Phone calls are vital to your business. They are likely the point of contact closest to making a sale, and for many types of purchases, people simply won’t spend money if they can’t get someone on the phone. For these types of purchases, if you’re not call tracking, you’re not tracking at all. And if you can’t demonstrate results for your marketing team, questions will start to be asked.
Call tracking is a marketing tool for businesses that ensures you can demonstrate your marketing efforts are paying off. It can give you hard ROI figures to present to your team and company, while behind the scenes it give you the hard data you need to keep improving those numbers.
Call tracking and marketing fit hand in hand, and here are some of the best ways to use call tracking to your benefit as a member of the marketing team.
Track Multichannel Campaigns
Like most companies, your marketing team probably isn’t content doing just one type of advertising. You want to reach your clients wherever they are: in their homes, at work, in their cars—everywhere. And that kind of reach means using more than one type of advertising.
But if your phone is ringing, how are you going to know if it’s your billboard or your website driving the business? Psychologically, fellow colleagues are more likely to assume it’s the billboard if they see it every day on their own drive into work, and it’s only hard data that’s going to show otherwise. The only way you can get hard data comparing the two is if you’re tracking calls coming from each.
You can show search rankings and page clicks until you’re blue in the face, but if your team thinks it’s the billboard that’s making the phone ring, you won’t convince them otherwise. But if you can show them which calls are coming from the website and which are coming from offline marketing efforts like billboards or direct mail campaigns, you can really help your teams understand the winning strategy.
Better Testing for Campaigns
But what if it really is the billboard that’s making the phone ring, and not the website? Then you need to find out why, and the only way to do that is to test. Try one thing. Try another. And keep trying until you’ve pinned down what really works.
But how do you know what really works if you’re not measuring phone calls? You can’t. That’s what makes call tracking vital to your testing efforts. Being able to track both online form completions and phone calls will really improve your testing.
Real-Time Data and Responses
One of the scary things about the testing process is that if you pick the wrong strategy, it can really make leads tank. And that’s real money lost for your company, which can sometimes lead to the loss of other assets, like certain marketing positions.
But one of the benefits of call tracking in marketing is that it helps you watch your campaigns in real time. If a certain online campaign is doing real harm to your efforts, you can identify it right away and pull the plug before too much damage is done.
And the same thing goes for when you stumble onto a really successful strategy: you can divert more resources to the winning campaign as soon as you identify it.
Keyword Level Tracking
There’s a lot of data about what people are searching, but a lot less data about why they’re searching it. In particular, there’s very little data about how searchers who reach your site will behave once they get there. Some of them are just coming for information. Some might want to ask a simple question, and others will be interested in becoming customers.
Call tracking with keyword level tracking answers these questions. When someone reaches a website from a particular keyword search, they are shown a special telephone number, one that links that visitor to their search and to their phone call. That way you know which keywords are worth competing for and which ones are best not to spend the time and resources on.
Comparing PPC and Organic SEO
We’ve previously stressed the need to compare online and offline advertising campaigns on a level playing field. Well, the same is true for different methods of online advertising. It’s important for you to know whether pay-per-click (PPC) and organic search engine optimization (SEO) are pulling their weight.
It’s very easy to get this kind of data for PPC campaigns, but in the past this was a lot harder to do for SEO campaigns. This meant that SEO often wasn’t given enough credit or it was just let slide because it was believed that it was working. But keyword level tracking eliminates that uncertainty—you can know just as much about the effectiveness of organic SEO campaigns as you know about Google Adwords and other PPC campaigns.
Multi Source Attribution
If you are running multiple campaigns for your company, you want to make sure you’re getting credit for all the leads you’re bringing in, not just the ones that fill out a contact form. You want to demonstrate the leads you brought in with PPC–both search and banner ads–, organic SEO, and offline campaigns, such as TV, radio, and print.
Multisource attribution ensures that every report you give your bosses can glow with the full measure of business your team brought in, not just part of it.
Help Your Business Improve Call Intake
But what if the data shows that you are doing your part, but your sales team just isn’t landing the inbound calls? Rather than throw up your hands, call tracking can be combined with many features that can dramatically improve the conversion rate of inbound calls which makes it a business marketing tool that can’t be skipped.
Call recording is a basic feature that allows others to listen to the calls and understand why the prospects aren’t being converted. This can in turn help improve your bottom line. Your company will be bringing in more business from the same number of calls, and that in turn will help you look better, too. Now, instead of just bringing in prospects, you’re bringing in business.
