Sunday, January 31, 2016

Testing AdWords Website Call Conversions WITHOUT Clicking on Ads

Testing AdWords Website Call Conversions WITHOUT Clicking on Ads

Already familiar with AdWords Website Call Conversions and want to jump right to the easy way to test them without click on ads? Click here!

Background:

AdWords Website Call Conversions (aka WCC) are a powerful, yet rarely utilized feature offered by AdWords. They work like this; if someone clicks on one of your AdWords ads and visits your website as a result, any phone number listed on your site is automatically replaced with a dynamic call tracking number that Google will use to track the call and make sure the keywords/campaign used to drive the call are properly credited.

The biggest drawback to AdWords Website Call Conversions is that Google does not offer any easy way to test it and make sure you have set it up correctly. In fact, their official guide just says to try and do a search that will bring up your ad, then click on it and check to see if the number is dynamically replaced on your site. This a terrible testing system though, as this doesn’t work if you are an ad agency that build campaigns for clients that are geo-targeting outside of your location, plus, it requires that you not only stumble upon your own ad, but you also have to get an impression for one that has an active call extension. Add in the fact that call extensions require a certain search volume to be shown, and it can make it very hard to test WCCs.

Recently, I got fed up with the lack of testing tools for AdWords calls to website conversions and decided to take a look at the Javascript source for the script that is called when you implement the conversion on a site. I’m glad I did, because I found two very useful testing tools!

Solution:

There are two crazy-easy to use, free solutions to test your AdWords calls to website code and make sure that your numbers will be dynamically replaced.

Solution 1:

(If you are non technical, skip to solution 2) Google left a debugging tool in the Javascript code that is loaded when you use website call conversions. It is probably meant for Google employees to use internally, but we can turn it on by creating a special sessionstorage item and setting a specific value. Do this by opening the console in your browser of choice (usually the keyboard shortcut is CTRL+SHIFT+I, or right click and select "inspect element" to open developer's panel), then copy and paste the following code into the console and then press enter:
window.sessionStorage.setItem("_goog_wcc_debug","y");

Here is what happens when you turn on the debugging tool (shown with a sample page I created, click "result" to see it in action, then "force" to see the phone # change):

Solution 2:

If you want to skip the debugging tool and go straight to seeing the phone number on your site dynamically replaced, simply add "#google-wcc-force" to the end of your URL, press enter, and then refresh your page. For example, if your site is www.myawesomefakesite.com, to force a phone number change, you would enter "www.myawesomefakesite.com#google-wcc-force". Super easy, right?

Closing Notes:

As far as I know, I am the only person to publish this information online, as I had to come up with these solutions myself when I was unable to find any published method for testing WCCs without manually getting an ad impression. This brings up an interesting thought; why did Google not make these debugging tools public? Two reasons are likely:
  • 1: Google makes more money if it is harder for you to test their features. The longer it takes you to set up conversions and test them, the longer you are paying for advertising without being able to fully measure your results, which means more money for them. Plus, every time you see your ad and click on it to test call tracking, you are paying per click. I'm a negative person, but I don't really think this is the driving force behind Google not releasing this information publicly, as I think it is much more likely number 2 is the reason...
  • 2: Google would rather over-deliver than under-deliver. If Google made this debugging tool public, and people use it without understanding how it fully works, they might think that dynamic call tracking will work for them, when it really won't. Then, when it fails, they will be disappointed and blame Google. By AdWords requiring that users actually get an impression of their ad with a call extension enabled and click on it to test the feature, they are being self-selective in who will use the feature; only more advanced users who are willing to jump through the required hoops will use it and those users will be less likely to set it up incorrectly and blame Google for mistakes.
Keywords to help people find this page: website call conversions testing, adwords wcc testing, _googwcmget testing, how to test adwords website call, testing adwords dynamic call tracking, adwords website call tracking testing, adwords calls to website debugger, calls to website conversion testing

5 comments:

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  3. This is quite helpful. I am also learning Adwords Campaign Management for my blog and it is quite hard for me as I don’t know much about internet marketing. It will be great if you can share a case study too for the beginners.

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  4. Some advertisers would rather use banner ads when asked, because they seem more attractive to viewers. drive traffic to website

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  5. Once you start reading this, you can’t stop without completing it. That’s how much you get absorbed into it.
    Mason Soiza

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