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Location and Call Extensions

Top Contributor
# 1
Top Contributor

Hi there


I have a client who has about 25 outlets - each with a different address and telephone number.


I have set up location extensions for each (which includes a telephone number) so that visitors are getting the address nearest to their location on the ad.


What I'd really like to do now is add the call extension so that I can track the calls that go to each of those numbers but I'm not sure where to start... do I use the location extension that already has the number on it - or do I need to set up the call extension separately , and if so, how do I then link that to the address so that the visitor always gets the nearest address AND number.....


Thanks from one very confused ad manager...

2 Expert replyverified_user

Couple of resources for you

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

HI Stickleback,


I gathered up a few resources and suggestions for you, hopefully they may answer some of your questions.


First, there is this Wiki article on Call Extensions written by one of the Top Contributors.


Quick Ad Innovations overview video here.  


Also, here are a couple of Help Articles that explain extensions indepth.


Enhance your ad using extensions.


What are call extensions, and how do I implement them?


If your goal is to initiate and track incoming calls, call extensions are needed.  There are a few directions you could go from there.  Your decisions will be based on how you want to go about tracking your calls and if you already have any current call tracking.  Without existing call tracking, one option is to use Google Forwarding phone numbers in conjunction with call extensions.  The Google forwarding numbers can track calls no matter where they origiante, if someone dials/clicks that forwarding number initiating a call, google tracks it and charges you.


That's what I have for you.


If you have further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.


Hope this helps!



Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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You are not alone in being confused about all this call s...

Badged Google Partner
# 3
Badged Google Partner

You are not alone in being confused about all this call stuff! Smiley Happy I haven't gottent it all figured out myself, but there are two main distinctions regarding call extensions, that I think are the place to start. There are actually two types of call extensions, standard call extensions, and google forwarding number call extensions.


Standard Call Extensions: With standard call extensions, your phone number is only eligible to show on mobile devices capable of making a phone call. The number shown is the phone number of the business, but the only tracking data you get for standard extensions is mobile click to call clicks. You do not know if those clicks resulted in completed calls, the duration of those calls, the area code, etc.


Google Forwarding Number Extensions: This uses a google generated number for the call extensions displayed with ads. With Google voice ext. you can show a call extensions for all devices, including those not able to make a phone call. This extension also tracks far more data than standard extensions. You can see mobile or manual calls, missed/recieved, duration, time, area code, and total phone call costs, via the dimensions tab - call details. The problem/concern with these extensions is that the number shown is not the business number, it is a random toll free number generated by Google.


I know that was kind of off topic from the overall question, but you do have to make a choice as to what kind of call extensions you want to use. If you use the google voice option, the number in the location extension will be replaced with the google voice number. Since there are multiple, localized, locations, perhaps a random toll free number is too much of a concern. However, that seems the best way to track call data through the adwords interface, at this point.


In your current structure, do you have a campaign for each location, with a unique location extension for each campaign? If so, you could  just add a call extension, with the same number for that location, to that campaign. If you have multiple location extensions, and phone numbers, in each campaign, it's much more difficult to insure that the "proper" location extension, and call extension are shown for the "proper" ad. 


You will be fighting an uphill battle to try and get what you want out of the ad extensions / location targeting dynamic. Location targeting is not perfect, and as easy as some of the help documentation makes it seem, what you are trying to do ain't easy, and will not be perfect. Smiley Happy "how do I then link that to the address so that the visitor always gets the nearest address AND number" I don't think, at this point, that will happen... at least not always.


My approach, would probably to have 25 campaigns (because ad extensions only apply at the campaign level), one campaign for each location, location extension, and phone number. Then you would have to play the location targeting, and advanced location targeting game. On the one hand, you want to show the most highly targeted ad, on the other, too restricitve targeting may prevent an ad from showing. If you have more than one location extension, and more than one call extension, there is no guarantee you will get the "right" combination shown with an ad. 


For Example:

Store #1 ad

Store #16 (maybe even multiple locations - & Store #22, #25, etc.) location extensions

Store #28 call extension


Did this help at all, or did I just add to the confusion? Smiley Happy It's an interesting topic, I don't think there is any right answer, but I know there are no easy answers to this problem.


What are call extensions?

Forwarding number call extensions:

Location and call extensions together:

My take on the subject:





Thank you both for your considered answers.   Having revi...

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Thank you both for your considered answers.


Having reviewed the links and thoght through as far as I can  I think you are right - it somply can't be done.


Part of the problem is that these are b&m pharmacies - so I do want the client to be able to save the number for future use.


So the Google number is not a viable option....


Problem is, many of the stores overlap in terms of location extensions - so the same visitor is not guaranteed to get the phone number for the actual store that they see the address for..... and that could cause more issues than it resolves.


I do take the point about setting up each location as a separater campaign - but this seems like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut - and although that approach would undoubtedly work - the fact that I need to run the location number asnd not the Google number means that the data I am going to get is going to be very limited.


Whilst it would be nice to be able to perhaps show the client that a certian umber of calls came from the AdWords campaigns it doesn't really help in terms of management and optimization....


I think maybe I'm looking for a level of tracking that is simply beyond the practical.


Thanks again .- it's all helped me get my head around the issue.....