Call tracking in paid search: How to do it right

Call tracking in paid search: How to do it right

Anna Herman

If you run online advertising campaigns for your business, you’ll know all about the importance of tracking leads back to the original campaign. After all, how do you know if your marketing budget is being spent wisely if you don’t know which advertisements brought in the most sales (or no sales)?
Conversion tracking software such as Google Analytics is a big help in matching conversions to specific ad campaigns. However, this only works if the customer purchases the product or service on your website directly after clicking through from an advertisement.

What if they order over the phone? Or what if they only decide to purchase a product after taking to one of your representatives on the phone?
This is where call tracking comes in.

What is call tracking?

Call tracking allows business owners and marketers to get a broader understanding of what drives product sales. It examines both online and offline sales in conjunction with telephone call analysis in order to spot trends.
Call tracking software allows you to identify which keywords cause people to pick up the phone and call your business. It works by placing a unique telephone number on each ad that you show online. When each number is called, it rings through to your ‘real’ telephone number and is routed through the tracking software.
The software monitors the keywords that were searched for when the ad was shown, the exact campaign that was displayed to the user, the telephone number that they rang and the duration of the call. The software will judge successful conversions based on the duration of the call. The longer the call, the more likely the user is to purchase your product.

Call tracking and ROI

In the world of marketing, return on investment (ROI) is one of the most important metrics to measure. Call tracking gives marketers extra insight into the effectiveness of each and every ad that they place. However, there are certain things to bear in mind when using call tracking to measure ROI:

  • Regular analysis and reviewing of the ads and conversion rates needs to be completed to ensure the best performing ads stay active and poorer performing ads get removed or changed.
  • Call tracking only works for ads with unique phone numbers. If you use the same number on multiple ads, you lose the ability to track conversions back to specific campaigns.
  • Integrating call tracking software into other analytics platforms such as Google Ads gives you a more holistic view of your marketing efforts. This can help you spot trends and identify a typical user journey from search engine to website visit to product purchase.
  • Call tracking software can track internal metrics from your business, for example how long it takes someone to answer the phone and the usual times that people call. You can use this data to provide potential customers with an optimum telephone service.
  • Some sales will always be impossible to track back to the original ad view or website visit, especially for shops where customers can purchase in-store.
  • Recorded phone calls can be played back and used for staff training purposes. If some staff members have better conversion rates than others when they talk on the phone, look into how their conversations differ and create a set of guidelines for your employees to follow.

Call tracking software can be expensive. Measuring advertising ROI is important, but if you’re spending more on the software than the advertisements are bringing to your business, it may be worth removing the software for a few months until you can justify the cost.

Anna Herman

Author Anna Herman

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