Can You Hear Me Now? PPC and Call Tracking
Let’s face it, when it comes to marketing of any kind, the questions on any business owner’s mind are “Am I getting the return on my investment?” and more importantly “Are you getting my phone to ring?”.
The Problem with Tracking Phone Calls
Tracking the true result of phone calls generated from any advertising source traditionally has been a complex and sometimes difficult task. With multiple media sources for your business to advertise on, business owners usually start with the phone call itself and simply ask the question.
The problem with relying on your staff to ask “How did you hear about us?”, only works IF the question is asked. Even then, getting the correct and specific response from a user to track back to the original ad source can be hit or miss. “I saw your magazine ad” doesn’t specify which magazine, which month of publication (was that last years ad?) or even which variation. “I saw you on the internet” can be an equally vague response, and one that all digital marketing agencies face as a challenge when proving the value of their services.
Navigating Multiple Leads
If you are like any other business in the world, you’re probably not relying on just one source of advertising. Print, radio and television have been around for years, but digital marketing has opened up opportunities for even the smallest basement startup to afford advertising.
With digital marketing, “the internet” just doesn’t cut it as a lead source any more. With paid text ads, video and video ads, social media and social ads on social sources, as well as natural organic search results it can be difficult pinpointing the source of a phone call – unless you have the proper tracking in place!
Connecting the Call to the Source
Despite all of the incoming lead options for a phone call, business owners have several options for tracking the source. The good news – digital marketing has made this task easier and more reliable than ever before.
Business owners can rely on their IT departments and their digital marketing agencies to provide several number of solutions for call tracking, some old and some new. Each has pros and cons but with the right combination you can get a much clearer picture of your advertising expenses and return on investment.
Call Tracking – The OLD way
- Custom unique phone numbers
- Unique phone extensions
- Code Identifiers
Before digital marketing, the best way of tracking phone calls was to purchase a unique number for each lead source. The cost of multiple phone lines in the past limited this method. Where companies had the advantage of specific phone extensions, these could be used in the same fashion while allowing a single universal phone number. Another method involved the “special code”. We still see these today in the form of coupon or discount codes that allow tracking back to an ad source.
Call Tracking – The New Way
- Custom unique phone numbers
- Call tracking conversion scripting
- Call tracking number pools
Nope, thats not a mistake. Unique phone numbers are still one of the best ways to track calls. Now in the digital age multiple phone numbers have become more affordable and in some cases even free. Google owns a large pool of phone numbers and offers them to users specifically for call tracking. Backend coding of websites can now help not only track calls, but click-to-calls from mobile devices. Number tracking pools allow for dynamic number swapping on your website or landing page and allow an extremely high level of tracking – right back to the specific ad and search term, and often providing advanced metrics like user location and call recording.
Every business owner knows ultimately knows that it’s about making money (even if the end goal is a beachhouse in Maui). In the meantime, there are still bills and employees to pay along the way. Proper phone tracking helps you know where your marketing dollars are being spent and where you are getting the best return to help turn that dream into reality.