Verifying Phone Numbers in AdWords

The deadline to verify phone numbers used in Call and Location Extensions in AdWords is fast approaching – June of 2015. It is a little confusing, so I thought it was worth writing a quick post to hopefully help clear it up.

My initial perception of “verifying” phone numbers was more along the lines of what many local listing sites do, which is to call the number(s) being used as part of a business listing to verify that the number actually rings to the business. This is not what AdWords is doing. No one will be calling these numbers, so their idea of “verification” might be quite different from your idea of verification. Here is what they are doing – verifying that the number has some connection to the web site where ads are directing people.

There are three methods to verify your phone numbers currently:

  1. Make sure the number appears at least once on the web site in text and not as an image
    OR
  2. Link the Google Webmaster  Tools account for the web site to the AdWords account
    OR
  3. Add the conversion tracking code from AdWords to your landing pages

Read the full AdWords Answer on how to verify phone numbers here.

Here is where it potentially gets confusing – there is no column when you view the Extensions that show that phone number status as Verified or Unverified. You will only see any notation about the status IF your numbers are unverified. If unverified, you’ll see red text below the numbers saying “unverified”. I was in touch with AdWords about this today and did let them know that this will probably cause a lot of unnecessary confusion.

If, like me, your Webmaster Tools accounts are already linked to your AdWords accounts, then your numbers should already be verified. Again, I confirmed this with AdWords.

UPDATE: Definitely confirm with AdWords that your numbers are actually verified if you already had WMT linked. Reports of this not auto-verifying and also not showing as unverified (not good!). Best to check and be sure yours are verified.

I thought it would be helpful to share this information so that we could all understand this better as pros, but also so that when or if clients start to see things on the internet about the impending deadline for verification and popped into the account and did not see an actual status of “verified” you’d be able to reassure them. Or, even better, proactively let them know you’re on it and it has been taken care of, despite no visual change to reflect verification.

If you’ve heard differently, please share. As we saw earlier this week, sometimes the information coming out of AdWords is not always consistent! I will update this post, if needed, to be sure it has the most accurate information possible.

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