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When creating a form for customers to fill out, it’s easy for business owners to slip in a question asking who referred them.  Finding out how someone got a phone number is a more delicate matter, though (it’s important not to waste customers’ time or act like they called a private line), and AdWords call metrics represents Google’s potential solution.

To be clear: the AdWords call metrics tech has been in testing for a while, and it still won’t be available to everyone anytime soon.  Today, Google just wanted to acquaint everyone with the project and announce that a more complete rollout will occur in the next few months.

Surojit Chatterjee, Senior Product Manager over AdWords, explained in a post on the Inside AdWords blog, "Using the technology behind Google Voice, call metrics assigns your campaign a unique phone number which is automatically inserted into your ad on both desktop and high-end mobile devices, where the number is clickable."

Then he continued, "When a user calls the number in your ad, the call is automatically routed to your business, and AdWords notes that this call took place.  Then, when you look at your AdWords reports, you’ll see the number of calls generated by each campaign, call duration, and in the near future, caller area code.  You’ll still only pay for clicks on your ads, but we intend to charge for call metrics in the future."

This is an interesting idea with a fair amount of promise.  Depending on what Google sort of fees Google decides to attach, lots of business owners might do well to use AdWords call metrics to measure their campaigns’ effectiveness.

Some people should even be able to visit Google Ad Innovations and find the feature enabled on their accounts now.