How to track phone calls from Google Ads with Tag Manager

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How to track phone calls from Google Ads with Tag Manager
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As an online business, it is vital to ensure that you are tracking all forms of leads. Whether that be a form submission on your website or a phone call. Overlooking call tracking can be damaging to your account as missing out on a type of conversion discredits the data that you have in front of you. 

So, now that you understand the value of call tracking. You may be asking yourself, how can I track phone calls from my Google Ads Account? One method is through Tag Manager!

Before we get started, in order to track phone calls from Google Ads with Tag Manager, you need the following:

  • A running Google Ads Account
  • A Google Tag Manager Account
  • A website which you can edit (with your Google Tag Manager installed)
  • Your business needs to be located within an eligible country
  • You need to have at least one call extension within your ads

Great – we’ve covered what you need, so let’s get started!


Where is the Tag?

To start, you need to find your conversion tag. The first step is to visit your Google Ads Accounts and click “Tools & Settings” – “Measurement” – “Conversions”. Once you have selected the option to create a new conversion, you will need to select “Phone Calls” and then “Calls to a phone number on your website”

Once you have created your conversion tag, Google will generate a new call tracking tag that you can use. Keep that tag in mind, because you will need it very soon.


Setting up Tag Manager Tracking

While setting up your tag is only a few steps and simple to web developers/marketers, sometimes steps can be missed – resulting in an incomplete set up.

Step 1: For our first step, we are going to create a new tag. I would advise calling this new tag “Google Ads Call Tracking”, but that is up to you! 

Step 2: Once you have this new tag, add the tag type “Custom HTML” and copy and paste your call conversions tag from Google Ads into the HTML box provided. You have 2 snippets to copy and paste. One is the global site tag and then second is the phone snippet. Please ensure that when you enter your phone number to create the snippet, it needs to be exactly as it appears on your website. Including area codes and spacing. 

Take our phone number for example:

0115 727 0038

Step 3: Choose your Trigger. Make sure you’ve selected all pages as we want to track all calls from all pages on your website. However, you can select specific pages if you wish to control where you are tracking calls from. 

Once you have completed the above steps, we can move on to testing! 


Testing your Tracking

So you have set up your tag, let’s test it! The first thing you need to do is to enter preview mode. To reach preview mode, you need to be in your Google Tag Manager and click “Preview” along your navigation bar. Once you have refreshed your website, you will be greeted with an image similar to this:

As you can see, the call from website tag is firing. To ensure this is working correctly, you can run a google debug on the webpages that have the phone number on. You will need to enter this code after your URL – /#google-wcc-debug. Then press enter once again. 

You should see this appear at the bottom of your screen in the left-hand corner: 

You may be asked to force this action, please click the “Force” button.

You will then see your number replaced with multiple 9’s:

This indicates that your call tracking is working correctly! 

Remember, you need to save your progress. Come out of preview mode and click “Publish”. You may be asked to sing like nobody’s watching, and then boom. Your tracking is ready! 


From now on

Be aware that, moving forward, users who have clicked on one of your Google ads will be displayed a Google Forwarding number which differs from your own. This may mean that local numbers are amended but the number will always be displayed as a “free phone” such as 0800. This allows Google to attribute every user a different number which helps with tracking. 

Great! Now you can kick-start your Google Ads campaigns with confidence! You can sit back and relax, knowing that every time your phone rings, Google Ads will automatically track it! 

For more information on Digital Marketing and adverting your business, please feel free to contact one of our qualified and friendly marketing experts! With over 9 years of experience and over 400 satisfied customers, we’re confident that we can help you.