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Import phone call conversions

If you do a lot of business over the phone, you want a way to measure when AdWords ads lead to phone calls, and when those phone calls lead to sales and other valuable customer actions. Importing phone call conversions into AdWords can help you keep track of how your ads lead to your most important calls.

This article will show you how to set up call conversion import and start importing them into your account. For more background on how importing call conversions works, see our article About importing call conversions.

Before you start

To use this kind of conversion tracking, you need to be able to do the following:

  • Receive calls in an eligible country: This kind of conversion tracking requires Google forwarding numbers, which are currently available in these countries. However, while Google forwarding numbers are available in India and Japan, importing call conversions is not available in those countries.
  • Have call extensions or call-only ads: You can configure your call extension or call-only ad before or after you’ve set up your conversion action. The requirements are different depending on whether you want to track calls directly from your ads, from a number on your website or both. Make sure that you meet the requirements for the types of call conversions that will be included in your import:
    • Calls from ads: You'll need at least one call extension or call-only ad using a Google forwarding number.
    • Calls from your website: You’ll need at least one call extension applied to the campaign you want to track.
  • Have a system for tracking call information: To import phone call conversions, you’ll need to track call details like the caller’s phone number and the call start time (see all the details you’ll be tracking here), and track when calls lead to conversions like sales. This may work best if you use a customer relationship management (CRM) system. If this doesn’t sound possible for your business, you might want to check out the other kinds of call conversions that AdWords offers.

You can also use the AdWords API to get more flexibility in associating calls with conversions.

Note

This kind of conversion tracking measures clicks-to-call from mobile ads, but not manually dialled calls from desktop ads at this time. This does support calls from your website after someone clicks a desktop ad. 

Instructions

Click the links below for instructions on how to set up your phone call conversion import. Note that in some cases, there are different instructions depending on whether you want to track calls from ads or calls from a phone number on your website. Follow the instructions for all the kinds of phone calls that will be included in your import.

Step 1: Set up a conversion action in AdWords
  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Tools tab and select Conversions from the drop-down menu.
    Select "Conversions" from the menu
  3. Click the + Conversion button.
    New conversion action
  4. Select the "Import" option.
  5. Select Conversions from calls. Click Continue.
  6. Click Name. Enter a name for the conversion that you'd like to track. An example might be "Sales calls". It's important that you remember the exact name and spelling: you'll need to enter this name later, when you upload your call conversion information. Click Done.
  7. Click Value. Select whether each conversion has the same value, varying values (for example, purchases of products with different prices) or select "Don't assign a value" if you'd prefer not to count one. If you select varying values, you’ll need to include these values in your import file. Click Done.
  8. Click Count. Select whether to count every or one conversion per ad click. "Every" is best for sales; "one" is best for leads. Click Done.
  9. Click Conversion window. Select a conversion window (how long after an ad click or ad impression you want to track conversions) for this conversion action. The window can be 1–90 days. Click Done.
  10. Click Category. Select the category that best applies to your conversion. Your choice here is used to segment your conversion reports. You can always change it later. Click Done.
  11. (Advanced) Click Include in “Conversions”. Untick this setting – selected by default – if you don't want to include data for this conversion action in your "Conversions" reporting column. If you deselect this setting, data will still be included in the “All conversions” column.

    You might want to use this setting if you use an automated bid strategy to optimise for conversions, and you don't want to include this particular conversion action in your bid strategy. Find out more about the "Include in 'Conversions'" setting. Click Done.

    Bear in mind

    If you have other conversion actions that track the same calls – for example, if you already have a conversion action to track calls from ads, and plan to track the same calls with your import calls conversion action – you should only include one of these conversion actions in the “Conversions” column. Including both will result in counting 2 conversions for every call, and, if you optimise your bidding for conversions, bidding for 2 conversions for each call.

    We recommend checking the “Include in ‘Conversions’” setting for your import calls conversion action, and deselecting the setting for any other conversion actions that track the same calls.

  12. Click Save and continue. You’ll now see a page with the settings you’ve created, and next steps to finish setting up this conversion action.
Step 2: Install your conversion tracking tag (for calls from websites only)

If you want to track calls from a phone number on your website, follow the steps below. If you just want to track calls from a number in your ads, you can skip this step.