Prospect intelligence is another feature that you can add to any call tracking campaign. This allows you to give intake personnel intelligence they need to anticipate why a prospect is calling. The most common method used is a whisper message that tells your inbound staff information about the caller seconds before your staff answers the phone.
Call management can be used to send calls to specific people within the organization, based on many factors. At its simplest, it can be used to make sure calls reach you even when your office has been relocated to the worksite or at home at the end of the day. But linking calls to keyword searches allows you to funnel callers to the people most likely to be able to help them. This improves customer service and conversion rates.
Show That Marketing Helps Maintain Business
Smart marketers know that bringing in new business is only a fraction of the impact of marketing. Quality marketing, especially brand marketing is focused not just on bringing in new business, but to maintaining old business as well.
Call tracking helps with understanding of all the reasons why people are calling, whether they’re new customers or old. It can be integrated with many types of client relationship management (CRM) software to track all the things that influence people who choose a business repeatedly. This means that you won’t have to provide a separate report or spend time consolidating data from different places—call tracking integrates with everything you’re already doing.
Win the Blame Game
You never really want to play the blame game within your company, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. When there’s bad news on the spreadsheets, the management team is going to look for teams to hold responsible. Good, hard data allows you to show that it wasn’t the marketing team that dropped the ball. Instead, you can show when it was a competing company or the intake staff, as applicable.
And, of course, reporting quality data regularly can help you avoid the blame game. If you’re constantly showing data demonstrating the effectiveness of your efforts, you’ll never have to play the blame game—your company already knows that the marketing team is valuable.
Genuine ROI Data
By linking each call to a keyword search, PPC campaign, or offline marketing channel, you finally have the ability to provide a full account of your activities. This means that you are able to provide ROI data that is not approximate and not estimated—it’s exact.
This exact ROI data will give your bosses the clear picture they need to see why your marketing plans are such a good investment. And you’ll be able to show improvement month-on-month through your own refinements in the marketing process as a result of your testing.
Use Business Marketing Tools that will Provide what you Need
Management teams these days understand that the data is out there, and that there are ways to know exactly how well their advertising campaigns are doing. There isn’t a lot of patience for marketers who ask them to “just trust us.” You can’t claim an effective campaign if you’re not able to definitively link your campaign to true business leads.
Because here’s the thing: with call tracking as part of your marketing strategy, it is possible to give a complete account of your activities. How long do you think your bosses are going to choose a “just trust us” attitude over true, verifiable data?
Use Call Tracking to Win the Future
For a while, it seemed like the rise of Internet shopping was going to eclipse the importance of phone calls and phone tracking, but now phone calls are more important than ever, thanks to the smartphone revolution. Combining the ability to provide in-depth Internet research with the ability to follow up on that research with a phone call at any time from any place has really changed the way people shop.
Your marketing efforts need to be sensitive to the current trends, but also need to be responsive to the trends that develop in the future. And in order to be responsive, you need to have all the data from all your campaigns. Seeing this data in real time will tell you exactly when a campaign changes from leading edge to old hat. It allows you to adjust your marketing efforts on the fly and never be the last to know about the latest marketing trends that really work.
Call tracking takes your marketing out of the past and into the future. Take your first step into the future by learning all the things that call tracking can do for your marketing efforts.
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On October 23, 2015 our Demand Generation Manager, Ashely Coleman and our Content Marketing Manager, Erica Hawkins will be pitching and (with your votes) presenting at B2BCamp Atlanta 2015.
B2B Camp is an unmatched experience with great networking, awesome content and a hip location. Atlanta has been leading the way in modernizing B2B business functions; Marketing, Sales Development, Sales and Customer Success with a perfect ingredient of top local talent, thriving startup community and established large enterprises which is why we are committed to continuing to provide a platform for the local B2B community to unite for one day to share their stories and learn from your peers.
This one-day adventure is sure to bring you some surprises and “nuggets” of knowledge that you will be able to put to use on Monday. The event’s “give before you take” philosophy will be seen throughout the experience:
- Talented speakers (that you get to choose)
- Inclusive group of people who are looking to connect and share their stories
- A commitment to you to make sure this is worth your time (and money)
Ashley and Erica will be speaking on the topic, “Check Yourself, Before You Wreck Yourself: 3 Actionable Strategies to Improve Your Marketing Approach,” a presentation focused on the internal marketing struggle of finding balance between art and science – data and intuition:
How many of us have made marketing decisions based off of our ‘gut feeling’? Or even worse, been forced to execute a marketing program based off of someone else’s gut feeling? In this presentation, we discuss three things you can do differently to put yourself in a position to make informed, confident marketing decisions when executing, tracking, and evaluating campaigns.
