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Adwords Call Tracking For Canadian Advertisers


Unless you have been on another planet (or don’t read our rants and raves on The Adster blog) as a small business owner you are fully aware of what Adwords can do for a local business as far as driving relevant targeted visitors to your site.

However, as any savvy business owner knows, traffic is good – but leads are better.

Call Tracking hits Canada!

For many small businesses, the ultimate measure of success is the good old fashioned phone call. Google is acutely aware of this, and on On Sept 15th 2015, they announced that call forwarding (call tracking) would be available to Canadians thus closing the ‘loop’ and giving advertisers the clarity and transparency they’ve been looking for from Google’s advertising platform.

How cool is that?

Limitations of Google’s Call Forwarding

While the ability to clearly correlate phone calls with Adwords is incredibly valuable, Google’s forwarding system definitely has limitations. Here’s some of what you CAN get with Adwords call forwarding in Canada:

  • Phone Impressions
  • Phone-through rate (PTR)
  • Breakdown of calls by device (Mobile, Desktop, Tablet)
  • Start time
  • End time
  • Status (missed or received)
  • Duration
  • Caller area code
  • Phone cost
  • Call type

This is all well and good, but for many small business clients this is simply not enough.

Who WERE these people that called? Were the calls any good??

Going one step further with flexLOCAL™


Adster’s flexLOCAL™ reporting platform goes a few steps beyond Google’s call forwarding and ‘fills in the blanks’ based on what Adwords call forwarding delivers.

In dashboard view (top of post), you’re getting a ‘quick and dirty’ assessment of your marketing right up front. Total leads delivered, breakdown, and most importantly, Lead acquisition cost (LAC) gives our clients a very accurate assessment of what’s happening.

Leads ‘breakdown’ (above) also gives you essential info about your marketing in an easy to digest list view, sortable as you like it.

Lead ‘Drilldown’

Of course, this is still just a ‘cleaner’ presentation of what Adwords & Analytics already tell us. In flexLOCAL, we go a level deeper.

call lead

The above is (or should be) incredibly valuable info for the small business owner. In a system like flexLOCAL™ you’re getting an entirely different level of transparency and control including:

  • Storing of Callers info (Date, time, phone number, city, caller ID, and access to the recorded call)
  • Capture and store of lead info from contact form submissions (Date, time, email address, message)
  • Mini CRM access allowing for notes to be collected on individual leads

So you’re saying Adwords call forwarding isn’t enough?

Now, don’t get me wrong – Call forwarding in Google Adwords is a quantum leap forward for anyone who does business over the phone, and puts sweet tech in the hands of almost every Canadian Adwords advertiser.

But, the question remains: is this enough for the business owner who wants to know exactly what’s happening with their marketing?

Final say? Features designed for account management, not business owners

Perhaps the biggest limitation to Adwords call forwarding (and Google tracking in general) is that valuable information about the call (or any lead for that matter) is not collected.

While seeing an area code is great, a dentist in Calgary getting leads from a ‘403’ area code is not particularly helpful – and in almost all cases would be assumed.

Going further, it seems as though most reporting available is intended to help better understand and improve account performance from a high level. This is great if you’re Adster – not so much so if you run a plumbing company and want to understand which Adwords calls actually turn into paying customers.

Get the full picture!

Want to know more about what’s happening with your marketing and Adwords performance?

Give us a shout today for a free demo of our flexLOCAL reporting system and see if it’s right for your business’s needs.