Google Testing Call Reporting in Adwords Express

Adwords Express Call ReportingLong a staple of Adwords, a simplified call reporting is being tested in Adwords Express. It is not clear how wide the test is as I found in the Austin market but not in the Buffalo market.

The option is dead on easy to implement and costs $1 for each call made to the number and the amount is deducted from the monthly budget thus reducing the total ads displayed. Reporting, like the rest of Adwords Express and the Places Dashboard in general is very limited although the user can login into their Adwords account for more details. The feature is documented in the Places for Business Help files here, here and here.

The system is easy to use and implement and will be beneficial IF an Adwords Express campaign is beneficial. While the product has improved significantly since introduction and does work well particularly for some low budget situations, there are still severe restrictions that can limit the value of the product.

I do find more than some irony that call tracking is a huge problem for your Google Places listing if used elsewhere on the internet but that Google has implemented it inside of their ecosystem.

Here is the screen shot from the Places Dashboard for creating the ad :

Like in Adwords Call Reporting the ad will include a temporary 877 number

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Testing Call Reporting in Adwords Express by

5 thoughts on “Google Testing Call Reporting in Adwords Express”

  1. Mike:

    Personally I think while reporting on the changes and updates for various elements connected with Google Places I think you should emphasize the severe deficiencies with some of the programs. Google express is one of those programs with severe deficiencies.

    You did reference problems with your link to this article: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/is-adwords-express-hurting-your-small-business/41731/

    It references how G Express poorly spent several thousands of dollars for a limo service. Having run a good number of ppc campaigns, used one of google’s 3rd party “partners” crooked firms I’m in complete agreement with the author of the above record that all “broad match” advertising efforts are deeply problematic—-and they lead to tremendous opportunities for overspending and reduced value.

    I’ll reference where there are some opportunities for strictly broad match campaigns that can work:

    1. You don’t have a ppc (google adwords) campaign. If your ads show high enough they’ll pick up visits to your site from the 10-40% of users that are going to click on the top link to a page on a google.com search. (typically ads).

    2. The smb is so adverse to learning ppc that they want someone else to do it for them.

    but seriously in situation #2 why use adwords express? They use the same algo analyses that an independent is going to do ….and the ultimate goal of the auto google adwords express campaign is to spend every $$ of your campaign.

    In case #2 there is no opportunity for improvement….something that was alluded to in the article that was referenced above.

    There are plenty of ppc experts that will set up the campaigns for flat fees, and help your campaign improve over time….something most smb’s would want especially as it will lead to better return on the smb’s return on advertising spend (ROI).

    :D my $0.02

  2. Dave
    I am not sure that I “should emphasize the severe deficiencies with some of the programs” more than I do.

    I would agree with you that Adwords Express is not for everyone. But I have found that in some cases it does provide a cost effective solution for SMBs. In the case that I tested where it has been working very well is with Barbara Oliver. Here budget is very, very low and within the constraints of that budget Google seems to be delivering well qualified traffic on relevant keywords. That hasn’t always been the case and it doesn’t work equally well in every market and every industry.

    Like any advertising it needs to be evaluated and measured. Anybody that throws $4000 at it without understanding what they are buying or what value it is bringing should have their head examined. I think that sometimes you can’t keep SMBs from shooting themselves in the foot. Even the smartest of them, do it occasionally. :)

  3. If you don’t do call tracking can you still use your own phone number in ads? Or is the only way to use your phone number in Express ads done by routing them through Google’s 877 #?

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