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Conversions dropped badly after implementing phone calls tracking system

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



I was wondering if anybody could share specific experience on the subject.


I was in charge of PPC campaigns last years and recently got back in charge of the same campaigns. I had some hard work to do as the person that followed me had no idea what he was doing and messed up with everything however I finally got the campaigns back on track and all statistics were doing better and better, with a significant increase in the conversion rate.


However a couple of weeks ago, the company wanted to implement a phone calls tracking system and ever since conversions dropped badly. I was not informed about this change coming.


I had to change the phone number showed on all ads. However this is what happens:

- the user sees the Ad with a phone number;

- the user clicks on the Ad;

- the user lands on the website;

- the phone number he sees on the page is not the one seen on the Ad.


I've also noticed (both on IE and Firefox) that I can see the number on the page litterally change from the old one (still in use) to the dynamically generated one. As a user that change made me feel "suspicious".


In actual fact it appears there was a drop in both on line enquiries (enquiries through the websites) and by phone.


So I was wondering if any of you had an opinion about that.


If you need further details, please ask!


Many thanks!




1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by Royston (Visitor ✭ ✭ ☆)
September 2015

Re: Conversions dropped badly after implementing phone calls tracking system

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello Cassandra,


Welcome to the forum Smiley Happy


My first question to you would be whether the phone call tracking system you are refering to is some 3rd party tool which the Company implemented or you are talking about Call Metrics, where Google assigns a dynamic Toll Free Number to your text ad and it is visible so that if user want to call, they can call that number and then Google directs the call to your Company number so that you can address that.


Trust me that my experience with Call Metrics has been superb. It increases so much of offline conversions (in the form of Phone Calls) that your client will be more than happy if they have somebody to take up the call.


My experience with some phone call tracking tools has been like this:


You don't implement Call Metrics, but you only implement that Phone Tracking System (3rd party) and when somebody clicks your ad, there is a dynamic number assigned to that particular landing page. So now somebody calls that number, this 3rd party Tool tracks the phone call details and you can check that later on by signing into your account.


With Call Metrics, Google can assign as many dynamic Toll Free numbers, so it's difficult to keep track of them. Hence it's possible that some user might see one number with text ad and another number when he/she lands up on your landing page. Now the interesting part is that Google will record the the Call Details of users, who see the dynamic number with text ad and you can see the data under Dimension Tab >> Call Details. But Google will not show the details of users who went to your landing page and then make a call with your original number. I hope you understand this concept.


One way to deal with this situation would be to create separate campaigns for Call Extensions with enabled Call Metrics and non-enabled Call Metrics option. This will help you understand whether you are getting more of the online conversions or more of offline conversions (in the form of phone calls via Call Metrics.)


Hope that helps!


Re: Conversions dropped badly after implementing phone calls tracking system

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Pankaj,

many thanks for your answer.

Yes, we are now using third party tracking and not the Google extension.

Now talking about metrics, CTR, Impressions, etc. look pretty much the same. Therefore this makes me think of something on the website, however the only thing we changed is the phone number.

The "conversions" (usually web enquiries), dropped by 70% and overall calls are considerably fewer, all this after the implementation of the calls tracking.

Codewise all seems fine so far.

Would you advice using Google extension for calls from the campaigns?

And anyway, give the situation, do you think the drop is not related with the users seeing different numbers when they land on the websites or when they see the numbers litterally change on the page (as I said you can actually see the number changing every time you load/refresh the page, one moment is YYXXYYY e the moment after is AAAYYYXX)?

Re: Conversions dropped badly after implementing phone calls tracking system

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hello again Cassandra,


How long you have been running this new tool?


And are you able to measure phone call data using this new tool? If not, then it doens't make sense using this simply.


as I said you can actually see the number changing every time you load/refresh the page, one moment is YYXXYYY e the moment after is AAAYYYXX


I don't understand why the number is changing again and again. Mostly what happens is that advertisers allocate separate phone number to their separate landing pages and if somebody refreshes it, the number should remain the same and shouldn't change ( as far as my experience goes.) So you might have to talk with web developer who actually implemented this and make sure that one unique number with one landing page should be there because if users are seeing multiple numbers just because they are refreshing the page will make them suspicious and could prevent them from calling.


Yes, I would certainly recommend using Call Extensions. Now it depends whether you want to go with Call Metrics otherwise, you can implement it in a way that if somebody wants to call, they are given the option to Call your Company Main number directly, without going to the website.


Hope that helps!


Re: Conversions dropped badly after implementing phone calls tracking system

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Pankaj,

thank you for your time, I really appreciate your help!!!

Yes, the generated number remains the same for the same user with the same browser.

So this is what happens: in the HTML code of the website there is something like <span class="thetrackerclass">MYUSUALNUMBER</span>. When I land on the page, regardless of me coming from a PPC Ad or SERPs, this number changes to a dynamically generated one, thanks to the JS script. Now I litterally see the number changing in front of my eyes from MYUSUALNUMBER to DYNAMICNUMBER. That is why I was wondering if in your opinion this could make people confused or suspicious.

Here the full scene (sorry for repeting myself, just want to be sure I am describing the case correctly):
1) I see an Ad with a phone number designated for PPC purpose (let's call this A-NUMBER);
2) I click it and land on the page with the usual number of the company (it is big and just under the logo, so there is no way you could miss it IMHO), let's call it B-NUMBER;
3) in a couple of seconds this number changes to a randomly generated number, let's call it C-NUMBER;
4) every page I go to, point 2 and 3 will happen again and again, because the page is loaded with the B-NUMBER but the tracking Javascript changes it to C-NUMBER withing a second or two.

The C-NUMBER will be always the same for me, but I see this change of number - the HTML code between the span tags changes - which is delayed by one or two seconds, enough to be able to see the "magic".

So in the end, I'll have seen 3 numbers in total.

What do you think about this?

Could this behaviour be enough to "scare" a user?

Ah, the tool is AdInsight by the way, and yes you can measure phone call data. Smiley Happy

Re: Conversions dropped badly after implementing phone calls tracking system

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hello Cassandra,


According to my understanding and experience, you can try to eliminate the B-number and make sure that when user loads the page fully, only C-number is visible as per your example.


I don't find the use of javascript here effective if the user is literally able to see the B-number, which you actually want to hide and show that user the C-number, for which the tracking tool will record the phone call if happening.


This could be one of the reason for any doubt inside the user's mind because the numbers keep on changing in front of them.


From Adwords perspective, I have already mentioned you about my experience with Call Metrics.


Let me know if that helps!