The total number of calls to businesses has been growing and is only continuing to do so.
The hotel industry still receives more than a quarter of their reservations from over the phone.
And when compared to web leads, calls convert 10 to 15 times more often.
They’re much more important than you probably think.
But the problem is that many marketers and businesses don’t track the source these calls come from, so they aren’t able to attribute the conversions generated to a specific campaign.
In fact, by not tracking calls, you could be missing as much as 80% of your conversions.
Talk about missed opportunities!
Thankfully, there are marketing platforms and tools that can help you track these calls and the impact they have on your business in an easy and friendly way.
I’m going to show you everything you need to know to set up your call tracking analytics dashboard and track offline calls with online data.
But first, you need to understand what call tracking is all about and how it can benefit your business.
The importance of call tracking
Landline phones are a thing of the past. RIP.
But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t calling your business, especially since cell phones are everywhere these days. And it doesn’t look like that’s going to change any time soon.
Calls to businesses from smartphones will reach 162 billion by 2019.
Marketing efforts on social media and search engines lead to many users calling your business directly.
If you don’t track these leads, your campaigns won’t be as effective, and you won’t be able to improve their performance.
The problem is many businesses don’t track their offline calls with online data, which makes it virtually impossible for them to determine the true budget needed for marketing their business.
And there are so many call tracking services that you might not know where to even begin.
Choose a call tracking service that works best for your business
Not every call tracking service provider is created equally.
That’s why you need to look for call tracking software that can help you track the revenue and value tied to your calls.
If you aren’t already using Google’s call tracking features, you should be. Here’s why.
Use Google’s Call Tracking feature to track “click to call”
Have you ever searched for a business on your mobile phone and noticed that Google maps out nearby locations, lists store hours, and gives you directions?
As if that isn’t already helpful enough, Google even places a “Call” button next to each relevant result.
Once you click the call button, Google will automatically bring up the number of the business location you selected on your phone.
When you confirm the call by hitting the second “Call” button, your call will officially begin.
This is a feature known as “click to call.”
As long as you manually tag each phone number listed on your site, you can rest assured that your phone numbers are enabled for the “click to call” feature.
To mark phone numbers on your site as links, you can use the following code:
NIST Telephone Time-of-Day Service
<a href=”tel:+1-303-499-7111″>+1 (303) 499-7111</a>
Tracking conversions from phone numbers listed on your site is simple with a Google call forwarding number.
To use it, sign up for Adwords and create a minimum of one active campaign. Then, list a phone number on your site that can be tracked using Google Tag Manager.
Place the Tag Manager code on every page of your website.
This will fire up an event in Google Analytics that you can choose to set as a goal and then track conversions right from your Analytics dashboard.
This process can help you determine how well your ad clicks are leading to the number of incoming phone calls that you want to see.
Google’s call tracking features are great, but they’re not always enough if you want to know where you truly stand. So you might need a call tracking tool to help you out.
The good news is that most call tracking software providers offer free trials, so you can test them out at no cost before finding and committing to the one that works best for you.
Here are a few tools that you can try out in combination with Google Analytics to get the most out of your call tracking efforts, starting with CallRail.
Geo-route calls with CallRail
CallRail gives data-driven marketers all of the call analytics they need to help improve customer acquisition and drive leads.
This software tracks phone calls from both online and offline marketing campaigns, as well as PPC keywords.
Data insights can help you determine which campaigns are performing at their best, and you can even record calls to qualify leads or coach employees to boost conversions.
Geo-routing offered by this service can help you automatically route calls to different numbers by area code or zip code.
If you have different office locations in different areas, this helps to ensure that your callers reach the correct location when they first pick up the phone.
Custom call scheduling can help you customize call routing features depending on current employee availability or business hours.
That means you and your team will be less likely to miss calls or connect callers with the wrong staff members.
A 14-day free trial is available, and no credit card is needed to try this tool out.
Manage leads and web form tracking with WhatConverts
WhatConverts is a similar tool to consider that can help you keep track of offline calls.
With WhatConverts, you can track conversions and leads from phone calls and chats.
Conversions and leads are viewable by campaign, keyword, ad, landing page, and marketing source.
With this software, you can manage, sort, and filter leads to uncover what your best marketing channels are (and who your best leads are).
