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Am I Losing Call Conversions Because Google Forwarding Numbers Don't Always Show?

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# 1
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I'm looking for a detailed and clear explanation of how Google forwarding numbers worked. I can't seem to find a complete and clear answer (here in the forums or in Google support articles).


1. I have ad groups setup with call extensions.


2. I have turned on Google forwarding numbers for those ads to track calls as conversions.


It is my understanding that the Google forwarding number replaces my phone number when the ad is displayed (so searchers see that phone number instead of mine).

If that is correct, then won't that create confusion as the Google forwarding number won't match my actual phone number that's potentially showing in the local map listing and/or organic results?


It is also my understanding that you must have a certain amount of activity for the Google forwarding number to show. Does that mean my call extension sometimes shows with the Google forwarding number and sometimes with just my actual number? Potentially meaning that some calls won't actually be tracked because people are directly clicking on my number in the ad since the forwarding one isn't showing? If that's the case, how can I fully trust the data since it's only capturing some of my calls from ads?


What happens when I connect Google My Business location listings to my account? It is my understanding that the GMB phone numbers then override the Google forwarding number. Correct? So once again, by gaining the benefits of linking my GMB account, I'm losing the call tracking function on ads, right?


Is there a way I can have my number show (I need the number seen in my ad to match potential numbers showing up in the map/organic results) but still have Google track the calls as conversions? If not, what's my next best option if I'm linking my GMB account to see/track calls if possible?


Thanks for the clarification and any insights provided!

2 Expert replyverified_user

Am I Losing Call Conversions Because Google Forwarding Numbers Don't Always Show?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Jessica,


You have a very good understanding of it works / doesn't work.


My assumption is that with time GMB and AdWords call tracking will be unified. Until then (hopefully it happens) there's not much you could do using Google's free service. You could use a 3rd party paid service that provides you with a fixed number for tracking purposes and use that everywhere.


Keep in mind that although it isn't perfect, most small businesses using AdWords get enormous vale from tracking call conversions via Google's free service. 


Am I Losing Call Conversions Because Google Forwarding Numbers Don't Always Show?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hmm... I'm pretty sure I replied to this question....

Anyway, there was an announcement on that a few weeks ago, Sent by email to advertisers which raised some confusion.

Local members will be shown as part of a location extension. If no location extension, Google  might show a local number from its database.

If call forwarding is installed / added, this will get a priority, so conversations can be tracked.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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