The event takes place at ROAM Dunwoody, located at 1155 Mt Vernon Hwy NE, between 8am and 4pm. Purchase tickets, and learn more about the event and proposed sessions at b2bcamp.com.
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The independent authority on search marketing vendors, topseos.com, has named CallRail a call tracking software leader. CallRail was chosen based on their strong performance in an in-depth analysis of the solutions they offer. The rankings consist of vendors which offer a solution to track the source of a call in addition to various metrics and statistics associated with the calls.
These software vendors are investigated in order to uncover which produce the top overall software vendors. This is accomplished through the use of a set of examination criteria consisting of five criteria of evaluation used to benchmark and compare call tracking software vendors based on the most vital aspects. The five criteria of examination used during this process include GUI interface, ease of integration, software features, reporting methods, and support.
For a more in-depth evaluation, the independent research team connects with client references. Clients are questioned to obtain their opinions on the solutions provided to them. This provides valuable insight into the internal processes and methodologies of the software provider offering the solution. In many cases customers contact topseos.com directly to voice their opinions.
Clients of search engine marketing solutions often turn to topseos.com when looking for impressive call tracking software providers. Topseos.com strongly believes in CallRail’s call tracking software and their future direction.
topseos.com is an established independent research firm focusing on the examination and rankings of search marketing software providers all around the world. The rankings are established by the independent research team each month to feature the best call tracking software providers based on their performance and their rating achieved through the proprietary examination process. To learn more, visit topseos.com.
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Use Call Tracking, SEO and Other Marketing Efforts Together to Generate More Leads
Your website is the hub of your company’s online presence. It’s where you share who you are, what you offer and why your customers choose to buy from you instead of the competition. Today, there are so many additional ways for potential customers to find you such as social media posts and shares, referrals from online friends, social ads, e-books, webinars, chats, podcasts, video, etc.
In the not so distant past, SEO (search engine optimization) was the primary path to increasing web traffic, using the simple method of “stuffing” keywords into your content and hoping for a match so you would show up in the search results. Now, search engines are much more sophisticated and are able to discern the intent of a query in order to return more refined results… not just an exact keyword match. We still rely on keywords and SEO tactics, but it’s now essential to add other inbound efforts to enhance your marketing strategy as a whole. That means dropping SEO is not a good decision, but pairing it other inbound marketing strategies will help heighten your success. Now, it’s more important than ever to address your visitor’s needs with real value and trust.
SEO is the Foundation of your Marketing Strategy
SEO has a much broader definition these days, and it’s evolved over time. You still need SEO to reach potential customers looking for your products or services on whatever platform they’re using. This means the technical aspects of your website are still incredibly important, and basic SEO techniques are very much necessary. This also means you need to consistently use your targeted keywords throughout your website, in your social profiles, blog posts, newsletters, press releases, etc.
A content marketing plan is the perfect complement to your SEO efforts and will enhance your overall marketing strategy. When you regularly produce articles, blogs, email newsletters or lead-nurturing automation, utilizing your targeted keywords and providing links to other relevant material upgrades your online reputation as an expert as well as expands your reach to many more prospects.
You can also use SEO techniques to help create videos, podcasts, contests, promotions and gated content to get more exposure to visitors and potential customers. Search engines cannot “see” images or video and can only index text, so don’t pass up an opportunity to add descriptions, image captions, video scripts and other text-based information to give the search engines something to follow.
Collecting and analyzing data from all of your different marketing channels is essential to discovering what is working for your company. It will help drive the focus of your marketing strategies.
Call Tracking Data to Strengthen your Marketing Efforts
Call tracking provides the decision-making data you need to adjust and refine your strategies to provide the best return. This detailed, actionable information allows your staff to answer calls more effectively, knowing what marketing material generated the call and what the customer is looking for based on what he/she was most recently viewing. Your customer service levels go up and so do conversions.
Call Tracking allows you to identify the source of your leads and discover which marketing campaigns are getting more traction than others. That insight leads to more focused A/B testing, refined landing pages, enlightened keyword research and an opportunity to evaluate your offline efforts as well for a better return on investment.
In the past, call tracking has been expensive and cumbersome… not really accessible to non-enterprise businesses. CallRail has made it simple and practical for companies of all sizes to know where their traffic and leads originate and which marketing campaigns are working… and which aren’t.