Call recording is also available, as well as web form tracking.
And a 14-day free trial is available.
PhoneWagon: the top-rated call tracking software
PhoneWagon has great ratings according to 2017 reviews from G2 Crowd.
It was rated number one in ease of use, quality of support, and ease of setup.
All of PhoneWagon’s plans include unlimited usage, and you can create a campaign in less than 30 seconds that uses local or toll-free phone numbers.
On your dashboard, you’ll see notifications and an overview of recent calls.
PhoneWagon offers a 14-day free trial. And no credit card is required.
Find in-depth insights with Call Sumo
With Call Sumo, you can identify which sales and marketing efforts are bringing in the most phone calls, qualified leads, and conversions.
Track marketing channels online and offline or try out the Mobile Call Tracking feature.
AI-enabled caller ID uses historical and live data to determine which callers are new leads.
You can listen to calls live or obtain call recordings and transcriptions to track missed sales opportunities. Every call that comes in is pre-set with a recorded tracking number.
And if you don’t have time to listen to recorded calls, a Call Sumo call analyst can listen to them for you.
For each advertisement you have, Call Sumo will give you a unique phone number. That way, you’ll know which advertisement brought each of your callers in.
On your dashboard, you can even filter to view only calls from specific ads.
Detailed, real-time reports can help you uncover what your top call source, call day, call hour, and keywords are:
You can view which sources your calls are coming from, information about the average duration of calls, and data about total visitors.
Data is also available about new and repeat callers, as well as new visitors.
Now that you know the basics of call tracking software, you need to know which metrics to pay the closest attention to.
Top metrics to track for success
If you don’t track metrics, you can’t track your successes. Or your failures.
To find out where to improve your online marketing efforts, you have to follow the right KPIs.
One huge benefit to using call tracking software programs is that you can analyze different metrics to see if your campaigns are actually working.
Here are a few metrics that I recommend looking at when launching a call tracking campaign.
Monitor overall call volume
Call tracking records the total number of phone calls you receive, which eliminates the need for you to keep track of this information yourself.
But detailed reports can show call patterns, which helps you grasp a better understanding of your ROI.
For example, when you can see which days or times of the day yield the most calls and which callers contact your business, you’ll be able to optimize your strategies to match the data.
Most call tracking software provides a call volume summary, like this one from CallRail.
It’s available right from your phone call dashboard. On it, you can view total calls, average duration, missed calls, first-time callers, leads, and your qualified call rate.
Keep track of each type of call
To find out which devices and sources your calls are coming in from, you need to segment them.
To segment your calls by the device in AdWords, click the “Segment” drop-down button from the Campaigns, Ad groups, Ads, or Keywords tab and choose “Click type.”
Then, you’ll be able to see the click types listed as rows in your statistics table. If you don’t see any, you haven’t received that type of click.
When you view call types shown in your segments, you’ll be able to see clicks-to-call, mobile phone calls, and manually dialed calls.
This report will also show you whether these clicks came from laptops, desktop computers, or tablets, and are categorized as “click types” in AdWords.
The “Mobile clicks-to-call” row will reveal the number of clicks from call buttons to mobile devices.
The “Clicks” column shows the total number of clicks made from mobile call ads.
The “Calls” column uncovers the total number of calls made because of these clicks.
The “Manually dialed phone calls” row lists the total number of times your custom Google forwarding number was manually dialed from desktop or tablet ads (if you have one).
In most call tracking tools like WhatConverts, you should be able to view similar information such as how many calls were made from organic, paid, referral, or social sources.
Call attribution by keyword(s)
You already know how important it is to use the right keywords on your website to boost SEO.
But you need to use the right keywords to drive phone calls, too.
When you know which keywords are the driving force behind calls and conversions, you’ll know what you need to change (or keep the same) with PPC campaigns and keyword usage.
Once you see which keywords are performing well and which ones aren’t, you can fine-tune your strategy.
In CallRail, you can view call attribution by keyword(s).
And you can change the attribution depending on your goals.
Total call duration
Some calls pull in better leads than others do.
And the longer the call, the more likely it is to become a quality lead.
A prospect isn’t going to waste a ton of time talking with you or your team if they aren’t interested in your products or services.
When you know the length of each of your calls, you’ll be able to see which campaigns, keywords, landing pages, and ads are generating longer conversations.
