Google Ads has launched a new feature allowing advertisers to record phone calls that occur from call ads or extensions. While Google has offered call tracking for years, this step provides a way to vet out conversion quality beyond just looking at total calls and call length.
In addition, this move positions Google’s free built-in solution to compete better with third-party call tracking providers, for which call recording is often cited as a benefit. Of course, third-party providers still offer tracking outside of Google, but smaller advertisers may be more likely to go with a free solution when they previously might have subscribed to a call tracking platform.
Here are two limitations to be aware of:
- Google will only save recordings for 30 days. Organizations that want to look back further on recordings will still find value in a paid call tracking solution.
- Call recording includes US-based numbers only (based on Google’s info so far).
To enable call recording, you need to have enabled call reporting in the account, as well as verified domain ownership for all URLs associated with call ads and extensions. Verification can take place via either of two methods. First, you can add a Google Ads conversion tag or remarketing tag to the site. Second, you can link Google Search Console to your Google Ads account.
To turn on call recording, go to Account Settings and look for the Call Reporting section. Choose “On” under “Save call recordings for 30 days.” You will need to accept Terms & Conditions the first time you select this for the account. Note that if you turn the setting off, nobody will be able to play any pre-existing recordings.
For legal purposes, callers will hear a message letting them know that the call is being recorded.
To hear recordings, go to Reports from the top menu. Select Predefined Reports > Extensions > Call Details. You can now add a “Recording” column in the report to play call audio.
We’re excited to see Google offering a feature for free that many businesses have previously had to pay for. At the same time, the direct competition with third-party call platforms reflects Google’s ever-expanding moves to own all aspects of the web experience from start to finish. We look forward to testing this feature and getting more insight on phone calls.
For more info, see the following support articles from Google Ads:
Do you have any thoughts on uses for Google Ads call recording? Share in the comments below!