Online marketing is not for the faint of heart.
In addition to navigating a spectrum of digital channels and search engine marketing (SEM) campaign options, Web-based marketers face constant pressure to generate more leads, demonstrate higher returns on investment (ROI) and optimize online ad spend.
The online marketing task is made even more difficult by the disconnect that exists between phone-based leads and Web-based marketing initiatives. Traditionally, clicks have been used as the primary indicator of digital marketing success, despite the tendency for consumers to establish phone contact rather than take the time to complete an online form.
According to AdInsight research, 43 percent of all Internet search sales conversions actually take place by phone.
Make a connection
To evaluate and optimize digital channel investments, marketers need a more effective way to connect phone leads to specific online campaigns. One solution is to leverage call tracking, which creates a closer connection between online and offline marketing efforts and enables marketers to tie individual phone leads to specific digital channels – or even targeted keywords that are being leveraged for SEM.
By assigning unique, toll-free and local numbers to phone-based calls-to-action, marketers can demonstrate the impact of online marketing efforts on lead generation.
But savvy marketers can take a call-tracking strategy one step further with keyword-level call tracking. By understanding which keywords generate phone leads, companies gain the ability to optimize PPC strategies and more accurately allocate their digital spend.
The mechanics of keyword-level call tracking are designed to give marketers granular visibility to the keywords that draw specific customers to a phone-based conversion. Based on the source of traffic referral, site visitors are shown unique phone numbers and their traffic source is logged for later use.
When a customer calls using the number displayed on the website, a pop-up menu appears on the salesperson’s computer screen – or is whispered to the sales person on their telephone – providing detailed information about the lead, the keyword or phrase used in their search, the caller’s location and more.
Analyze the data
After the conversation has ended, the salesperson records whether the lead converted to a sale and notes the amount of revenue associated with the call. This valuable data, detailing visits, calls, call durations and conversion rates, is then used by marketers to analyze the campaign, ad group and keyword-level success. If necessary, marketing team members can even listen to audio recordings of sales conversations.
Armed with extremely detailed information about which PPC campaigns and keywords are generating the most phone leads and conversions, marketers can precisely reallocate investments to high-performing campaigns. It’s not uncommon for marketers to discover keywords that are ineffective at driving click conversions are very effective at generating phone leads.
Successful marketing is all about maximizing revenue from channel investments. Call tracking, in particular, enables marketers to gauge the true impact of online campaigns and allocate their company’s PPC/SEO spend to high-performing keywords and digital strategies.
About the author: As CEO and CTO of Ifbyphone, Irv Shapiro is responsible for overall business strategy and corporate leadership. His business success has earned him several awards including induction to the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame and winner of the Executive of the Year category for the Best in Biz Awards.