Troubleshooting missing keywords

The keyword column on your call log displays the pay-per-click (PPC) keywords a caller used to find your business online. CallRail derives this data from the PPC platform that served the ad and the URL parameters detected on the landing page when a click ID is present on it. Our Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising integrations retrieve keyword data each night for interactions that originated from a PPC ad click.

Getting started

In order to track keywords and conversions from your PPC campaigns, you’ll need:

- A PPC ad source
- A website pool

If you’ve confirmed both of those are present and you still feel keywords are missing on your call log, use the list below to troubleshoot common questions we receive about this issue.

General reasons

The call came from a non-PPC source
In order for a keyword to be provided for a call, the call’s source must be Google or Bing Ads. If your website pool is set to show tracking numbers to a broad range of sources, note the call’s source on your activity log. If it is anything besides a pay-per-click ad source, a keyword will not be provided.

The call is from a repeat caller who has reached out through multiple sources
If a lead’s first call was from a PPC source but a future call was from a non-PPC source, the initial source would still display but no keywords would be supplied for the subsequent non-PPC call.

In any case where a lead calls multiple times, its source will always show on your activity log as the initial source it reached out through.

The lead clicked on a Dynamic Search Ad
Dynamic Search Ads are not keyword-based and instead target your leads by drawing from your website content. They are designed to work differently than keyword-based ads, and therefore do not generate keyword data.

For more information on Dynamic Search Ads, please see Google’s help article.

The lead clicked on a Google Shopping campaign
Google Shopping campaigns are not keyword-based, but still generate product IDs that can be displayed in your activity log’s keyword field. This requires a modified setup of your tracking template. Use the following URL parameter to acquire this information:


This takes the place of the keyword={keyword} parameter that is used to populate keywords from standard Google Ads campaigns.

You’ve integrated with the wrong PPC platform account
If you have more than one account with your platform of choice (i.e. if you manage multiple businesses), there is a chance that the wrong account was attached to CallRail during initial setup.

If you suspect this may be the case, we recommend deactivating your integration and then reauthorizing it with the correct account.

Auto-tagging is not enabled in your PPC platform
Auto-tagging adds your PPC platform’s click ID to the site's final URL, which is one of the means we use to retrieve keyword data from your PPC platform account.

While CallRail’s Google Ads integration turns on auto-tagging when activated, long-time users may have enabled the integration before we automated this change. If you would like to manually check for auto-tagging in your Google Ads account, please see this help article from Google.

Your tracking template in your PPC platform needs reviewing
If the ValueTrack parameters attached to your site’s URL are incorrect, this will lead to absent keywords. This may be either due to an error during manual entry of your tracking template, or from using something other than CallRail’s recommended tracking template.

Using URL parameters on your PPC ads will populate keywords and campaign names for display on your activity log instantaneously. To use this method, please apply our recommended tracking template in Google Ads. Check out this help article for detailed information on CallRail’s optimized tracking template.

If no URL parameters for Campaigns or Keywords are detected, and your Google Ads integration is activated, CallRail will still retrieve the keywords, ad group, and campaign data associated with the ad click, just not instantaneously. Instead, this process runs once nightly, so a call taken on a given day will display this information the day after.

Call Details Forwarding (CDF) users

The Google Ads integration was not enabled
 In order to receive keywords from your calls, the Google Ads integration must be enabled. Additionally, keywords appear in CallRail (caller timeline, reports, etc.) the day after the call occurs since we retrieve these on a nightly basis. This also applies to updating the "Campaign" value from ID to Name.

The call was less than 15 seconds long
In order to receive keywords, calls to tracking numbers used with this integration must be at least 15 seconds long.

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