Using CallRail with Google Ads Location Extensions

What is a location extension?

Location extensions are a type of ad extension that display on your Google ads. They may include your address, a map to your business, and the distance between the user’s location and your business. You can also include a phone number or a button for people to tap or click that automatically dials your phone number.

When someone clicks on your location extension, they’ll go to your Google My Business location page, which includes all of the relevant info about your business.

Keep in mind that Ad extensions are optional components you can include in your Google Ads to communicate additional information, and that there are two main types of Google Ads:

- Search ads, which are text ads that appear above or below the organic search results when someone enters a query with a search term you’ve won at auction.

- Display ads, which are text, image, or video ads that display on various websites, Youtube videos, and above peoples’ inboxes in Gmail. These show up based on the type of audience you’re targeting.

Where will location extensions show up?

Location extensions show up in text ads on the Google Search Network, above or below the organic search results when a user enters a query with a search term you’ve won at auction.

They also can display on google search sites, like Google Maps. The extension might show up beside, above, or below results on Google Maps.

The Google Display Network includes sites and apps that display Google ads; your location extensions may show in these places when people are physically close to your location or have shown interest in your area.

YouTube Video Ads are another possible display location: they might pop up on TrueView in-stream and bumper ads when people are near you or have shown interest in your area.

When should you use location extensions?

As Google puts it, location extensions “make it easier for your customers to call, visit your business, or identify where your business is located.”

If you’re running ads on Google and you have a brick-and-mortar location that serves customers, a location extension is a good idea. Retail stores, restaurants, auto repair shops, and gyms are just a few examples of the type of businesses that would benefit from a location extension.

Location extensions are also useful for larger chain companies with multiple locations. These businesses may run ads for each location, each of which may target different users or search terms. Allowing the user to find the address, phone number, and other details about the location closest to them optimizes their experience.

Note: If you’re a large retailer setting up a location extension for a chain store, or an affiliate manufacturer who sells products at a chain store, your process for setting up your local extension is slightly different.

Why should I use CallRail tracking numbers in my location extensions?

CallRail offers an extensive set of information about every lead, allowing for highly accurate, deeply detailed call attribution.

Without CallRail, calls to your location extensions are indistinguishable from all other calls to your main business line, making it impossible to know what sources, campaigns, and ads are directing people to your business.

In order to use a CallRail tracking number as the phone number in your location extensions, you’ll first need to set up your Google My Business (GMB) listing, which serves as your location page. Google populates your location extensions with information from your GMB listing.

How to use CallRail's GMB integration to set a tracking number as a location extension

CallRail's GMB integration can be used to designate a tracking number for use as a location extension, or even create a new one pre-configured for this specific task. 

  1. Within an active GMB integration, go to the Assign a tracking number section.

  2. Under Ad Location Extension Number, click the dropdown menu to select an existing tracking number for use or create a new one.

  3. After a number is chosen, remember to click Activate to save changes (or Update if you are adjusting an existing integration).

  4. You will now need to add your number in GMB itself. Use the instructions in the following section pertaining to GMB navigation to add or modify a tracking number for use as a location extension.

How to manually create and use a CallRail tracking number as a location extension

While our native GMB integration is the easiest way to implement location extensions, a more manual method may be necessary. This is especially applicable if you're managing multiple businesses and aren't using separate company sub-accounts in CallRail to give them their own integration.

  1. Log in to your CallRail account and click the + in the upper-right corner of the page and select Create Number.

  2. Choose the company with which you'd like to use your new tracking number.

  3. The new number wizard will appear on your screen. The first question asks, "Where do you want to use this tracking number?" Select I’ll use it online.

  4. Select Somewhere else since this number will display in your ad and not your website.

  5. Select Yes, in an ad extension to use this number in your Google Ads call extension.

  6. Select On desktop and mobile devices since your location extension may be displayed on both desktop and mobile devices.

  7. Name your tracking number for your reports, and enter the forwarding number where your calls should route. Then, click Select a Phone Number.

  8. Choose your tracking phone number from the list of available numbers. If you want your number to have a different area code, click Numbers in a specific country or area code and enter your preferred area code. Then, click Number Features.

  9. Configure your whisper message and call recording. When you're finished, click Activate Tracking Number.

Next, you’ll add the tracking number you’ve created to your GMB account.

  1. Access your GMB dashboard for the location you wish to edit and click on the Info tab.

  2. Click the pencil icon next to the Google Ads location extension phone under Advanced information.

  3. In the box that pops up, enter the CallRail tracking number you created to track calls from your location extension and click Apply.

Lastly, create a location extension.

  1. Sign in to Google Ads, select the account you’d like to edit, and click the Ads & Extensions tab.

  2. Select the Extensions tab, click the + button, and select Location extension.

  3. Search for a GMB account or link to an account associated with your Google Ads account.

  4. Configure your location extension.

How calls to your location extensions will appear in CallRail

Depending on how viewers interact with the tracking number you've placed in your ad, there are multiple reporting situations that could happen:

- If the lead calls the tracking number directly from the location extension, this call will be attributed to Google Ads. No conversion will be reported because this number is not implemented using visitor tracking, so the GCLID cannot be captured.

- If the lead clicks a button in your ad redirecting them to your site (and has not been previously to see a different swapped number), we will also attribute this to this to Google Ads as long as our tracking snippet is installed to facilitate the phone number swap. We can capture these calls as conversions in Google Ads if the numbers on the site belong to a website pool. 

- If the lead clicks the Headline, Business Name, or View in Maps buttons from the ad extension before calling or clicking through to your site, Google will treat this as traffic stemming from your GMB listing and we will report it as such. (This requires an active GMB integration.) These calls will not report as conversions in Google Ads since GCLIDs are not issued for calls from GMB listings.