For quite some time now, we have been able to view the number of calls driven from mobile click to call ads in the Adwords UI, under the segment by click -type option. Now, Adwords are limited beta-testing in the US further detailed call metrics as a part of Google’s commitment to mobile advertising for the future.
Drawing on the way in which the Adwords Contact Form beta test works, Adwords will insert a unique number for all campaigns (both desktop and mobile targeted) and thereby track your calls (the contact form beta test also uses a Google number, whereby the user rings Google who then transfer to the advertiser enabling Google to gather data). By doing this, Adwords reports will show the number of calls, plus call duration. By including a unique number in desktop targeted Adwords ads too, this enables advertisers who do not have numerous telephone numbers at hand to be able to track telephone calls by campaign. I think this is the main advantage of these new Adwords Phone Extensions, as availability of phone numbers is often a downfall for search advertisers who wish to include the option of users telephoning but cannot have numbers freed up for PPC uses.