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Using Phone Call Tracking

Using Phone Call Tracking

Monday, July 15, 2013 15:33

Whether your business is using conversion tracking as part of Google AdWords, or goal tracking in Google Analytics, this type of data is essential to understand where sales or enquiries are coming from, down to the keyword and advert level. However, for any business where most leads may come via a phone call, this is harder to track as the link between the source of the website visitor and the phone call being made is broken. This is where phone call tracking techniques can add more insight and value to an advertiser.

Phone call tracking has been around for many years in different forms, and as the need to track and optimise conversions grows, this technique is becoming another important tool for the advertiser. There are a number of good phone call tracking companies operating in the UK market and they can provide a reasonably low cost way of tracking the source of conversions, whether they come from Google AdWords or any search engine visit, or from any other third party website. Google AdWords also provides a call tracking system in the US and UK.

Call tracking usually works through the addition of some javascript on a website or web page, which identifies the source of a visitor and displays a unique phone number on the website. If the visitor calls the business, that number will track the lead by source, potentially down to individual search term level. Whether the website has their standard phone number displayed in the text or as an image, an alternate number can be displayed depending on where the site visitor come from, although images will need to be changed or adapted to cater for this.

The advertiser will buy a range of phone numbers – usually 1300 or 1800 – to be used for the various advertising sources and displayed on the website. The call tracking company will generate these numbers and track the calls made, including the option of recording the phone conversations, and provide analytics to show which sources have generated the calls. This data can sometimes be imported into a Google Analytics account as well, as a goal source.

One potential issue for advertisers is if they use a memorable number, such as 1300 FLOWER, as call tracking won’t be able to replicate this number and make it so memorable to the user – which can be an issue if the number might be used in a radio advert or on a billboard. The other main question is how many numbers might be needed, as these can be generated as ‘absolute’ (one number for each source) or session based (where a pool of numbers are used and displayed in time segments to identify source). The former method can be very expensive, particularly if there are lot of search terms being used in an AdWords campaign, but is more accurate. However, the latter method should be sufficient for most advertisers.

Although the cost of call tracking isn’t that high, it is an additional cost to include as part of the marketing activity. However, the insights that call tracking can provide is extremely valuable and enables advertisers to see the real cost per lead being generated by source, which will provide a more accurate figure for a Return on Investment calculation. Otherwise, call enquiries will remain a general ‘pool’ of new business leads which can’t be attributed to a source or the advertising spend.

If you’d like to know more about phone call tracking for your marketing campaigns, please get in touch for a discussion.

This article was written by the web search workshop, a search engine optimisation and marketing consultancy for UK business websites. Contact us today for a free assessment of your website.

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