After completing the steps above, you now have a conversion tracking tag that you can save and install yourself, or email to the person in charge of your website. Here's how you or your webmaster can install the tag:

  1. Open up the HTML for the page where the phone number appears on your website.
  2. Between the head tags (<head></head>) of the page, paste the tag that you generated in Part I above.

Here are some sample codes close up:

Sample HTML before conversion tracking code (sample only – don't use in your website's code).

    <html>
    <header>
    <title>Sample HTML File</title>
    </header>
    <body>
    This is the body of your web page.
    </body>
    </html>

Sample HTML after conversion tracking code (sample only – don't use in your website's code).

    <html>
    <header>
    <title>Sample HTML File</title>
    <script type="text/javascript">
    (function(a,e,c,f,g,b,d){var h={ak:"123456789",cl:"_ABcDEFg12hI34567jK"};a[c]=a[c]||function(){(a[c].q=a[c].q||[]).push(arguments)};a[f]||(a[f]=h.ak);b=e.createElement(g);b.async=1;b.src="//www.gstatic.com/wcm/loader.js";d=e.getElementsByTagName(g)[0];d.parentNode.insertBefore(b,d);a._googWcmGet=function(b,d,e){a[c](2,b,h,d,null,new Date,e)}})(window,document,"_googWcmImpl","_googWcmAk","script");
    </script>
    </header>
    <body> This is the body of your web page.
    </body>
    </html>

Step 3: Add code to replace your number with a Google forwarding number (for calls from websites only)

If you want to track calls from a phone number on your website, follow the steps below. Otherwise, you can skip this step.

On the same page that you pasted the conversion tracking tag above, you or your webmaster now need to add a JavaScript snippet that will replace your phone number with a Google forwarding number using the _googWcmGet function. The function has these parameters: _googWcmGet(target, business_number, options)

  • target: Either a CSS class name or a callback function.
    • If target is a CSS class name, then all elements of that class will have their contents replaced with a formatted telephone number.
    • If target is a function, then it will be invoked with two arguments. The first argument is the formatted telephone number (in the same format as the business_number parameter) The second argument is the telephone number in a plain format (Example: '08001234567').
    The target element needs to show your business number by default so that customers can see a usable phone number when a Google forwarding number isn't displayed.
  • business_number: Your business phone number.
  • options: An optional object with the following options:
    • timeout: Maximum time in milliseconds that's allowed for retrieving a number. If a number can't be fetched within this time, no number is sent to the target. The default timeout is 5000 milliseconds.
    • cache: Set to false to disable caching of the retrieved number in a cookie.

The examples below show how to implement this code snippet in three different use cases.

Example 1: Replace your static phone number with a Google forwarding number

This function gets a telephone number and replaces the contents of all spans of the given class. In this example, the phone number "0800-123-4567" inside the span tag will be replaced with the dynamically generated, formatted forwarding number:

        <body onload="_googWcmGet('number', '0800-123-4567')">
          <span class="number">0800-123-4567</span>
        </body>

Example 2: Pass the Google forwarding number to a custom callback function

This function gets a telephone number and sends it to a callback function. The example callback function will replace contents of an element with the ID "number" with the formatted forwarding number.

        <header> 
          <script type="text/javascript">
            var callback = function(formatted_number, mobile_number) {
              // formatted_number: number to display, in the same format as
              //        the number passed to _googWcmGet().
              //        (in this case, '0800-123-4567')
              // mobile_number: number formatted for use in a clickable link
              //        with tel:-URI (in this case, '+08001234567')
              var e = document.getElementById("number");
              e.innerHTML = "";
              e.appendChild(document.createTextNode(formatted_number));
            };
          </script>
        </header>
        <body onload="_googWcmGet(callback, '0800-123-4567')">
          <span id="number">0800-123-4567</span>
        </body>


To allow people viewing your website on a mobile phone to call your business easily, you can make the Google forwarding number clickable.

Example 3: Pass the Google forwarding number to a custom callback function on your mobile site

On mobile web pages with a clickable phone number, replace both the number that's displayed and the number that's called when clicked. This requires use of the callback function.

