If You Think Call Conversions Aren't Important - Think Again

With the meteoric rise of the mobile phone, the landscape of web marketing is rapidly changing, and it’s up to us to adapt and stay up-to-date. Thanks to “click to call” buttons now embedded in mobile-optimized websites, customers can quickly go from searching to browsing to calling – often ready to purchase within an hour of conducting a search.

Unfortunately, many marketers are still relying on incomplete SEO and PPC data to judge the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. It’s important to remember that when a consumer uses a smartphone to locate your business, they aren’t converting by filling out a web form. Their method of conversion is more often than not a phone call; according to Google, 61% of mobile searches lead to a call. Without an effective means of tracking these telephonic conversions, marketing analytics are missing out on a very significant piece of the pie.

Keyword-Level Call Tracking

The average price of a Google AdWords bid rose 24% in the past year, and now more than ever, it’s essential to get a full picture of your analytics, instead of simply focusing on PC searches. By using keyword-level call tracking, marketers can determine which PPC keywords, ads, and landing pages are actually generating calls – allowing them to focus their budget on the keywords and campaigns that work.

Track by Location and Time

Understanding where callers are located and when they’re calling can help marketers optimize Google ads to target smartphone users at the right time and place. Tracking programs can utilize geographic information from a phone’s GPS, or through a location-based trackable phone number. Using a call-routing solution in conjunction with cell phone triangulation (think any action movie where someone tries to trace a call), callers can automatically be routed to a trackable phone number at the closet location nearby. This way, the consumer is connected with the most relevant sales agent and the location information is provided to your analytics results.

Trackable phone numbers can also be featured in mobile search results based on the searcher’s geo-location. For those worried that having different numbers featured in search results will affect their search ranking, have no fear. A new technology called dynamic number insertion, or DNI, allows you to insert phone numbers by way of a snippet of JavaScript code, which Google doesn’t index and therefore doesn’t see. You can use a whole range of trackable phone numbers without affecting your Google local search ranking.

Track Sales as Well as Calls

When analyzing a marketing campaign, don’t forget to track sales as well. Getting phone calls is good, but if they’re not leading to revenue, you need to know why. Are the ads generating the wrong kind of leads? Or is the problem at the other end of the line? Whether your ads are confusing or misleading, or your sales force is simply not closing the deal is an important piece of the picture. Therefore, it’s important to analyze sales as well when determining the success or failure of a marketing campaign.

The upshot is that calls are now a very important part of search, so marketers need to find ways to include them in analytics programs. Thankfully, the technology is available, to track not only where a customer is calling from and when, but the search path, ads and landing pages that brought them to your business. Embrace the technology and ensure that you’re making the most of your marketing dollars, rather than just taking a shot in the dark.