If you use Google to buy and place ads online, you may have encountered certain situations where your CallRail Source Tracking Number does not display in AdWords after an incoming call. Here, we'll go over exactly why this happens, and how to tell whether or not this is the expected behavior for your integration.
One important thing to keep in mind is that CallRail offers integrations with both Google AdWords and Google Mobile Click-to-Call, and that these two plugins operate independently of each other. Where Google Adwords is a general platform for buying and placing PPC ads, Mobile Click-to-Call and Ad Extensions are used specifically to add a phone number or call prompt to an existing ad.
The direct integration for Google AdWords and CallRail requires the use of Keyword Tracking for your Source Number. Once this is setup, new sessions and visitors at your website will be assigned a unique tracking parameter: A GCLID, Google CLick IDentifier. When a website visitor makes a call after clicking through an AdWords ad, CallRail sends the call to AdWords as a conversion, and Google uses the GCLID to matches the click to its corresponding phone call.
However, regular Ad Extensions and the Mobile Click-to-Call integration do not generate a GCLID since the caller is not directly clicking through an ad to the website. Instead, they are making a call from channels like a call-only ad, or a mobile campaign that has mobile-only call extensions.
A GCLID is not generated in these cases, which means we cannot match the caller to a specific click on an ad, and therefore cannot push them to AdWords as a conversion, unfortunately. (The source number for these calls will still be visible in CallRail.) However, the keyword and search data for these calls will be captured and viewable in your CallRail reporting.
Have any questions about the differences between our AdWords and Mobile Click-to-Call integrations? Or have you discovered a helpful hack or workaround for this restriction? Sound off below and let us know -- we're here to help.