Call tracking is a form of conversion tracking that allows you to determine how many phone calls you’re receiving due to your pay-per-click advertising.
Let’s say you’re running an ad that offers free project management tools as a lead magnet. Your landing page is designed to capture leads. However, not everyone who lands on this page will fill out your contact form. Many of them will call you instead. If you’re not tracking your calls, you won’t be aware of how these calls are being prompted.
For example, if you generate 2000 leads a month and about 40% are calls, you are essentially working blind with a large proportion of your PPC budget. You’re entirely ignorant of the source of 800 potential customers. With call tracking, you can optimize your marketing to drive more calls and more success.
There are two types of calls you can track. The first type is those received directly from your ads. This is when people search on a smartphone and directly press the phone call button next to your advert. You will be charged for each call you receive in the same way that regular PPC ads charge you for every click.
The other type is phone calls prompted by your website. You receive these types of calls when someone clicks on your ad, lands on your website, sees your phone number, and manually dials it into their phone. This type of call is inherently more difficult to track because the conversion is not registered in your PPC campaign analytics.
When executed successfully, call tracking can help you to refine and improve your marketing campaigns. However, you need to be aware of the pitfalls. Here are 6 common mistakes that will harm your PPC campaign.
1. Not using Dynamic Call Tracking.
So you’ve set up your pay-per-click ads on multiple platforms. You’ve got big shiny calls to action which encourage the viewer to give you a call. But when the calls come flooding in, you don’t know by which advert or platform each call has been triggered.
This is where Dynamic Call Tracking comes into play. It allows you to track what was previously untrackable. Dynamic Call Tracking enables you to track or change your phone number’s last three or four digits based on the site visitor’s source. Just as you use SKUs to track your inventory’s movement, you can use Dynamic Call Tracking to track your inbound leads’ movement.
You can set this up just for Google Ads traffic, Facebook traffic, or for all sources of traffic if you find this helpful. The last three or four digits of your phone number change to allow the Dynamic Call Tracking provider to identify that a tracking number has been called. This allows the conversion to be logged.
Most importantly, in the case of Google Ads, especially, is the ability to find out the exact keyword that prompted the phone call.
Image Source: Wordstream
2. Not having an omnichannel approach.
Most businesses make the mistake of not following up on calls adequately with an omnichannel approach. Just because an interaction starts as a phone call doesn’t mean that communication should be limited to this form of communication. You should implement an omnichannel sales process, which only begins with the calls you receive.
This means that your inbound call agent doesn’t just handle calls; they act as a complete virtual customer assistant. They should make sure that all your calls are logged into a CRM tool. These calls should then be followed up with the same attention you would dedicate to any other type of customer.
If you’re collecting an email address on a call with a user, you should send an automated follow-up email to wrap up the call with an actionable message inside. Not only does this keep the customer engaged, but you can start to track the open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates of these emails per phone number.
By doing this, you’ll see critical leading indicators of call quality beyond what call times alone can show you. Additionally, you’ll get quicker feedback than if you just wait for sales reports to come back.
3. Not scoring leads.
The concept of lead scoring, or call scoring, relates to the performance of different call sources. How meaningful or actionable are they? Every online advertiser knows that not all clicks are created equal. Many factors affect the value of a click, such as the keyword searched within the ad copy and the site the ad was running on.
Call scoring extends this concept. Be mindful of specific metrics that will help you to understand the actual value of a call better. A sophisticated marketer would never put a flat price on the value of a click to their website without evaluating what happened after a visitor’s arrival. Similarly, you should never assess a call campaign’s success by considering how many calls you received alone.
The easiest thing to look at beyond raw call count is call duration. It’s not a perfect metric, but it can paint you a much more informative picture than your raw call count.
For instance, you may find that calls that last under two minutes are unlikely to be of any value to your business. There is no meaningful customer engagement. Rather than counting the number of total calls you receive, you would be better off counting the number of phone calls that last more than two minutes.
Even more crucially, take a look at the ratio of long to short calls. Not only will the short calls be likely to have little or no value, but a noticeably higher ratio of short calls from a particular source often indicates below-average quality on longer calls from the same source.
4. Not calculating the expected revenue per call.
While looking at call time is a step in the right direction, it’s certainly not all you should rely on. If you’re not able to discover the results of calls yourself, make sure you set up feedback loops to integrate the true sale or revenue numbers.
You should be retrieving the actual revenue number for each of your inbound call tracking numbers. Divide this by the number of total calls to calculate the average expected revenue per call. Make sure this is factored into the revenue calculations for the pages on which these calls are generated. Ensure it’s also incorporated into the ROI metric for the media spend that it took to attract the user.
Another vital element to increase the expected revenue per call is to prioritize the distribution of your calls. This allows you to make sure that your top-performing phone agents are fielding your highest value calls instead of your agents in training. It’s effective business management to optimize your call distribution in this way, as it can significantly impact your calls’ overall value.
5. Not optimizing keywords.
Another common error is not optimizing keywords based on the data received from tracking your calls. This is a vital part of marketing for small business.
Let’s say you have 100 keywords in your Google Ads account. You see that 20 of those keywords have a reasonable cost per lead and cost per sale based on onsite conversions. But it’s the other 80 keywords in the account that cause an issue. How do you know which ones to turn up, which ones to turn down, or which ones to turn off altogether?
Some of these keywords may be costing you money without any return whatsoever. To maximize the value of your PPC budget, you need to optimize your keywords.
To this end, knowing the value of every keyword in your Google Ads or Facebook account is so important. You can obtain more customers by allocating more spend towards the keywords or ads that are proven converters. Of course, you should also move your spend away from weak areas. You must cut wastage to get a better PPC ad performance from the same spend.
6. Not recording calls.
The final mistake people make when call-tracking is not recording calls. Many people don’t record calls because they use a software solution like Twist, which has limited file storage. Many other people just don’t understand its benefits.
When you record your calls, you can access and re-listen to them at any given time. Recorded calls are a bank of information that you can use to make adjustments to your PPC campaign.
Listening to calls allows you to evaluate the types of leads you are garnering from a particular source. How strongly does this audience and its problems overlap with those of your target audience? Is the source a location worthy of your PPC budget spend?
Recording calls allows you to monitor and assess the work of your call center. It will enable you to complete a call center quality assurance evaluation sheet and determine whether your staff are doing their best job to help prospective clients get the answers they need. Are employees using the tools you’ve given them? Are they using excellent sales skills to resolve customer queries? Listening to the recorded calls makes it much easier to determine whether inbound leads are being dealt with professionally.
About the Author
Victorio Duran III is the Associate SEO Director at RingCentral, a global leader in cloud-based communications and collaboration solutions. He has over 13 years of extensive involvement on web and digital operations with diverse experience as web engineer, product manager, and digital marketing strategist.