In PPC it is important to know how many leads you have and where they come from. This is simple enough to do in AdWords if you are only using Google as your paid channel or Google Analytics if you have more than one marketing channel. Another question my clients ask about their leads is “How good is that lead?” Because of this, my clients use call tracking and as a marketer, I can tell you how knowing some extra bits of data has pivoted some of our paid search strategies.

Call tracking can do more than track calls

New Data

I hadn’t worked with call tracking before until one of my lead generated clients was using it when I received her account. This client uses CallRail and I was able to gain access to the interface and was able to poke around and see each individual call that was made and received for this client. CallRail allowed me to see call lengths, geographical region, and with certain UTM parameters, I could see the keyword level data with match type.

For this particular client, my view into their call tracking changed my perspective of lead goals. Before this, my goal was to achieve as many leads as possible. Now I had an inside view of what was a good lead vs a bad lead and focusing just on lead volume was not going to cut it anymore. In CallRail the client has the ability to go back in and mark if the call was good or not which is great if your client has the time to mark each call. Since this is not always the case, my client instead used the call length as an indicator that the call was good since the person was able to stay engaged for a longer conversation.

Since I now know that call length was important I noticed that our Bing calls had much longer call lengths than our Google calls and the client confirmed that she noticed that quality was higher for Bing calls as well. Before we noticed the difference in the quality of calls, AdWords had 80% of our budget with Bing receiving the other 20%. Within Bing, we noticed there was room for our budget to grow so we were able to reallocate the budget so Bing was able to receive more than the initial 20%. This was a game changer for our client because we were only looking at Bing’s worth based on cost per lead and quantity. Now the strategy is to give more money to Bing and the client is on the same page knowing that search platform brings in fewer leads but much higher quality.


Valued for Multiple Channels

Another one of my clients is an education lead generated client. They use almost a dozen marketing channels and to split up their monthly budget by channel can be tricky. They started using CallRail as well and we spent a lot of time getting their account set up since we needed to know the source of the call, location, keyword, match type, and campaign. We already tracked calls through the client’s call center but the calls were groups by Google Search, Google Display, Bing, and PPC Lead.

The call report we received was great, but that mysterious “PPC Lead” did not help our optimization efforts with our marketing channels that were not AdWords or Bing. By using the source UTM parameter within CallRail we were able to see which vendor was responsible for which calls and also look at the quality of the calls as well. This led to our one search partner vendor, receiving more recognition for their ads because we were able to see that a majority of our non-Google or Bing calls were coming from them. Now when we have some extra budget to push we can count on this vendor since we know they generate calls and the quality is great.

Additional Thoughts

Tracking conversions are necessary for our industry, but with some clients that have call centers, knowing more about the type of conversion is crucial. My two examples above are both about leads, but if you have a call center this type of tracking could give you more detailed information about who called you, from where, and was the call beneficial. Knowing more than just the number of calls have changed my strategy more than twice on how to allocate budget and has started a lot of wonderful conversations between myself and the client. By looking at the data in such a granular way, we work together as partners instead of a vendor and client relationship. I always love having extra data, and with call tracking, I have another source to help me dive into my next big move.

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