July 7, 2016

The Importance Of Call Tracking

Call tracking used to be nearly impossible to do in PPC. Businesses either had to create special landing pages & websites or had to rely on call center reps to ask callers how they got their phone number. Both of these systems are incredibly unreliable and prone to multiple errors. Over the years, call tracking has evolved into very precise science providing reliable data. It is now possible to track phone calls down to the keyword level. There are many tools that allow for this to occur and I’ll be talking those and more as we take a deep dive into the world of call tracking.

Call Extensions

Google and Bing both offer call extensions to advertisers free of charge. In Google AdWords they are located under the Ad Extensions tab. You can create your own unique forwarding number to your actual phone number, to show which campaign and ad groups actually drove calls.

Bing also has a call extensions section and the setup process is similar to that of Google’s. They are also located under the Ad Extensions tab. Bing however has an option that Google does not have, which is the ability to show a toll free or local forwarding number. For local businesses utilizing the latter may help to improve response rate.

However, there is a slight downside to call extensions. They only work for calls that are coming specifically from the ad text itself. Once a user or customer gets to your website you will have lost the ability to track them with call extensions.

Phone Call Tracking

When it comes to phone call tracking there are a couple of tools that we use to get the information that we need. E-Call Tracker is a third-party tool created by E-dreamz for our clients to utilize. It allows us to monitor call tracking metrics from a variety of sources including Google AdWords & Bing. The dashboard interface is very simple to use allowing us to keep track of clients, the specific forwarding numbers that they are using, and generate monthly reports based off of the total amount of call received. This is a tool that can be utilized in unison with the call extensions of Google & Bing creating a new cohesive layer in the world of call tracking.

If clients decide not to use our in-house option of E-Call Tracker, we recommend they take a look at utilizing Call Tracking Metrics. This is another third party tool that focuses on providing quality call tracking solutions with an easy to use reporting interface. It allows you to know exactly which ads are leading to phone calls and track calls back to website visitors and keyword level. This software is great for tracking online campaigns like AdWords & Bing. Real-time reporting helps you to see what is working and what is not. Call Tracking Metrics also utilizes a tracking code that has to be put on the back-end of your website. This code tracks the calls that come in, linking to your account, providing real-time data. The ability to do this at a granular level ads even more value to the world of call-tracking.

Website Call Conversions

Google recently launched Website Call Conversions, which enables dynamic insertion of a phone number on a website for free. This number measures the calls made by customers who land on your website through a search ad. Whether they click on the number or dial it directly from their phone, the call conversion and conversion value can be linked back to the keyword that drove the customer there in the first place. This allows you to see which ads are driving the most valuable traffic to the website. Values can be assigned to those providing more traffic and you can optimize keyword bids to improve the value even further. The only downside is that Website Call Conversions will only track PPC traffic from Google AdWords since it is their proprietary tool. If you want details from other sources, I recommend using one of the two options that I mentioned earlier.

Call-Tracking is an interesting area of the reporting process in general. It can be its on entity and a valuable source of data and metrics all at the same time. We want our clients to have as much information as possible in regards to their campaigns and this is just one of the tips of the proverbial iceberg. If you have any questions, reach out and let us know. We will guide you in the right direction.

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By: Aaron Gingras

Digital Marketing Strategist