Understanding the value of phone calls from your website and attributing to paid ads is one form of lead data that can be misrepresented. If you do not have the correct tracking parameters in place, you could not be giving value to the various types of phone calls that drive your digital marketing results.
Why is Tracking Calls Important?
For many businesses, lead generation is the main form of value that can be tracked as a lead. If you are like most clients, who do not have a sophisticated enough digital program to track actual closes and attribute that to a specific search engine campaign, then you will still want to have an understanding as much as you can into which campaigns led to an online lead or website action that expresses intent. Mind you, most companies will have an opinion on which advertising channel brings the most value to their business whether the rationale is valid or not. Although many may provide a survey to those that purchase/buy a product or service there is still room for misrepresentation of what was actually viewed or clicked that actually led to the sale. When we can take the user error out of the equation then we can be totally dependent on the data that has no subconscious or conscious preference toward one advertising channel or another.
Three Types of Phone Calls Worth Measuring For Digital Marketing Campaigns
Paid Search Call Extensions
When running paid campaigns in Google, the search query result can provide a phone call number when it is specifically chosen within Google AdWords settings. In this case, the viewer of the paid ad does not click on to your website, therefore Google Analytics does not notice any value from that paid ad interaction. You will want to add Phone Calls from Call Extensions as a paid lead and incorporate that number into your dashboard or quarterly reporting as a metric of value.
Click to Call on the Website
Usually when someone clicks on a hyperlinked phone number on a website to make a call it is on a mobile phone. This can be tracked as an event action via Google Tag Manager and as a goal in Google Analytics. When it comes from a paid campaign you can see this several ways within Google Analytics, but the easiest way is under Acquisition > Source/Medium. If you’ve selected the appropriate date range for the data and in the drop down under Conversion you select the goal that is set up to track the ‘Click-to-Call’ action on your site, you can see what last-click attributed channel delivered the user to your website and submitted the lead.
Dialing Your Website Phone Number
When a user visits a website and finds a phone number to call, they could simply dial the number on their phone, specifically when they are on a desktop computer. This is when call tracking is most important to track the attribution of that lead. If you are running paid campaigns you can set up call tracking so that you are swapping the phone number from what was on the website when the visitor came from a paid ad. This is done from a script that is provided by the call tracking vendor after you add the website phone number into the vendor application and set up the automated phone number swap. That script can go on the website in different ways, but if you have Google Tag Manager you can place it here and set it up to swap dynamically when a visitor comes from a specific paid source.
By having a way to attribute value to the three different types of phone call actions in your online digital marketing efforts, you will be able to give full credit to your campaign’s success when it is warranted.
Other Call Tracking Benefits
The final two call tracking benefits is outside of understanding the value of a phone lead. Using call tracking with a provider such as Call Rail, you can:
- Track call data like date, time, call duration, and even the call itself
- Replace a website phone number with a different destination phone number. For example, after doing the swap number to collect the lead, the phone can route a different number of your choosing like a call center number of another number of your choosing. I have seen both of these in different circumstances. I have been given a company’s search engine marketing number in order to track the lead in their system or attribute it to their call center.
Make Better Decisions by Reporting on Calls
As you can see, tracking calls is a great way to prove value as a digital marketing consultant beyond subjective measures. It is important to set up monthly reporting and over time track trends with when specific campaigns are running to help make better business decisions about the types of advertising that are working for them and which are not.