Call tracking: An OverviewPeter A. Liefer II | Posted: September 11th, 2017 | Updated: October 22nd, 2018
Call tracking: An Overview
Are you baffled by the low numbers on your digital advertisements, but your balance sheet says you are actually bringing in more business than ever before? One of the common challenges digital marketers face is that they are unable to pinpoint exactly where each conversion comes from. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, Google Adwords, display ads, social media ads, and even other forms of digital advertising may give you an idea where the conversion is coming from. However, the results can be inconclusive particularly when offline factors are added in the equation. For instance, how many sales did you actually make when someone called your phone number and asked for your services?
All this can change with call tracking.
Defining call tracking
If you want to boost your online ranking and get better SEO traction, you are probably running several advertising campaigns that each target different keywords. Doing so will help you find out what keywords your target audience is searching for, and will, therefore, help you customize your campaigns to respond to this need. You will also determine which ads are not working for you, and you can terminate them easily without investing more money in it.
The same goes for call tracking. It is the act of assigning a specific phone number to a single ad — for example, a different phone number per keyword — which will help you find out exactly where the business is coming from. You would no longer have to ask callers “Hi, where did you hear about us?” since you would know immediately which advertisement led them to call your landline. You would, therefore, have a more concrete, more holistic idea of exactly how profitable each advertisement is for your company.
This works for the simple reason that today’s consumers are heavy mobile users. They search for businesses on the web or on social media, and if they are intrigued by something, they call that number. This often happens even though there is a digital equivalent to a salesperson — that is, customers can put items they want in a cart and just pay when they have completed the transaction. If they want clarification, they are more likely to call a number instead of using the built-in help assistant.
If you are still not convinced, take a look at the hospitality industry. While most hotels have online bookings and have competitive prices thanks to websites that can compare their rates, the reality is that most customers would still use the phone to confirm their bookings. If you rely solely on digital advertising to determine where your leads and conversions are coming from, then you would lose the actual figures you should have when you factor in the phone conversions.
How it works
When companies decide to use call tracking to generate leads and get better insight regarding their digital campaigns, they normally tap firms that offer call tracking systems. These systems enable companies to instantly create local or toll-free numbers that they can then associate with each campaign. These numbers are assigned labels, nicknames, and tags so that they can be easily tracked.
What happens next gives digital marketers a unique 360 view of the entire conversion. The numbers are assigned to specific advertisements – for example, social media ads, radio ads, and even print ads – and when a caller uses a specific number to inquire, then the number would report to the system. This then gives you a good idea of which ad source works the best. What’s more, you can optimize the system so that your metrics can include call time, so you can determine which phone calls actually led to a sale, and geolocation report, so that you would know where your customers are.
What makes this even more intriguing is that purchasing multiple numbers is actually very affordable. You also do not need different landlines for each number – all can be routed to a central number, the only difference is that the calls would be coming from different sources.
The benefits of call tracking
Here are some of the more notable benefits of using a call tracking system:
- It saves you money.
How many times have you run an ad for a time, only to find out that it is not earning you anything? With call tracking, you would be able to pinpoint exactly which ad is working and which one is not – thereby giving you the flexibility to cancel the ads that are not working and to focus on the ones that are actually bringing you in money. You don’t have to wait for a long time to be able to say that the ad campaign is effective – you would have real-time data to base your decision on.
- It helps you understand the entire customer journey.
When you rely on digital ads alone, you would have no idea of the customer’s thought process prior to them clicking or engaging with your ad. With call tracking, you would be able to monitor the entire journey. You’ll know what prodded the customer to call your business, the length of wait time, the duration, and other pertinent behavior. For example, if a caller tells you that they called because they wanted more information and they were intrigued by one of your ads, then you would know to customize your succeeding ads the same way.
- Improve your website and SEO performance.
Aside from understanding the entire customer journey and customizing your future ads based on what the customer said was effective, you can also apply these things to your website and therefore improve your SEO performance. You can appropriately set the tone on your social media channels and your website based on what the customer responds to. You can also apply this tone to your website. As a result, your overall messaging would then be a unified front that talks exactly to your customer the way that they understand. Essentially, when you find out what works through the phone calls, you can implement them across the board for a more holistic, more competitive campaign.