AKA the best leads.
Call duration reports can help you find out which leads are hot and which leads aren’t worth any more investment.
In PhoneWagon, the duration of each call is listed right on your dashboard, next to the number, status, and campaign that directed the call.
Log every missed call
As many as 85% of people who don’t receive an answer during their first call won’t call back.
Sometimes, people will call your business and won’t reach a human.
That’s unavoidable unless you hire an answering service or have phone representatives on-hand to answer calls 24/7.
When you miss a call, customers will either get what they need from your recorded message (like your hours), which solves their problem.
Or, they will go ahead and leave a voicemail telling you what they need.
But they’re more likely to skip leaving a voicemail and just give up. You’re probably never going to hear from them again.
And that could mean a lost lead.
When you log all of your missed calls, you can ensure that you capture almost every generated lead that calls you by calling them back.
In AdWords, you can view missed calls by viewing available call details.
To view these, click the Columns drop-down menu on the Campaigns, Ad, Ad groups, or Keyword Tab.
Then, choose “Modify columns.”
From the “Modify columns” menu, choose “Call details” below “Select metrics.”
Then click “Add” next to the data you’re interested in viewing.
Add the columns from “Call details” that you want by clicking “Add.”
Next, click the “Apply” button at the bottom of your window. Then, you’ll be able to see these new columns with the rest of your statistics.
These are the call details that will be available to you:
Status (missed or received)
Caller area code
View the Status details to find out how many calls you’re missing overall.
With PhoneWagon, you can set up an automated text message that will be sent immediately after receiving a missed call.
You can enter a customized message that will be sent to let your callers know that they’re important to you.
Based on these metrics, you’ll be able to calculate the ROI of your calls.
Calculate your call-based revenue stream
There are a few different ways that you can track phone call conversions.
The first is calls from ads. When tracking calls made from call-only ads or any kind of call extensions you’re using, set a minimum call length.
Then, count every call that lasts at least that long as a conversion.
The second way to track conversions is to look at the total number of clicks on your mobile website.
Track the calls made when someone clicks your ad, then a phone number, link, or button on the mobile version of your site.
The third method to track conversions is by setting a minimum call length for calls to a particular phone number on your site.
Track any calls made when someone clicks your ad and then compare that to calls made on a forwarding number on your site.
Any calls that last longer than your minimum set length can be considered conversions.
Finally, import call conversion data that you’ve been tracking from a different system into AdWords.
That way, you’ll have more control over which calls are being considered conversions.
Compare the total number of phone conversions to the conversions you obtain from the web and your total ad spend.
This should give you a good idea of how well your call tracking efforts are (or aren’t) paying off.
Opt for a Google forwarding number if you don’t already have one to make this process even easier.
If you think that nobody makes phone calls anymore, you’re mistaken. Businesses are receiving more and more calls every year.
Calls convert more often than web leads because callers are usually more qualified of leads than web leads are.
But tons of marketers and businesses aren’t tracking the source of their calls, which means that they can’t track conversions for specific campaigns precisely.
To make matters worse, not tracking conversions could lead to the loss of at least 80% of them.
Luckily, there are tons of call tracking platforms and services that can help you track calls and how they’re impacting your bottom line.
Your efforts across social media and on search engines lead to tons of callers contacting your business directly.
If you don’t track them, your campaigns won’t be as effective as they could be. And you won’t be able to improve their performance.
Choose a call tracking service that works best for your business needs. Start out by setting up Call Tracking with Google to track “click to call” links on your site.
Next, enlist the help of the detailed analytics provided by a call tracking tool like CallRail, WhatConverts, PhoneWagon, or Call Sumo.
Then you have to track the right metrics to be successful. Track call volume so that you know how many calls are coming in.
Monitor the types of calls so that you know which devices people are finding your number from in addition to their traffic source.
Track which keywords are leading people to the ads that are causing them to call you. And monitor call duration to find out which leads are actually qualified.
Every missed call is a potential missed lead. Log every missed call so you can reach back out to the callers that couldn’t get a hold of you.
Finally, calculate how well your call tracking efforts are paying off by figuring out how many true conversions you’re pulling in from phone calls. Adjust your efforts accordingly.
Which online call tracking service do you use to track offline calls?
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