For any brands who rely on phone calls to help drive new business and/or customer service, an Ongoing Beta feature in Google My Business (GMB) is sure to be a welcome addition to your measurement protocols. Since the last part of 2020, Google has been sending out emails to select Google My Business Accounts announcing an “experimental feature only available to a small number of users”.
For service based businesses, Pay Per Click Advertising is one of the most cost effective forms of marketing. However, it is very difficult to track certain functions. Most businesses are forced to focus on web forms with CRM integration to track their leads and follow up with potential customers. When leads come in from paid search, they can track them from an analytics platform and goal setup. An additional tool that is often not utilized is call tracking.
Call tracking is not a new concept which helps to differentiate your search campaigns from your other website traffic. Typically, this works by placing a snippet of code onto the website that can alter the phone number when someone enters the site through a paid advertisement. The new phone number is forwarded to an existing phone of the business’s choosing (no additional lines to manage).
When someone calls in through the call tracking number, there is a lot of data that can be provided for analysis. Some of these features would include phone number of caller, call duration, if phone was answered, time of call, and location of caller (if available).
This data can then be used to analyze the effectiveness of paid search efforts and the quality of the phone calls that come in through different marketing campaigns.
Additionally, a company could have multiple call tracking numbers based on the different search engine campaigns they run (Ex: separate tracking numbers for Google and Bing). This would allow you to see which engine delivers more calls and which drives more quality traffic to the website.
Most agencies that offer paid search management offer call tracking options. Inquire with your account manager to find out the details of the programs they provide.
When setting up your marketing plan there are obviously different channels to advertise on, including one or a variety of online, print, radio, T.V., etc. Many ask how you can actually track the calls made to your company through your advertising efforts.
Call tracking is a great way to do this. Through call tracking, you are able to tie incoming calls to where they are coming from, whether that is a radio or TV spot or even an ad online. Call tracking companies usually charge a monthly fee for each number you use for your campaigns; plus a small fee per minute. The call tracking companies also provide extensive reporting to the advertiser such as unique callers, length of call, leads per day, voicemails, etc. They may also include features so that when a customer calls from one of the lines, the advertiser will be notified before they actually begin speaking with the person on the other end of the line. An advertiser also has the ability to set up a recording feature that starts every time the incoming phone calls are answered.
An advertiser can pick out one number for simplicity or multiple numbers channels where they are advertising. Below are a few scenarios of how you may want to use call tracking when you are running multiple ads in a variety of channels, such as newspapers and magazines, online ads, and radio ads on various stations.
Scenario 1 — Purchase one phone number and use it across all of your marketing channels. This will be a measure of potential customers that have actually seen or heard your paid advertisements
Scenario 2 — Purchase different lines, one for print ads, one for online ads, one for radio, etc. Through reporting you could see how your potential target clients are responding to the marketing channel or advertisement being presented.
Scenario 3 — Purchasing multiple lines for each marketing channel. In print for example, you might have one line for the newspaper and one for magazines, or more than one line if you are advertising in a number of newspapers. The same goes for magazines, sponsored online ads and multiple radio stations.
Call tracking is a very unique service to measure your ROI based on where and when the advertisements are running and receiving a better return on your overall investment.