Your phone rings at the office and on the other end is a potential new customer. That’s ROI from somewhere in your marketing or lead generation efforts – but do you know with certainty from where?
There is a lot to consider when implementing a digital marketing strategy to increase your company’s online presence. Do you have a website that converts and is easy to navigate? What is your Pay Per Click Advertising strategy? Do you understand how to optimize content for SEO purposes?
Of all the things you need to do with your online and offline marketing strategies to yield results, one thing that should be high on the list of importance is call tracking.
I sat down with Hennessey Digital’s Director of Analytics Brandon Caballero to get his expert opinion on why you should implement call tracking on your company’s website.
What Is Call Tracking?
To put it simply, call tracking is an easy attribution tool that is incredibly helpful in measuring your online marketing performance, especially SEO. It’s important when it comes to your analytics because using unique phone numbers helps you pinpoint where online and offline leads originate. Did the caller find you through a Google landing page, direct mail, or a billboard? Just like we’re able to attribute a lead from chat on your website or a lead form submission, using metrics from call tracking enables you to do the same thing.
Why Is Call Tracking Important?
Call tracking is important from a marketing perspective so that you know the source of a call and can attribute it back to the correct channel. If 70-90% of your leads come in from phone calls, knowing what strategies and marketing dollars are driving leads are valuable insights to leverage. If you’re not already using call tracking, here are 5 reasons why you should start right away:
- Increased level of transparency into your marketing performance
Consider this scenario – a potential client is talking to your intake team and shares that they found you by looking you up. But where? And in what way – by name, by location, by need, or by service? With call tracking, the data coming from the phone number used in that campaign can show that the caller found you from your Google Business Profile.
When it comes to consumer behavior, shopping around in the legal industry is quite different than shopping around on Amazon. When a potential client lands on a page on your website, they usually don’t click through 8-9 pages before making a call. The consumer journey is shorter. For law firms, our data shows that a potential client will land on one page and then go to the attorney bios, a case results page, or your contact us page, and call from there. This is why attributing where they see you online and calling from is so important.
- Minimal cost for maximum outcome
“The benefits of implementing this type of service on your website is astronomical while the costs are negligible,” Brandon notes when considering if it fits in your budget. To get started using call tracking you receive a handful of numbers to cover various channels, such as organic, paid search, Google Business Page locations, and legal directories. The cost includes a charge for the physical numbers and is dependent on how many numbers you have, but typically runs only $10-20/mo and then a charge of pennies per minute for the length of the call.
While call tracking typically is affordable, if your firm receives thousands of calls, the cost per month would be higher than a firm that doesn’t. “If call tracking metric costs increase for your company and those calls result in qualified leads, this means people are seeing your marketing – which means more business,” says Senior Director of Marketing Cindy Kerber Spellman. “If you care about the efficiency of your marketing, and the ROI for your different strategies, this incremental spend is all worth it.”
If you care about the efficiency of your marketing, and the ROI for your different strategies, this incremental spend is all worth it.
And if you’re looking for ways to minimize this expense, there are ways to do so. You could use call tracking for specific campaigns or to track organic traffic or paid media traffic, for example. Keep in mind, however, that turning these features off for other campaigns would mean you wouldn’t be able to attribute all leads back to their source.
- Measuring the performance of your Google Business Page listings
When people search using a branded term such as your company’s name or do a more generic search such as “car accident lawyer,” oftentimes they’ll call your business listing if you rank high on the SERP.
The problem, though, is that if you have your main office phone number listed here that is a non-tracked number, it’s difficult to differentiate how the caller discovered you, whether they were referred by a friend or if they found you through a search and placed the call.
- Measure paid search leads with more accuracy
Paid Search is not like SEO where you own the content and it can bear fruit six months down the road. (Have we mentioned that SEO is a long-term strategy?!) Without any form of tracking on phone numbers, it can be complicated to see how effective your paid ads are at driving leads or calls. Brandon explains that, “Paid search works like this – if your PPC campaign is live and someone searches for a term included in your campaign, your ad is eligible to show. If they click your ad, that cost, for example, could be anywhere from $30-150. So if you’re paying $75 per click, you want to know every time someone calls off that click, and that’s what call tracking makes possible.”
- Helps you align marketing efforts back to sales dollars
Instead of wondering what channel is working, know what channel is working. With the correct attributions, you can have a full understanding of what is driving your call volume and revenue. Is it your Google Business Page, PPC, or website? You can also see which pages on your website the potential client was last on before making the phone call. This is helpful when looking at what new content needs to be written as opposed to updating old content for SEO.
Examples When Marketing, Sales, and Analytics Align
“Just like you wouldn’t go into the courtroom and rely only on eyewitness testimony, you need other views of data when it comes to analytics,” says Brandon. “With call tracking you have hard facts. This person searched for this term, landed on this page, spent this much time, and called four minutes later. This joins all marketing efforts and sales results in perfect harmony.”
At Hennessey Digital, we’ve seen our clients benefit from call tracking data. One client came to us wanting to know the cost per case from their digital marketing. We were able to determine that number by looking over a year’s worth of data and matching it up with their intake data, the number of new cases, and call tracking data. Our analytics team can look at the first time a call comes into the office and when the first intake record takes place. If the first call is before the intake or on the same date as the intake, we can determine with high confidence what actions are related and use that in attributing leads and new business to marketing activity.
Another example happened when a client felt that they received the majority of their calls off of branding efforts. On the offset, we couldn’t directly tie every case to brand versus non-brand searches, but we looked at data from Google Business Profiles and saw that far more people were doing discovery searches versus direct searches with the company name. For example, this means more people were searching for “car accident lawyer” instead of the specific law firm. We then took that information and looked at all of the calls that came in and saw that 75% of calls originated from non-branded searches. We then looked at the total amount of cases attributed to Google Business Pages. In reality, the data showed that non-branded searches were how the client was getting cases versus branding searches.
In a nutshell, call tracking makes your job easier because it gives insights into the effectiveness of your digital marketing spend. Allocating a few marketing dollars to track uniquely-generated phone numbers makes the attribution process simpler and your marketing efforts more efficient, without diminishing brand recognition or familiarity of a vanity number. Without a clear understanding of where your clients are coming from, the way you attribute these leads will not be accurate. Making accurate connections clearly identifies what is working in your marketing efforts, which makes your business better at reaching new customers.