As much people love the web, there are always those who prefer to use the phone number on the site to inquire about company’s products and services. An important question to consider is how accurately are you accounting for phone sales when planning your ad budget? What follows are several simple ways for small business owners to figure out which traffic source generates the most phone calls.
Adding A Second 800 Number
If you’re just testing a new traffic source and want to accurately track the results, simply get another 800 number from your current phone provider to be placed on a page designed for a specific ad campaign. Everything else should remain unchanged — just change the phone number. Subsequently, when you’ll get your monthly bill, you’ll know exactly the number of phone calls generated. This is a great method to test “natural” vs. pay-per-click traffic.
Multiple 800 Numbers
Two or more 800 numbers are an excellent way if you’re running multiple campaigns and cannot afford to wait for your next month’s phone bill to figure out the results, there are companies out there that can help. For example, CallSource is able to provide you with multiple 800 numbers, up-to-date call length reporting and call recording. In order to tests multiple 800 numbers, simply create multiple pages with the same content, but different 800 numbers. Essentially, you would be looking at your phone activity as it happens, which can aid in making the best marketing budget allocation decisions. Two or more 800 numbers is excellent way to test “natural” vs. specific pay-per-click search engines (Ex.: Google AdWords vs. Yahoo! Search Marketing vs. Ask.com)
As a note, if you don’t want to deal with swapping the numbers, ask your IT team to create a simple script identifying traffic source based on the tag appended to the URL (Ex.: www.example.com?source=GooglePPC or www.example.com?source=PressRelease) and have the script swap the numbers you have purchased automatically. Make sure that you have a default number, though, in case the user comes in through “natural” sources.
Advanced Pay-Per-Click Reporting
If you’re spending over $10,000 in pay-per-click it might be worth investing into a system that will accurately report keywords that generated the call. It’s called ClickPath, and the beauty of the system is that it allows you to connect specific keyword phrases in your campaigns to a specific phone call. It works through a pool of numbers assigned to your account that are being circulated as traffic pours in. It is great for identifying keywords in the account that are not generating revenue/leads online but might be generating calls (It is not uncommon to find that broad keywords that are underperforming according to online metrics are not actually doing that bad once the phone calls are factored in). Advanced pay-per-click reporting is great way to test broad (general) keywords in pay-per-click.
There are a couple of things you should keep in mind. First, regardless of the option you would want to explore, make sure to calculate your calls-to-conversions ratio (if you’re an ecommerce store) or consider phone lead quality (if you’re a lead-generation site). Additionally, if the data tells you that answering phones just drains employee resources or happens to produce low quality leads, don’t hesitate to remove the phone number from the site.
Online success is typically all about testing. With phone call tracking, your resulting reports will be much more accurate