Call Tracking – Google’s now in the Game

For quite some time now, Google has provided call-tracking for Adwords advertisers. However, in the past, this was limited to providing the numbers within the confines of the ad, itself.

More recently, Google has introduced an offering that takes this offering to the next level…bringing call tracking TO YOUR WEBSITE.

This is not new.

There are many providers of such services. In fact, Google has – for as long as I can remember – provided a directory of solution providers which allow for integration with Google Analytics/. and we are often recommending to our clients that they make the relatively small investment in these services so that we can gain as much understanding as possible as to “what is driving leads/sales”.

Here’s a little bit about Google’s new solution for traditional call tracking. At first glance this looks like it will be a great new product to add to your toolkit. Here are the facts about what is promised:

  • Dynamic Google forwarding numbers that allow you to link calls to keywords and the specific Ad’s driving your customers.
  • The ability to assign values to calls based on the pages the calls come in from.
  • Optimize your keyword bids automatically by using Target CPA or Target ROAS which factor in signals to make auction time adjustments.
  • Customization of numbers to match the look and feel of your site.

This is where Google’s offering falls short:

You can only use this to track your Google AdWords campaigns.

With other solution providers, you have the ability to track Adwords, Bing, Email marketing efforts, and/or just about anything else. The more you pay the providers, the more you’ll be able to track.

In order to be successful in digital marketing you must have a full picture of where your traffic and conversions are coming from. You should be tracking the following traffic:

  • Paid (from all sources)
  • Organic
  • Referral
  • Direct
  • Email
  • Newsletter
  • Social
  • Print
  • Brochures
  • Tradeshow materials

Tracking where your money is coming from is vital to making intelligent decisions on which marketing efforts should be funded more, which should be funded less and which should be cut from the budget, all-together.

There are many companies (especially B2B), that generate most of the leads via a phone call. These very same companies are usually faced with extreme competition in PPC marketing (average cost per clicks can exceed $40 per click). You simply cannot effectively manage a PPC marketing effort if you are basing “whether or not this is working” on how many lead form submissions visitors to your site are filling out, when “most of your leads” are phone calls.

So, I “get” why Google is doing this. They want to show value to advertisers, and capturing call volume helps them to do this. The more value they show, the more folks will spend. As an agency, Vizion Interactive is trying to do the same thing. As an advertiser (and as heads of marketing) YOU should be trying to do the same thing. We need to know where the value from our marketing efforts is coming from.

The days of “guessing” about what’s working in your marketing efforts are coming to a close. Since the advent of the “digital age”, marketing is measurable…if you put those tools in place that will help you measure it.