Keyword level call tracking shows you which keywords and web pages your visitors viewed that led to a call, and that information is fed automatically to your Google Analytics account and then to Google Adwords. That means you can now view phone calls as conversions and can monitor which campaigns are driving leads. Keyword research may reveal that you’re not even targeting the keywords that your audience is actually using to find information that eventually leads to a purchase.
Campaign level call tracking allows you to identify which marketing source led a prospect to you, by assigning a dynamic phone number to each source, online or offline. For example, when a prospect calls the phone number associated with a particular ad on Facebook, you’ll know exactly which ad generated this particular call and be able to track it. Online call tracking can trace back to Google Adwords PPC, a Yahoo search, Facebook, a directory listing or an organic web search. Offline tracking can be tracked from a Yellow Pages ad, direct mail, print ads, flyers or even billboards.
Social Media platforms are everywhere. From Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, potential customers are looking for information, referrals and how-to’s. Comparing experiences and reading reviews is a big part of today’s buying process, and establishing a reputation as an expert in your field influences buyer behavior. Tracking calls and leads from social platforms is an important part of determining how to spend your marketing budget and whether you’re building trust with your audience.
Mining your Google Analytics and Search Console Data
Now that you have more and better data, how can you read between the lines and find treasure in the numbers? What if you knew that most of your social media efforts weren’t leading to sales? What if you knew that many of your conversions were coming from specific types of blog posts? Or what if you experienced a big increase in engagement following a recent contest?
Once you’ve collected the right information, you can start to see patterns and gain insights. Here are some ways to use your data to refine your campaigns:
9 tips for digging into your Google Analytics and Google Search Console:
- Get your Google Analytics account and Google Search Console account set up to start collecting data and see keyword rankings, clicks and impressions.
- Monitor for which pages and search queries get the most impressions.
- Improve your title tags and descriptions to increase your Click Through Rate (CTR) using the targeted keywords
- Use those keywords in your content, image tags and headings
- Create new content targeting queries that you would like your website to rank for.
- Make sure your content describes the benefits, not just the features of your products/services.
- See which platforms are generating engagement and respond to those threads; spend more time on the channels that are working best.
- Set up custom reports for insights that are unique to your industry.
- Identify which audiences prefer what types of content.
When you use your Google Analytics and search console data along with your call tracking data to find trends and understand what’s driving traffic, you can stop spending money on poorly producing sources and focus on the efforts that are really paying off. Take advantage of applications that automatically distribute your social posts to other platforms (for example: PostPlanner, Zapier, or Dlvr.it giving you more exposure with no additional effort. Add demos to your top blog posts showing how current clients use your product to solve a problem or create video testimonials to build trust and influence.
Bottom Line: Call Tracking & Targeted SEO Improves ROI
Call tracking automatically produces the actionable data you need to take your leads to the next level. Conversions increase when you know what your prospect is looking for, what questions they have and what concerns may be holding them back. You’ll know what content is resonating with them and where/when they find it most convenient to engage with you.
Once you’re armed with the details regarding the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, you can allocate your budget to maximize your return on investment… And, you can improve your SEO approach with targeted keywords in all your outbound communications, driving more traffic and engagement.
Set up your keyword call tracking and offline call tracking to pinpoint what’s working best, to guide your SEO efforts and to make the most of your marketing dollars. Call 888.907.4718 or contact CallRail for more information.
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Sales teams are the front line of your company’s revenue. Whether leads are flooding in from your marketing campaigns or you’re in “prospect mode” making cold calls to potential clients, you need to convert more leads by continuously nurturing and coaching your sales staff. Even seasoned pros need support and can benefit from the newest technology for automating follow-up, situational role-playing and ongoing communications training (best practices for email, voicemail and live calls).
Sales, marketing and customer service are all part of a winning sales unit. There has to be an alignment of goals, policies and processes you use to close a sale and continue to provide the support and service the customer needs and wants. It costs far less to sell to a repeat (and satisfied) customer than to find and convert new prospects.
You want to prepare your sales staff with the proper training and tips to dominate good leads as they come in via your marketing campaigns.
How to Develop Successful Sales Reps
Some of these tips are part of a tried-and-true traditional sales training and others are new uses for technology and software applications. Call tracking, call recording, social engagement, email open-rates and easy to use analytics are all part of today’s sales strategies.
