each. Google charges the same price as a regular mobile search ad click if the search is thru the click-to-call feature on a users mobile phone or device. This not only helps Google’s earnings (which were reported lower than expected yesterday) but also helps small business owners who will now have additional information regarding their customers, their needs and how best to reach them.