Field any calls today?
Any idea where those calls originated?
Billboards, print ads, rack cards, commercials, postcard campaigns, and Pay Per Click (PPC) ads – your company attracts attention from so many different places online and out in the wild. Call tracking is an integral part of determining which efforts persuade prospects to reach for the phone.
Contrary to popular belief, the phone call is alive and well. Most importantly, calls signify intent. Studies have shown that customers who take the time to phone a business are already primed for conversion. And people want to connect with other people. Some experts say that calls are up to 10 times more effective than funnel form requests.
AdWords campaigns, alone, can be a phenomenal source of phone business. If you are not using call tracking to evaluate your Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, chances are good that your Return on Investment is not coming through loud and clear.
Does this ring any bells? More than half of the world’s searches stem from mobile devices these days, and that trend is only growing stronger. Google estimates more than 40 million calls are driven by PPC ads every month. Of these, approximately 70 percent are made directly via the ad, itself.
Call tracking for PPC is essential, and it can be achieved in one of three ways.
- A Google AdWords call extension
- An AdWords extension with a Google forwarding number
- A third party call tracking service
At the most basic level, an AdWords call extension allows a business to add its phone number to a PPC advertisement. While phone numbers appear static on a desktop search, they become clickable “Call” buttons on mobile devices, allowing users to immediately connect with a business, and significantly boosting that business’s click-through rates.
Extensions are somewhat limited by themselves, however, as they divulge only the number of calls made to your business based on respective clicks. Using a Google forwarding number broadens the scope a bit. Google assigns these unique numbers to AdWords campaigns and routes the resulting calls to the advertiser’s local phone number. A wealth of data, including a call’s area code and start and end times, can then be gathered. Advertisers can also track calls as conversions if they last longer than a specified period of time.
While AdWords call tracking services can offer a great departure point for companies interested in learning more about their call volume and frequency, inherent limitations include an inability to parse details down to the keyword level. For that kind of specificity, a third party, fully-integrated call tracking service is needed. Online services, readily available via Google search, can trace calls back to specific keywords, ad groups, and campaigns on both mobile and desktop devices. These tools can also synch with all marketing efforts, even allowing advertisers to verify customer service by reviewing recorded calls.
The bottom line? Completing an online form is far from the only action a potential customer can take. Moreover, many mobile users do not want to spend the time – or have the time to spend – filling out an online form that may or may not fulfill their needs. Businesses can no longer discount the impact of phone calls. Prospects rely on interaction with a real human being. Chances are your business does too. Call tracking can ensure you have the right answers when the phone rings again.
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