Does Google Ads Website Call Conversion Tracking change button numbers?

PUBLISHED 3 Apr 2024

Google Ads Website Call Conversion Tracking changes the phone number listed on the advertiser's website to a Google tracked number. Does it also change the number in a click-to-call button? Yes, but only in some circumstances.

Recently I implemented Google Ads Website Call Conversion Tracking for a client. This means that when a user comes to the client's website via a Google Ad, the client's phone number as listed on their site is dynamically changed to a Google-provided tracked phone number. As a result, any phone calls resulting from ad activity can be tracked as conversions and attributed to the ad spend.

I won't go into the detail of how to implement this using Google Tag Manager - Julian Juenemann of MeasureSchool already has an excellent video on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnp_es0VB0Y.

But looking through the comments on Julian's video, it seems that many users have questions around click-to-call buttons:

YouTube comment on click-to-call buttons and Google Ads tracking

Let's say you don't just list the phone number on your website, but instead have a button that users can click to call you. Does Google Ads Website Call Conversion Tracking also dynamically change the tel: number used in buttons like this - i.e. the number that is called when the button is clicked? The answer is yes... and no.

When Google changes the tel: number

If your button lists the actual phone number in the button text, Google Ads Website Call Conversion Tracking will change both the text of the button AND the underlying phone number. A simple example of this would be:

(Note that both the phone number in the button text, and the number specified by "tel:" in the href attribute, have to match the phone number you specified in your Google Ads setup for this to work. And yes, this example uses a <div> tag instead of a <button> tag - either is fine.)

When Google doesn't change the tel: number

However, if your button does NOT list the phone number in the button text, Google Ads Website Call Conversion Tracking will not change the tel: number to a tracked one. An example of this would be:

You can test this yourself by appending #google-wcc-debug to the end of your page URL (for example https://yoursite.com/page#google-wcc-debug) and reloading the page. This opens the page with the Google AdWords Website Call Conversions debugger. Click 'Force' to see which number/s will get auto-replaced:

Google AdWords Website Call Conversions debugger

So the conclusion is: if you have click-to-call buttons on your site, and you want Google to dynamically replace the number that gets called when the button is clicked, include the number in the button text itself. No more 'Call Us Now' buttons!

It does raise a wider question as to whether sites even need click-to-call buttons any more. Modern mobiles will start a call whenever you click on a phone number, whether or not it's a link or a button. Perhaps just list your phone number as text?

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James Clark
Hi! I'm James Clark and I'm a freelance web analyst from the UK. I'm here to help with your analytics, ad operations, and SEO issues.
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