Below are some tips for developing high-converting sales reps:
- Assess Abilities and Areas for Improvement: No one is great at everything. We all have things we do well and others that are less comfortable for us. To figure out how to utilize your team’s strengths when creating your process of how to convert leads, you may consider using personality test such as Meyers-Briggs, DISC or a specific sales aptitude test.
- Assign Seasoned Sales Reps to Mentor Junior Reps: Really productive reps can observe and coach newer reps. Monitoring recorded or live phone calls, suggesting scripts, sharing best practices…. all can accelerate the development of your team. That mentorship can continue for some time, with both parties contributing to each other’s success instead of just being a short-lived orientation activity.
Provide OnGoing Sales Training: Provide opportunities for your reps to come back and train even after they’ve been on the job a while. New skills and course-corrections enhance job satisfaction and improved production as you bring on new products, technologies or face challenges in the economy or in your industry.
- Role-Play: Start recording your sales calls with call tracking software and use them for coaching opportunities. Role play different scenarios and test new scripts to be executed based on who the buyer is and what he/she says. Listen to the entire series of calls that leads to a sale or identify what could have been done better for a different outcome.
- Update Communications Training: Today’s communications revolve around email, voicemail and live calls long before there are any face-to-face meetings. Customize your messages and make sure your staff knows what to say, when to say it and how say it. Create a guide for proven communication practices. Communication style impacts your customer experience and affects your lead conversion rate.
- Measure What Leads to Sales: Create a dashboard of your most important metrics and use them to refine your sales process. For example: track your call response times, number of calls it takes to convert, number of social touches, where your best leads originate, design custom reports for your industry, etc.
- Share Best Practices: Sales people may not want to give up their best “tricks of the trade” or take the time to share what works. Create a regularly scheduled time to foster a peer review of ideas that may lead to more sales for everyone.
- Share Your Company Vision: Helping your staff embrace your company’s vision can help them understand the big picture of what solutions you provide and how they benefit your customers.. That opens the door for more creative problem-solving and insights into customer challenges.
Automation and Call Tracking
You can vastly improve your marketing and sales success with data that tells you what’s working and what’s not. You need information to qualify leads that are most likely to convert and warrant the time and effort it takes. When you automate your data collection to create actionable “intel,” your chances of winning the sale skyrocket.
Automated call tracking is one way to gather that data, and is more affordable and easier to install than ever before. You can effectively measure which marketing channels lead to call conversions, giving your sales staff a head’s up about your prospect’s buying behavior. You’ll see where your visitor has been and which sites he/she visited before they ultimately called you for more information. That means your staff is better prepared for the call and has a better chance of overcoming objections and closing the sale.
Sales Email Applications
Using an automated email software, you can quickly send out sales content with a unique link that alerts you when the email is opened. You can then follow up in a timely fashion to answer questions and tailor your next conversation. You will be aware of whether your content has been forwarded to someone else who may be involved in the buying decision.
You’ll also know which areas of your content attracted the most attention, apprising you of what is most relevant to your contact and how to guide the conversation in a meaningful direction. These tools give your sales team the upper hand in today’s virtual interactions and increases your customer engagement.
No matter how your sales team interacts with your prospective customers, converting leads to sales is your bottom line. Streamlining that process for your sales, marketing and customer service unit saves you time and money. Training, ongoing coaching, developing best practices, utilizing automation and call tracking data all lead to increased efficiency and dominating conversions.
Learn more about to setting up your automated call data collection and give your sales staff the information they need to effectively convert leads.
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What Happens When Leads Pick Up The Phone
Our clients JuicyResults track everything – they set up landing pages and lead forms to show their clients what marketing brings which leads. But what happens when leads pick up the phone? They wanted the ability to track leads once they pick up the phone, that’s why JuicyResults implements CallRail for their clients.
Why they love CallRail:
- User friendly interface and affordable price.
- 14 day free trial, plus it’s quick and easy to set up.
- You don’t lose the ability to track leads if the lead picks up the phone.
- The ability to track a wide range of marketing campaigns included organic, PPC, and social media campaigns.
How They Use CallRail:
- They use a unique number from CallRail for every medium, campaign, or even keyword.
- They use dynamic code from CallRail to post the phone number on their website, landing pages, and forms.
- Website visitors see a unique phone number, based on how they arrive on your site
- The number they use forwards to their business line, giving them the ability to record calls for quality assurance.
- When you login to your CallRail dashboard you get access to really valuable data.
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You know how valuable phone calls are to your business. You know that a ringing phone is better than a click on an online form any day. The problem is, you don’t know what is making some people call, and why others aren’t calling. Even if you have some level of call tracking, the odds are that you’re left with a lot of questions.
