Sixty-five percent of customers find it more convenient to contact businesses by phone, as compared to only 24% who prefer to fill out a web form.
That is why digital marketers must combine data for offline call conversions and web-based conversions – to show businesses a clear picture of their ad’s performance.
The results of call tracking, attributing and reporting give you insight into:
- Which keywords are generating calls.
- Which digital advertising channels are worth the investment.
- Other useful information that helps mold your business’s marketing strategy.
The one thing you need to consider before enhancing your call tracking and reporting strategy is which metrics you are going to measure to see whether you’ve achieved your goals.
Here are the seven most significant metrics you should track.
1. Call Source
Knowing which campaigns and ads drive the most calls simplifies the process of deciding where to focus your efforts and budget in the future.
But how exactly can you get this information if you have the same phone number listed in newspapers, social media channels, newsletters, advertisements, and landing pages?
To ensure an effective call tracking and reporting strategy, use dynamic phone numbers.
Pay attention to the ‘Number Dialed’ and ‘Call Routed To/Destination’ columns to see which ads generate the most frequent calls.
Choosing Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) over ordinary static phone numbers leaves you with a number of advantages:
- You can independently track the performance of each campaign. This is especially helpful when you need to see how successfully different campaigns perform with the same messaging.
- Seeing an extensive list of phone numbers on your website can be confusing for your customers. Dynamic phone numbers automatically present only local phone numbers associated with a prospect’s location.
- Manage your phone numbers effectively. Modern call tracking platforms allow marketers to notice unused numbers and recycle them for new campaigns.
2. Call Volume
By tracking your call volume, you gain access to attribution data, and you can see which ads drive the majority of calls. It also gives you insight for better understanding ROI.
Detailed call volume reports show you valuable call patterns, which is just as important as collecting data on the number of website visits.
Although neither gives a clear picture of marketing-generated revenue, they still highlight which things are working (or not).
Call volume is a perfect metric for tracking the success of recent updates to your SEO and PPC strategies.
For example, you have just optimized your Google My Business account. You fill out most of the fields with company data, upload new photos, and respond to all comments and reviews.
How will you measure the success of this action?
Pay attention to the numbers of:
- Viewings in search.
- Viewings in maps.
- Photos viewings.
- Queries, users used to find your business.
- Website visitors.
- Maps searches.
Track your call volume metrics to see the growth in the percentage of inbound calls after GMB account optimization.
Knowing whether your changes were successful, you can set further goals for driving more calls.
3. Conversation Duration
As you can see from the above chart, not all calls have equal value.
You might have 20 calls per day, but what’s the point if most of them last less than a minute?
The longer the conversation lasts, the more chances you have to convert a lead into a customer.
After all, why would a person waste so much time speaking with your team if they aren’t interested in your product or service?
Lasting and meaningful conversations don’t come to your business that easily.
They are generated by the entirety of your marketing efforts (SEO, social, PPC, display advertising and remarketing).
Track call duration metrics to see the length of each call, and to determine which campaigns drive the most effective calls.
4. Time of Phone Calls
One of the most valuable things about call tracking is that it tells you what time of day drives the largest percentage of conversions.
This data is vital for any advertising campaign, regardless of which services or products you are offering, or which PPC providers you are using to track inbound calls.
With this information, you can spot the connection between the time of the day and call frequency. Make note of these patterns and leverage them to arrange your PPC ads more efficiently.
For example, let’s say your client is a local restaurant.
While monitoring major call tracking metrics over a couple of weeks, you are likely to see a call boom on Fridays and weekends around noon.
What about work days? If the restaurant is located in a business area, far away from tourists traps, you may notice a low call rate during weekday working hours.
Your obvious decision would be to increase your ad budget for the period from Thursday evening through the weekend, and to reduce the number of ads shown from Monday to Thursday.
To catch your customers’ attention, consider changing the message and adding special offers for low traffic days and hours.
5. Landing Page Performance
When visiting your PPC landing page, users are usually given several options for contacting your business:
- Fill out a contact form.
- Start an online conversation using the on-site chatbot.
- Pick up the phone and call.
Without call tracking, your PPC conversion rate will seem much lower than it actually is.
If you only gather data about the number of forms filled out and messages in online chat, you will miss out on a lot of helpful details for your marketing strategy.
6. First-Time Callers
A first-time caller is someone who has never called your business before. This is an important segment of your business’s target audience because it represents potential new customers.
Consider separating data on first-time callers from repeat callers. Some Google Analytics integrations even let you parse out the callers’ phone numbers and session details for better data analysis.
By isolating first-time callers, you can more deeply analyze their behavior on the site and see which pages they visited right before calling you.
This can give you an idea of which pages perform well and which pages need improvement. It will also give you insights on how well your marketing strategy is working.
Exclude repeat customers from the list and see how many new leads you got over the past month. Does this number match your initial goals?
In fact, you can even improve your ROI by taking a more personalized approach to first-time callers, and to those who have already reached your business.
7. Previous Interactions
Enterprises that use complex sales cycles and funnels know that a phone call is rarely the first interaction between the customer and the brand.
Prospects tend to go through your website, social media channels and reviews from various sources before deciding to speak with sales.
Therefore, it is important for marketers to track interactions that occurred prior to the inbound call:
- Queries a prospect used for searching.
- Keywords that brought the user to your website.
- Webpages that the visitor read before making a call.
- The way visitors interact with digital content.
Some sophisticated platforms allow you to capture both website and call metrics, so you can monitor the user’s digital journey leading up to the call.
With such cutting edge technologies, you can see which marketing techniques are most effective for driving prospects deeper into the purchasing funnel.
Choose Your Tracking Metrics Wisely
When deciding which metrics are most necessary to measure, consider your marketing goals and business size.
Small businesses usually set up 3-5 dynamic phone numbers for social networks, Google Ads, and organic and direct traffic. The numbers are changed by the system according to the source, or by a specially developed plugin.
Thanks to cookies in the user’s browser, the visitor will see the same phone number each time they approach your business online.
Larger companies that operate marketing funnels often prefer to connect more complicated systems to their CRMs that allow them to make the best use of call tracking and reporting, enabling them to more accurately measure ROI.
To Sum Up
The most crucial metrics you should track to comprehend the real outcome of your call tracking strategy are call time of day, call volume and source.
Integrating call reporting into your business CRM system is an excellent option for complex marketing solutions, where all conversions must be measured accurately.
- Can Call Tracking Solve the Last-Click Attribution Problem?
- 10 Reasons You Should Invest in Call Tracking
- How to Prevent Call Fraud in PPC Campaigns
All screenshots taken by author, March 2019