Why Tracking Calls from Google and Bing PPC Ads Is So Important to Small and Local Businesses
Most small and local businesses have very tight advertising budgets. Making sure they get a good bang for each ad buck is extremely important; they simply don’t have the marketing dollars to risk on advertising that doesn’t produce results.
It’s one of the reasons so many small and local businesses advertise on search engines like Google and Bing. PPC (pay-per-click) lets you minimize risk by controlling who sees your ads, when the ads run, and how much you want to pay for a click. It then gives you real-time data on how your PPC ads and landing pages are performing, so if a campaign isn’t getting many clicks or if you are paying too much for a conversion (i.e., a lead or sale), you can make quick adjustments to improve results and minimize loss.
Google and Bing Can’t Track Phone Calls from Your PPC Ads
Of course, managing PPC campaigns intelligently and making smart adjustments requires accurate data. And that’s where many small and local businesses are encountering a critical issue: search engines like Google and Bing can’t track phone calls from your PPC landing pages. This important phone conversion data isn’t included in their reports.
Missing out on phone call data is very problematic because it means that if someone clicked on one of your PPC ads, came to your landing page, and called you, you can’t tie that call back to the PPC ad that originated it. If that caller makes a purchase or becomes a sales opportunity, you won’t know what PPC campaign was responsible.
What’s more, it means that the data you are getting from Google and Bing can be very misleading. That PPC landing page mentioned above might be generating very few downloads but a very high number of inbound calls, which are leading to opportunities and revenue. But if you can’t track phone calls from PPC, how will you know? You might end up editing or even deleting that landing page, ruining what was an extremely effective marketing asset that was giving you a great ROI (return on investment).
Call Tracking Software Enables You to Track PPC Phone Conversions
If inbound phone calls are important to your small or local business, you might consider using call tracking software to understand exactly how your marketing is generating them. Call tracking software can track calls from any marketing and advertising source – including SEO, TV, radio, email, direct mail, print, content marketing, and social media – so it isn’t limited to PPC search ads. But if PPC search advertising plays a big role in your marketing, call tracking can be a real eye opener.
How Call Tracking Works for PPC Search Advertising
Call tracking works by giving you trackable phone numbers (local, toll-free, or vanity, it’s up to you) that get inserted in your marketing. For PPC search ads, the call tracking software will automatically display a unique call tracking phone number on your web pages based on the keyword and PPC ad the person used to find you. When a visitor calls the number, the software will attribute the call back to the original keyword search, PPC ad, landing page, and campaign that originated it. The call still comes to you, and the caller has no idea they called a special trackable number, but you are able to attribute that call to the exact marketing source.
So, for example, if someone searches for “asset protection lawyer in downtown Chicago,” clicks on your PPC ad, visits your landing page, then calls you, you will see the entire search query they used, the ad variation they clicked on, and the landing page variation that converted them. You can use this information to build better campaigns for search queries, with more effective ads and landing pages, and adjust your PPC bids to get more bang for your buck.
This call tracking data is then available in web-based reports, or you can automatically pass it to Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Universal Analytics to view with all your other lead source data. If you use a CRM tool like Salesforce.com to track leads through the sales funnel, call tracking data will also get passed to that system. The end result is you have a complete understanding of how your PPC ads (and all your marketing, really) are generating leads (both phone calls and web leads), opportunities, and revenue.
Control Where Calls from PPC Ads Get Routed so You Never Miss a Lead
For small and local businesses looking to advertise more intelligently and more competitively, this data can be a tremendous advantage. What’s more, certain call tracking software also gives you control over how calls from PPC ads get routed. This can be very useful to small and local businesses that don’t want to waste a lead by missing an inbound call, but also don’t have the budget to hire call center operators to field calls 24/7.
So, for example, if you want to send calls from certain ads to a specific sales rep or group of sales reps simultaneously, the call tracking software can do that, too. Or maybe you want to route phone calls that come in the morning to a specific store and calls that come in at night to another one. The specifics of how calls get routed is up to you, but being able to control routing down to the ad level can be a big help in improving lead conversion rates and generating more sales. And isn’t that why you spend money on PPC ads in the first place?
If you want to learn more about the value of call tracking for PPC search ads, you can download the white paper, “Marketer’s Guide to Call Tracking for Google SEO and PPC”.