How do I know which Google searches lead people to call? What is the return on investment (ROI) for my pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns? Which keywords are worth bidding on? Where should I focus my organic search engine optimization (SEO) efforts?
All these questions and more can be answered with keyword-level call tracking.
ROI Data Helps You Link Dollars and Sense in Your Campaigns
Organic and paid search together likely account for 60-70% of your site traffic. That’s why you’re putting money into PPC and SEO. The problem is, you don’t know which PPC and SEO efforts are actually paying off in terms of phone calls.
For online forms, that data is obvious. You can track the traffic entering your site for certain keyword searches and follow it to the completion of the form. But for calls, it’s different. You’re left with a lot of traffic and a few calls, and you’re trying to match the two and make decisions about your advertising dollars on the basis of guesses.
Call tracking at the keyword level can change that. With call tracking at the keyword level, you can tell just which searches lead to calls, and which searches are people lead to people idly browsing your site. This way you know which keywords are really worth bidding on when they get expensive.
The keyword data will also give you intelligence on your inbound prospects. It will help your salespeople understand the primary concerns that drive potential customers to call, giving them the ability to close more leads.
CallRail’s Keyword Tracking Technique
How is CallRail able to precisely track which keywords turn into calls? That’s easy. Whenever someone comes to your site from search, whether they click on a PPC or organic search result, they will be shown a specific phone number when they reach your site. Wherever they go on your site, they see that specific phone number. When they call that number, that call is linked with the keyword they used to get that number.
You might think this means you need a phone number for each keyword, but you don’t. Our software can link the keyword search to a number that is drawn from a pool of numbers you have maintained. You need to have enough numbers that each user reaching your site through search traffic at the same time can be assigned a unique number. That’s just one number for each potential lead that is on your site at the same time.
What’s Wrong with Other Tracking Techniques
The keyword-level call tracking technique we use is the best in the industry.Some call tracking companies use a dedicated landing page for call tracking. In this method, people are taken from your PPC or organic link to a specific web page, and that web page has the special phone number on it. When people call that number, you know they’re coming from the specific search. But in order to know what keywords the visitor used in the search, you really do need a separate phone number for each keyword you want to track. And if a visitor decides to browse your site some more, they may be shown a different number, ruining your data.
Instead of a unique phone number, some tracking techniques assign users a unique code and then train their inbound sales department to ask for the code. Not only is this extra training you have to give your employees, but you have to hope they remember to do it right. Plus, asking for codes has the potential to disrupt the sales process and cost you customer goodwill.
Some web companies will tell you to collect data by getting customers to view another page on your website, either a coupon, thank-you page, or receipt, which will then be tracked by Google Analytics or other web tracking programs. This method loses a lot of data—most people won’t want to go to another page after they’ve concluded their business—and customers might be annoyed at the request.
Finally, brute force statistical analysis can be used instead of call tracking. If you have a really high call volume (tens of thousands in the data period of interest), you can analyze the data to get a pretty good idea of which searches are driving calls. Although this is an educated guess, it’s still just a guess. Plus, if your business were getting tens of thousands of calls a month, you would probably have other concerns to deal with first—like how you’re going to fill all those orders!
Case Study: Red Falcon Web Marketing
Now let’s see how this data can really make a difference for your business by looking at a real-world example. Red Falcon Web Marketing had call tracking for their clients, but it wasn’t working well. The data was incomplete, it was slow to arrive, and complicated to unpack.
They tolerated this as long as PPC wasn’t a big part of their marketing strategy. But as they began to put more money into PPC, they knew they needed conversion data from each campaign so they could show their clients tangible benefits in terms of ROI. Combining call tracking from CallRail with their own Google AdWords campaign, they were able to double the number of cases their clients were taking in.
Whether you are doing marketing for others or for your own business, tracking calls at the keyword level will give you actionable ROI data so you can refine your marketing efforts. Learn what a difference call tracking can make for your business today.
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Andy Powell, CEO and co-founder of CallRail, was honored this past weekend when TiE Atlanta announced the 2015 TiE Atlanta Top Entrepreneurs at the TiECON Southeast Conference in Atlanta.
It’s an honor to be recognized by TiE Atlanta. My entrepreneurial journey is not a solo flight. CallRail wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and talent of our co-founder Kevin Mann and the entire CallRail team.
