Why CTM Cannot Have Bing Calls as Conversions

Last Updated: 08/03/2017 Back to Topic All Articles

With the launch of Bing’s Universal Event Tracking, many of our clients noticed the similarities between it and Google Analytics, thus bringing up the question of “How do we see our Bing Paid Calls as conversions within the Bing interface?” To answer this, it’s best to fully understand how event tracking works, and how CTM sends the events into Google Analytics.

Event tracking

Google defines Events as:

User interactions with content that can be tracked independently from a web page or a screen load. Downloads, mobile ad clicks, gadgets, Flash elements, AJAX embedded elements, and video plays are all examples of actions you might want to track as Events.

For example, you might set up a video “play” button on your site so that it sends an Event hit with the following values:

  • Category: “Videos”
  • Action: “Play”
  • Label: “Baby’s First Birthday”

Bing’s definition of event tracking:

Track a variety of conversion goals such as a purchase, sign up, download and more. You can set up your conversion goals based on:

  • The quantity of people that visited a specific page or section of your site
  • When visitors spend a specified amount of time on your website
  • People that visited more than the specified number of pages on your website
  • The number of people that clicked and installed your mobile app
  • And several more custom goals and events

However, you also have the option to customize tags for unique event goals. For example, you might want to measure how many times a user pressed play on a video, or the number of downloads made from your site. Bing Ads automatically tracks the first three types of goals based on page changes, while a change in the URL isn’t required to track event goals.

The code for events consists of four values you can use to define a user’s interaction. None of the parameters are mandatory, but you must define at least one value:

  • Event category (ec): The object you want to track (e.g., “button”).
  • Event action (ea): The type of interaction the user takes with the object from your event category (e.g. “click”).
  • Event label (el): Useful field for you to label details about the event (e.g. “purchase button”).
  • Event value (ev): Use this field to associate non-negative numerical data with the goal to track counts (e.g. “A video is paused four times”).

Event tracking is significant because standard analytics tracking occurs when a visitors clicks from one page to another and doesn’t report any activity that occurs within a page. The common denominators between the event tracking systems are that both are tracking actions that occur within a page using their own tags / tracking codes.

The tags they use to track events can only track what happens on the page. For example, if someone is on a mobile device and they click to call, that action can be recorded as an event. Having a goal around that event can be imported into AdWords, thus creating a conversion. With the event tracking tag they can track what page I’m viewing, but they can’t relate me picking up my mobile phone and dialing the number I see on my desktop. The phone calls placed from a separate device aren’t trackable; there’s just no way for them to be able to capture that information.

This is where the CTM tracking code comes into play, because the phone numbers on the page are dynamically swapping. CTM’s algorithms, in conjunction with standard website tracking, are able to identify exactly where and when the phone numbers were visible, and by using several other matching techniques CTM is able to make an accurate match between the website visitor and caller.

The AdWords conversions that are generated from the call events aren’t triggered from Google’s tag or tracking code. They are triggered from CallTrackingMetrics and CallTrackingMetrics sends the event data into Google Analytics. This is accomplished by using Google’s APIs. Google’s API allows CallTrackingMetrics to have a direct integration with them, creating a seamless line of information being passed from CallTrackingMetrics into Google Analytics and from Analytics back into CallTrackingMetrics. Google’s API allows CallTrackingMetrics to send the call event into their system. Because the CallTrackingMetrics tracking code and Google’s tracking code are both present on the site, Google Analytics and AdWords are able to make a direct match between the information, and in turn justify the conversion.

Bing, on the other hand, has an API, but they do not allow CTM to send “off screen” or “offline” events into their system. Because CTM isn’t able to send the call event data into Bing, the calls generated from Bing paid ads aren’t going to count as conversions. The only way Bing can generate a call conversion is when there is a physical click on the page, and in this case it would have to be a click-to-call. CallTrackingMetrics can determine that a call came from a Bing Ad and can capture all the keyword data in its interface, but we are unable to send that information into Bing.

The feature request we would require to enable this capability is called Offline Conversions Upload, and unfortunately it isn’t yet supported by Bing Ads.

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