        <header>
          <script type="text/javascript">
            var callback = function(formatted_number, mobile_number) {
              // formatted_number: number to display, in the same format as
              //        the number passed to _googWcmGet().
              //        (in this case, '0800-123-4567')
              // mobile_number: number formatted for use in a clickable link
              //        with tel:-URI (in this case, '+08001234567')
              var e = document.getElementById("number_link");
              e.href = "tel:" + mobile_number;
              e.innerHTML = "";
              e.appendChild(document.createTextNode(formatted_number));
            };
          </script>
        </header>
        <body onload="_googWcmGet(callback, '0800-123-4567')">
              <a href="tel:08001234567" id="number_link">
                0800-123-4567</a>
        </body>

Step 4: Prepare your data for import

If all of your call start times and conversion times are in the same time zone, set the time zone once in the "Parameters" row.

  1. Download our call conversion upload template (download: ExcelCSV, or Google Sheets). If you want AdWords to import your conversions automatically on a regular schedule (see Step 5: Import your conversions), you need to use Google Sheets or store the file online with HTTPS or SFTP.
    If any of the conversions you import are within one day of the click, AdWords may not be able to record them yet. As a best practice, upload an extra day's worth of data with each import. AdWords won’t count duplicate conversions.
  2. Choose how to enter your time zone in the file:
     If all of your conversion times are in the same time zone, set the time zone once in the "Parameters" row. If your conversion times are in different time zones, add the time zone to each conversion time using the “Conversion Time” column. See the instructions and table under “Call start time” in step 4 below. If you don’t enter a time zone in the “Parameters” row, delete the “Parameters” row. Or, you can enter a time zone in both the “Parameters” row and the “Conversion Time”. “Conversion Time” will be used first, and if any conversion is missing the time zone, the “Parameters” value will be used.
  3. Use one of the following formats to enter the time zone:
    • If your call start times and conversion times are in different time zones, add the time zone to each call start time and conversion time using the “Conversion Time” column. See the instructions and table under “Call start time” in step 3 below. If you don’t enter a time zone in the “Parameters” row, delete the “Parameters” row.
    • Or, you can enter a time zone in both the “Parameters” row and the “Call Start Time” and “Conversion Time”. The time zone in the columns will be used first. If the time zone is missing from either column, the “Parameters” value will be used.
    • Enter your time zone ID from this list. This method is recommended to avoid errors during daylight savings time transitions.
    • Enter your GMT offset by indicating + or - and then the 4 digit time difference. (For example, New York's offset is -0500, and Berlin's is +0100). If you use Greenwich Mean Time, then simply enter +0000.
  4. Next, add a new row for each conversion, filling in the columns as follows:
    • Caller's phone number: The phone number must be listed in one of the following supported formats:
      Format Examples
      A + sign, followed by the country code and number (E.164 format) +16505551234
      +4408001690409
      A + sign, followed by a U.S. area code and phone number +6505551234
      A + sign, followed by a country code and international number. The country code can be up to 3 characters, and the number can be up to 14 characters, including numerals, dashes, and spaces. +64 0800-726230

       

    • Call start time: The time the call started. You can add a time zone to the call start time by using one of the last 4 formats listed. Replace “+z” with the GMT offset by indicating + or - and then the 4 digit time difference. (For example, New York's offset is -0500, and Berlin's is +0100). Or, replace "zzzz" with the time zone ID from this list. Here’s a list of supported date formats:
      Format Examples
      MM/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss aa "08/14/2015 5:01:54 PM"
      MMM dd,yyyy hh:mm:ss aa "Aug 14, 2015 5:01:54 PM"
      MM/dd/yyyy HH:mm:ss "08/14/2015 17:01:54"
      yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss "2015-08-14 13:00:00"
      yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss "2015-08-14T13:00:00"
      yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss+z "2012-08-14 13:00:00+0500"
      yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss+z "2012-08-14T13:00:00-0100"
      yyyy-MM-dd HH:mm:ss zzzz "2012-08-14 13:00:00 America/Los_Angeles"
      yyyy-MM-ddTHH:mm:ss zzzz

      "2012-08-14T13:00:00 America/Los_Angeles"

    • Call duration (seconds): The length of the call.
    • Conversion name: The name of the conversion action that you'd like to import this conversion for. It's important that you use the exact same spelling and capitalisation that you did when you created this conversion action in your AdWords account.
    • Conversion time (optional): The date and time that the conversion occurred. See acceptable formats under “Call start time” above.
    • Conversion value (optional):  A number representing the value that you place on the conversion. It could reflect a currency value, or you could simply choose to enter relative values between 0 and 10 (negative numbers are not accepted). If you leave this field blank, AdWords will automatically apply the "conversion value" that you defined when you created your conversion action. If you do include a value here, it will override the value you defined when you created your conversion action.
    • Conversion currency (optional): The currency in which your conversion value is provided. You'll use this if you report conversion values in more than one currency, or have multiple accounts that are billed in different currencies.

