Google Call forward forwarding? 1800 number gone for good?

Google’s call forwarding has give advertisers the ability to track calls coming from AdWords places ads which has been great. However we have experienced a push back from Advertisers as they don’t like the fact that:

  1. Their business phone number is not displayed on the ad
  2. The 1800 number has been putting people off from calling. We have noticed considerable downturns in CTR and calls due to a 1800 number being displayed. This is understandable as if you are a potential customer after a local service (locksmith, plumber etc) why would you call a 1800 number? Naturally you would be drawn to the mobile or local area number. After all you after someone local right?

You can see an example of this happening for many searches with 1800 numbers becoming less and less. Companies are choosing to just show their own local number or choosing a third party call tracking provider to provide a more ‘user friendly’ phone number:

google forwarding numbers not used

Even though I circled the more ‘local’ non-1800 numbers in the above image I may well be deceived. This is because a few of our clients using 1800 numbers are no longer seeing the 1800 numbers.

We got a call up the other day from one of our clients’ asking about why the tracked numbers were not being used. We were adamant that they were, checked the setup and as expected, the forwarding number was selected.

After further investigation and a chat with Google is became apparent that Google was running some tests around having a forwarded forwarding number (is that even a term? Can I coin it? That’s it.. I coin it!)

What Google have been testing on some accounts (thanks for letting us know!) was having the company’s actual phone number being display which was then directed to the 1800 number (or the forwarding service) which is then forwarded to the business phone number.

Since there isn’t too much information about how this will work exactly i’m guessing it goes something like this:

To us and many of our clients this is a positive test and I truly hope Google’s findings support keeping it this way.

As I said earlier, the biggest objection we have had with the forwarding the 1800 numbers meaning if this change gets through I can imagine a whole flood of advertisers taking up this option and those who chose to reject it will no doubt be jumping back on.

Fingers crossed!