This week we are featuring guest articles from our PPC Hero allies! We requested submissions from our readers and we received excellent responses from some great PPC bloggers! The PPC Hero team will return to our regularly scheduled articles next week. Enjoy!

Unfortunately for us search engine marketers, not all retailers take advantage of the e-commerce technology available to them. Some rely on the phone and others rely strictly on face-to-face sales. Most of us want to calmly explain to them the financial opportunities that come from selling their products or services online as opposed to simply promoting them. Some of us want to tie them in a chair until they agree.

A large number of business owners simply can’t sell from their web sites. A custom furniture builder, for example may need to price each job individually, and of course there are those who are simply too set in their ways.

This makes conversion tracking and ROI data difficult to ascertain. But there’s hope!

Dozens of company’s offer call tracking, e-mail tracking and source tracking. Who’s Calling, for example, will place a trackable 800 number in place of the local number on the consumers web site. This allows marketers to trace calls back to the web site or any other endeavors that they employ (including e-mail and affiliate marketing). Click Path, a subsidiary of Who’s Calling takes it a step further. The 800 number ONLY appears when a consumer visits the web site from a specified location (designated by the marketer). Their reporting interface narrows each call down by search engine (or other source), campaign, adgroup and even keyword. They also offer the consumer an option to record the outcome of a call by typing a code into the number pad (12 for sale, 13 for lead and so on). This is possibly the ultimate solution to determining the ROI for any given keyword.

Professionals who don’t have the advantage of working for a big agency who offers in-house technology to their consumers have the opportunity to use the services of company’s like Click Path so they too can offer this reporting to their consumers.

Most call tracking companies offer e-mail tracking as well. Put this on top of the basic conversion tracking that we can all achieve through Google Analytics, and you have acquired a competitive edge.

Other sources for call tracking are:

Call Source

Ad Numbers

Call Fire

Rather than risk jail time, or worse, losing a client, forget about the rope and the chair and offer offline tracking solutions.

Guest Blogger Bio:John Stancliffe is the SEM/SEO Coordinator for the EW Scripps Co. and is the owner and author of  Since 2001, John has managed various search engine marketing and search engine optimization projects for various outlets including manufacturers, retailers and service industries.