Imported conversions can't be removed once they're imported, so make sure that the data you enter is accurate.

Step 5: Import your conversions

To import your offline conversions to AdWords, you'll need to upload your conversion file into your AdWords or manager account (MCC). (Bear in mind, imported conversions can't be removed once they're imported.) You can either upload a file once, or create a schedule to regularly upload a file that you keep online. Follow the instructions for a one-time upload or scheduled uploads below, depending on how you want to import your conversions.

Wait at least 4 hours after creating your conversion action before uploading your first import.

One-time upload

  1. In AdWords, click the Tools tab, and select Conversions. If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the menu on the left.
  2. Click Uploads in the left menu.
  3. Next to “Source”, select the source of the file that you want to import. The options are “Upload a file”, Google Sheets, HTTPS and SFTP. For a one-time upload, you can choose any of the options.
  4. The next step depends on the source that you selected above:
    • If you selected “Upload a file” or Google Sheets, click Choose file to locate the template that you've filled in and saved with your offline conversions information.
    • If you selected HTTPS or SFTP, enter the URL for the file and the username and password to access the file.
  5. Click the Upload and preview button. You’ll see a preview of the conversions and errors in the “History” tab below.
  6. Click the Action drop-down menu and select Apply to add the new conversions to your account.

Scheduled uploads

  1. In AdWords, click the Tools tab, and select Conversions. If you're using a manager account, click Conversions in the menu on the left.
  2. In the menu on the left, click Uploads.
  3. Next to “Source”, select the source of the file that you want to import. The options are “Upload a file”, Google Sheets, HTTPS and SFTP. To schedule uploads, select Google Sheets, HTTPS or SFTP. (You can’t schedule uploads if you select “Upload a file”.)
  4. The next step depends on the source that you selected above:
    • If you selected Google Sheets, click Choose file to locate the template that you've filled in and saved with your offline conversions information.
    • If you selected HTTPS or SFTP, enter the URL for the file and the username and password to access the file.
  5. Tick the box next to Schedule upload.
  6. Next to “Frequency” select Daily or Weekly, and select the time to upload your conversions.
  7. To upload your file now, click Upload and preview. This is recommended, because it will let you make sure that everything is working properly.
  8. Click Save to save your schedule.

Note

If there’s a problem with your scheduled upload, you’ll see an alert in your account and receive an email. You’ll need to check your online file to fix the problem.

Fix import issues

If you notice that some conversions don’t seem to be counted, here are some reasons this might be happening:

Google forwarding numbers not enabled. For AdWords to match the calls, Google forwarding numbers must have been enabled for your call extensions and call-only ads at the time you received the calls.

Calls from other sources. AdWords can only match and import calls from your Google click-to-call and call-only ads. If your upload includes other sources, these calls won’t be counted as conversions.

Calls from desktop and tablet ads. Currently, AdWords only matches and imports calls from paid click-to-call and call-only ads in mobile devices. Manually dialled calls from desktop and tablet ads aren’t supported yet. (Though AdWords does support calls from your website after someone clicks a desktop or tablet ad.) You can measure what percentage of your calls fall into this category by filtering the results for the error message "AdWords can’t import calls that are manually dialled from desktop or tablet ads" with the error code DESKTOP_CALL_NOT_SUPPORTED.

Free mobile calls. If someone manually dials the displayed number in your ad, you won't be charged for the call, even though it was driven by your ad. These free calls aren’t counted as conversions.

Incorrect data. If you include incorrect data in your import, you’ll receive an error or your conversions won’t be counted. Here are a couple of things to look out for:

  • If you use multiple AdWords accounts, check to make sure that you’re uploading your conversions to the right account.
  • Check if the time zone is correct and the time and time zone use one of the supported formats. It’s recommended that you use the time zone formats in this list to avoid errors during daylight savings time transitions.

Too many rows. Limit your import file to no more than 25,000 rows.

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