Let me start out by saying that Google’s latest AdWords update sounds like a really good idea. They are putting in place a system that allows business owners to track calls that are the result of someone visiting a website after clicking on an ad, even if someone doesn’t use the click-to-call option on the ad or a website. This is great because it means that business owners can track sales origins better and ensure that their money is being directed into the appropriate places.
The way that Google is going about this, is, in a bunch of words, potentially doomed to catastrophic failure. The reason is that Google isn’t just going to assign you one phone number that forwards to your main line, allowing you to track calls from that forwarded number. They’re potentially going to give you a lot of numbers. According to the Google AdWords Blog, you’ll have the option of putting a different number on each of your landing pages.
This sounds good. Super extra tracking capabilities! You just put a code on your site and it automagically generates the forwarding number, and you can control how the phone number looks, so it integrates seamlessly with your website.
Back to the problems. Google has tons of customers, many of which may go bananas setting up phone numbers, of which there are a limited amount. Even Google realizes this, which is why they state that numbers will show up for up to three months. So, what happens after three months? Does the number stop forwarding to yours? What if your customers were using this as a point of contact for you? Do you have to give them another number after the first time they contact you? Isn’t that fairly annoying? You may not even have a customer yet, but you’re giving them special contact instructions.
Another point is that we recently wrote about a business owner who’s calls were being forwarded to a number that wasn’t his. When you consider that Google will have a ton of businesses playing hopscotch with a zillion numbers, the chances of crossed signals increases a lot.
Google has several testimonials from users that had great results from the new system, which I’ve no doubt. They’re in an insulated test, and they may not even have been using the system for the three months that probably results in a phone number dump. Maybe everything will go swimmingly and it will be the best thing since sliced cake, but you may want to keep in mind our caveats before you hop on board.