Powell took home the second spot on the elite list of Atlanta’s Top Entrepreneurs in the upper middle market category. Warren Averett and TiE Atlanta judges ranked companies based on entrepreneurship, growth, sustainability and profitability. Warren Averett, an Atlanta CPA firm, partnered with TiE Atlanta to verify the information that was submitted by each nominated company. CallRail is one of the fastest growing technology companies in Atlanta. It’s sustainable business model is a rarity for a technology startup, the company not only has a history of high growth, but is also profitable.
Comprised of leaders of companies with annual revenues ranging from $2 million to $100 million, the 2015 TiE Atlanta Top Entrepreneurs’ honorees represented companies in a wide range of industries, including technology, manufacturing, retail, staffing, real estate, IT, solar, software and more.
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CustomerBloom is a Digital Marketing Agency that specializes in Website Design & Development, Search Engine Optimization, Pay Per Click marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Reputation Management. CallRail allows CustomerBloom to track & record calls produced from their marketing efforts to their clients, illuminating the gaps previously found in client reporting.
As an agency’s client deck grows, reporting becomes more and more of a challenge due to the time it takes to create reports. Reporting consolidation applications are starting to take the legwork out of the process; however, many of these applications don’t integrate out of the box with some of the more popular tools used by marketing agencies who work with small-medium businesses.
“We loved the functionality of GeckoBoard, a popular reporting consolidation tool, and the fact that it allows our clients to view reporting on the metrics they care most about in real time via the iPhone app. The problem was, it didn’t integrate with half the tools we use – most importantly CallRail.”
– Matt Coffy, CEO, CustomerBloom
The CallRail Solution
The result is that CustomerBloom is able to set up bullet graphs that indicate both the number of calls within a time period and also the range in which that number falls based on color. For example, if a client usually gets 30 calls per month, the graph will show 0-15 calls as a Red Zone, 15-25 calls as an Orange Zone, and 30+ calls as a Green Zone. This allows their clients to quickly get a sense of how their call flow is doing for the month.
Additionally, other widgets can be configured to show the number of calls in a given time period with an accompanying percentage number, indicating how the calls from that time period compare to the previous time period.
Because CallRail reports data on calls by source, CustomerBloom is also able to display call data from specific sources within the custom widgets. This allows their clients to quickly understand how many calls are coming from organic search (SEO efforts) vs. PPC (paid efforts).
Shifting the Paradigm of Client Reporting
The current state of client reporting can be summed up with one word: bloated. Each tool an agency uses will offer it’s own reporting designed to be as robust as possible. Combining the reports from each tool yields a textbook sized report filled with charts and graphs that most clients will never actually end up reading. CustomerBloom is changing this by focusing on the key metrics that really matter to their clients and by presenting them in real time on mobile devices.
“At the end of the day, there’s only one question on most of our clients’ minds: Did I get more leads today? Because the majority of our clients are service oriented, an acquisition to them is an appointment booking, which means phone calls. CallRail enables us to track and measure that and thanks to their API, we can put those metrics in the pockets of our clients. There’s no more asking ‘Where’s my report’? It’s right there on their phones – whenever they want it.”
– Chase Buckner, VP OPs, CustomerBloom
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There are two things that will keep you from ever finding the best PPC landing page. The first is finding a landing page that you think is “good enough” and giving up testing. The other is A/B testing without all the data you need to make the right decisions for your PPC campaigns.
Which PPC Ads Are Making My Phone Ring?
For most businesses, phone calls are the preferred kind of lead. As Melissa Mackey at Search Engine Watch points out “In the B2B world, especially, phone calls are the bread and butter of online advertisers.” You have a prospect right there on the phone, and your trained inbound sales staff can often shepherd the potential client right to a sale. Or, at least, they can start building a solid customer relationship based on competence and trust if it’s the kind of sale that can’t be concluded in one interaction. In either case, that’s the kind of lead you want your PPC campaigns to bring in.
But you might not know which PPC ads or organic search results are leading prospects to call, and which ones just lead to site exits. With modern call tracking, though, we have the ability to give you that information. We can identify which PPC landing pages turn into business and which don’t.
How do we do this? Whenever someone comes to a PPC landing page, they are shown a dynamic number from your number pool. If they call you using that number, you know that lead came from that PPC ad.
But if they don’t call you right away, if they go to your site and browse additional pages via a link from your ad, the phone number stays with them, so that no matter where or when they call, they will use their assigned number and you will be able to track their behavior back to the PPC ad that brought them to the site.
