ad fraud data and facts logo
New Research Report: Quantifying The Cost Of Ad FraudView Now
New Report: Quantifying The Cost Of Ad Fraud View Now

Google Forwarding Number


What are Google Forwarding Numbers?

Google Forwarding Numbers are temporary phone numbers provided by Google that you can use in your ads to track the phone calls generated directly from your advertising efforts.

How do Google Forwarding Numbers work?

When a potential customer clicks on your ad and calls the displayed forwarding number, the call is automatically redirected to your business phone. Using these stats allows you to track call conversions, durations, and other valuable metrics directly within Google Ads, offering a clear view of how effectively their ads lead to customer engagement over the phone.

Here’s a nice overview from Google on how these forwarding numbers work:

what are Google Forwarding Numbers

Benefits of using Google Forwarding Numbers

As mentioned earlier, Google Forwarding Numbers not only track call conversions, but also provides detailed call metrics such as call duration, call start and end time, caller area code, and whether the call was connected. With this data, you can:

  • Optimize Campaign Performance: By understanding which ads and keywords are driving calls, you can adjust your ad spend to focus on the most effective campaigns.
  • Improve Customer Experience: Analyzing call data helps in identifying peak call times, and you can adjust staffing accordingly to improve customer service and response rates.
  • Make Informed Decisions: Access to detailed call analytics supports strategic data-driven decision making regarding ad placements, campaign adjustments, and budget allocations.

How do I set up a Google Forwarding Number?

Setting up Google Forwarding Numbers is pretty easy. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Set up a Conversion for Your Calls

  1. Click Goals
  2. Go to Summary
  3. Select New Conversion Action
  4. Select Phone Call and continue with the remaining steps based on your preferences.

Step 2: Set up a Call-Only Campaign

  1. Click Campaigns in the type list, then select Leads.
  2. Add the Phone Call Conversion.
  3. Continue following the instructions for setting up your campaign based on your preferences.

Note: be sure to enable call reporting so you can view the data. From your ads account, click the Admin icon, then “Account Settings”, then under “Call Reporting”, select On.

Tips for using Google Forwarding Numbers

To fully capitalize on the data you get when using Google Forwarding Numbers, consider these best practices:

  • Use Local Numbers: If you run a local business, use local forwarding numbers when possible, as they are more likely to be trusted and called by potential customers.
  • Integrate with Your CRM: Sync your call data with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to create a comprehensive view of customer interactions across all channels.
  • Monitor Call Quality: Regularly review call data to identify trends or outliers, assess call quality, and optimize for better performance.
  • Prioritize High-Value Calls: Analyze which keywords and ads are generating the most valuable calls and adjust your strategy to maximize ROI.

What businesses should (or should not) use Google Forwarding Numbers?

Google Forwarding Numbers are ideal for businesses that:

  • Rely on Phone Calls: If phone calls are a critical part of your customer acquisition and service, forwarding numbers can provide valuable insights.
  • Run Local or National Ad Campaigns: Both local and national businesses can benefit from the localized or toll-free numbers provided.

However, businesses that may not find as much value in Google Forwarding Numbers include:

  • Strictly-Online Services: If your business model doesn’t rely on phone interactions for conversions or customer service, this feature will not be beneficial.

Frequently asked questions

Can Google Forwarding Numbers be used internationally?

Yes, Google offers forwarding numbers in many countries, but availability and functionality might vary. Check Google Ads support for specific country availability.

Is there an additional cost for using Google Forwarding Numbers?

No, Google does not charge extra for using forwarding numbers. However, standard call charges may apply (depending on your Google Ads bidding strategy).

Can I use my own phone number instead of a Google Forwarding Number?

Yes, you can use your own number in ads, but you’ll miss out on the tracking and detailed analytics provided by forwarding numbers.

Can I customize the duration a call must last to be considered a conversion?

Yes, Google Ads allows you to set a minimum call duration that must be met for a call to be counted as a conversion, enabling you to focus on calls that likely represent genuine interest.

Related glossary terms:

Jump to section