We talk about tracking a lot in the land of PPC Hero. Tagging URLS. Google Analytics. Keyword-level tracking. We know that the more data we can pull in means a better view of opportunities. Call tracking absolutely, positively falls into this category as well. Call tracking can help you understand the enormous value of mobile PPC or perhaps an opportunity to better allocate your budget. You can see dots connect that you may have never considered as part of your PPC account. Here you’ll find the undeniable reason why call tracking can be extremely valuable and how it can improve your understanding of your target audience.

What is it: Call tracking connects your online marketing efforts with prospective leads/customers who’ve seen your number through an ad or on your site and called you. From call tracking you can access all sorts of data that helps you better identify the quality of your callers as well as opportunities for improved targeting.

How you choose you provider: There are many call tracking services that are available, and several that are prepared to take on your PPC business. Even some can integrate with your Analytics platform, which is extra useful in connecting your user behavior to an anonymous ID. Later in the post we’ll give you a couple samples of what some providers actually look like.

What to know about your call tracking needs: If you’re ready for call tracking, chances are you’ve begun to look into providers and what data you’ll be gathering. If this is your first time really, truly considering call tracking, you should have a vague idea of what kind of call volume you do. This will help with your price estimates. You’ll also want to know what your average call time is, since you’ll typically be paying per minute, too.

Who should be using it? EVERYONE.

  • Obviously if you value a phone contact above all else, you should have already started tracking your calls. No? The time is now. Examples of these clients are those who operate out of conversions that can be best accomplished over the phone, such as reservations or ticket sales.
  •  If converting users can just as easily get a quote/follow-up by dialing you directly. Is it worthwhile to have call agents ready to help someone complete the conversion process or would you just as soon have them do it on their own?
  • If converters often have questions. Is the conversion process confusing or tricky? Do you find yourself walking callers through the conversion process? Call tracking can actually allow to you to perform some CRO through the details obtained in these conversations. At what point do visitors get confused and what changes can be made to your site to improve your close rate?

Who’s still skeptical? – Under what circumstances would you potentially not want call tracking?

  • Do you use a live chat? Because call tracking and live chat both fees associated with them, it’s possible that you want to invest in one over the other, but with properly used tracking for both, you can really narrow down the value in each.
  • If you do not have the support to warrant the targeting. Are you the one answering when the phone rings? Do you offer many many services with a single receptionist on the other end, fielding the calls? If so, it would stand to reason that pushing for more mobile engagement (through calls) might be a little difficult to manage. But honestly, we all know mobile is the latest big wave in PPC and if you’re avoiding it, you’d better have a good reason.

How much bread are we talking?
Pricing structure

  • As mentioned above, you’ll want to have some data available when asking for a quote. First order of business is the number of calls you get. This will determine the pool of numbers you draw from each time a new person gets to your site, prompting the traceable number.
  • Depending on the size of your pool, you are very likely going to get a cheaper cost/minute as your pool increases.

• Add-Ins

  • Many clients request the use of call recording so that they can review the conversations and identify the specific content of the query or even use it as a tool for improving the caller-agent exchange. Some providers include a “comment” section for the notes regarding the call’s quality.

• Free Add-Ins

  • Because quality if paramount when talking about “leads” as conversions, a highly recommended tool would be a quality recording option. Some call tracking providers utilize the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) following the call, in which the call agents can record details about the call’s quality. Some providers also allow for call agents to enter the interface and make note of the quality directly into the call details.
  • You can also access reporting tools within the provider’s interface, which allow for graphs and tables charting the traffic your account has seen.

Example: IfByPhone Call Tracking

  • Sample reports provide a simple snapshot of activity you’ve seen through tracked calls, such as this IfByPhone interface report.

Ifbyphone Reports

  • Below we can see the details provided based on source, number pool, and keywords you’ve included in your tags. You can also use negative keywords to exclude specific searches (such as “Login” traffic, presumed to be pre-existing customers) .

Ifbyphone Data

How to do it?
Typically it starts with a code being placed on your site to show dynamic trackable numbers to your visitors. You also need to create a “postback” page, which serves as an invisible gate between the click and the site. This postback page is simply used as a page-defined goal to trigger tracking and should be a snap to create on your site.
You also want to create proper tracking for any ad associated with your call tracking system, which typically is part of your on-boarding process with your provider of choice. While some providers offer different services, you’ll certainly want to ensure you’re using the provider-recommended snippet to best display any data they’re collecting.

Sold yet?

If this is starting to come together for you, now is the time to build your pitch. Identify your existing mobile presence, the engagement you’ve seen with current call extensions, and any additional details you’ve witnessed for PPC-based call traffic.

From there, the opportunities abound! Need more? Reach out to your PPC Heroes for recommendations and follow-up tips!