Improving PPC Ads with A/B Testing
Once you’ve got the full picture of how well a PPC ad is converting, you can begin improving it through A/B testing. The bigger your campaign, the more important this is: 93% of people running $100k/month ad campaigns regularly adjust their bids based on call tracking and other ROI data.
The basic concept of A/B testing is simple: you create an alternate PPC ad, landing page, or other content and see if it performs better than the original. To test which performs better, A/B testing shows your original content (A) or your modified content (B) to searchers. If your original content performs better, keep it for now and try a different variation. But if your modified content performs better, it can become your new primary content.
You keep testing until you’ve optimized your ad or landing page.
The Best A/B Testing Strategies
When done properly, A/B testing can really help you hone your marketing efforts. But if it’s not done right, you can end up wasting lots of time and money without learning what you really need to know. Or, worse, making the wrong conclusions and sabotaging your marketing efforts. Here’s how to design A/B tests that yield meaningful results.
First, make changes with a clear question in mind. For example: does the position of the phone number affect conversions? Does the color of the click-to-call button affect conversions? Does emotional or informative content lead to more conversions?
Focus on one question at a time. Making too many changes can obscure the results. Never allocate too much (and especially not all) of your traffic to an unproven landing page or PPC ad. If the changes you made were for the worse, you could really see your conversions tank. Start with 10 or 20% of the total traffic and increase it once the page shows promise.
Track All Conversions
You can’t really tell which version of a page is better unless you’re tracking all conversions. If you’re only tracking form completions but not phone calls you can get skewed results. Some pages will convert more online forms but fewer phone calls, or vice versa.
The disparity can be so great that what seems to be your best strategy for online conversion might actually be your worst performing page overall. It’s only by tracking both that you can get a good idea about which is the better page.
Set the Right Endpoint
Your PPC ad or landing page is only partly successful when it triggers a call. True success is when you bring a client onboard, and that depends on your inbound sales staff. Call tracking for PPC can help you optimize this part of the process, too.
Call tracking lets you know which calls are coming from which landing pages based on which keyword searches, allowing you to immediately know the main concerns of the caller. With whisper messages and other information, you can give your inbound sales staff a huge advantage for closing that sale.
A/B testing can be used to try out different scripts or introductions that are related to particular landing pages or PPC ads. The gross conversion data gives you some basic numbers, but you can use call recording to get a detailed picture of why a certain script succeeds or fails.
Track All Client Engagement
For good A/B testing, you also need to track when prospects leave your PPC landing page to go to your site and then call or fill out a form from there. Many call tracking programs don’t let you track beyond the PPC landing page, but then you’re losing vital data.
Some PPC ads and landing pages work well to attract prospects that can’t be converted just by one page. They might need to browse your site, read reviews, and gather more information before they make a decision. Often, these are prospects who are making high-dollar-value decisions, and not counting them can really skew your perception of the ROI of one landing page or another.
To get a complete picture during A/B testing you need to track all engagement—it’s the only way you will get the data you need to make informed decisions.
Evolve Vacation Rental Network Learns the Power of Mobile
Evolve Vacation Rental Network provides management, marketing, booking, and other support services for homeowners who want to rent out their home to vacationers. And they do it at a lower cost than traditional management firms.
To be successful with their thinner margins, they needed to know that their marketing plan was efficient and effective. Their first tracking solution didn’t allow them to track calls coming from their ad campaigns, and they realized that they were essentially flying blind.
With CallRail’s call tracking, they were able to analyze the acquisition cost of each campaign using A/B testing and other analytical techniques. This allowed them to cut off campaigns that just weren’t performing, which dramatically cut wastage in advertising dollars.
Call tracking has also allowed Evolve to understand how the growing power of mobile devices has increased the importance of phone calls. While online communications were increasing for many years at the expense of phone calls, the pendulum is starting to swing back the other way.
Why? It’s simple. Mobile now accounts for more than 50% of the inbound traffic coming to Evolve, but when mobile users want to make a decision, it’s so much easier for them to push a click-to-call button rather than try to fill out a contact form with their small mobile screen.
The benefit for Evolve is that once they were able to optimize their landing pages for mobile users, they found they got better engagement on the phone. Realizing this benefit, they worked harder to move users to call rather than use the online forms, which resulted in a much higher conversion rate.
What insights will call tracking reveal for your advertising? If you’re ready to put aside the notion that your PPC campaign is “good enough” and learn what’s the best PPC campaign possible, you can learn more about CallRail’s tracking options here and start getting ahead of the trends.
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