This interview with Carlton Van Putten, our SVP of Marketing and Product Development, is part of the Convirza Webinar Series. The following is the Q&A portion of the interview.
McKay Allen: And so with that, let’s take a few questions here. I will just start us at the top of the questions, Carlton and I’ll just read them to you as they come in. And we encourage you to keep asking questions everybody.
Okay, we have a couple of questions in depth about call tracking and SEO I’ll just read Lisa’s question for example. It says could you please explain the index of call tracking and SEO, problem with NAP, if your different tracking numbers are placed on various sites and directories, I’m curious what the effect of this is, specifically to the negative impact the way the way benefits of call tracking data.
Let me take this for a sec, Carlton, then you can hop in. So the two things I would say before we get into it is there is and we readily admit this, there is a wrong way to use call tracking. Right? You shouldn’t put different, your local tracking number over every directory on the web. That would damage your SEO
Carlton van Putten: That’s right.
McKay Allen: And I think part of the problem to be frank, and I’ll throw our industry under the bus a little bit, is that the industry at large, for the last decade has not done a very good job at educating people to when it is appropriate and when it is not appropriate to use call tracking. So that’s gotten some people into trouble, so I think now, local marketers in some quarters are saying let’s just throw the baby out with the bath water forget call tracking altogether and many are forgetting there is a very effective and very correct and very okay way to use call tracking and that is with dynamic number insertion specifically and then there are a couple of other methods actually that are somewhat useful that we get into in our gigantic 30 page treatise on the subject. So anyway, that’s kind of my short answer. Carlton, anything to add?
Carlton van Putten: The only thing I would add, I mean I would concur with you that you want to keep phone numbers consistent across the web. Sometimes, in some instances customers who have, are driving the significant social media via Facebook or other places like that may use a different tracking number to gauge traffic that they drive direct from there, in many of those cases they will not use a text base phone number. They’ll use, they’ll use it built into an image or gif. In that case, Google also not looking at that gif and analyzing the phone call and driving any inconsistency.
But I would say for the most part people that are incorporating call tracking into their online campaigns are definitely using dynamic number insertion and it has to fit the right use case there cause essentially you’re still driving people to a website, to a landing page. If that is still a part of the strategy that you’re going to drive people to a website that you can control, or that your customer can control so that you can have the dynamic code on there and so you can manage the numbers dynamically, then it doesn’t affect name, address phone, number consistency at all because the number never changes. Google indexes the website, it sees the same consistent phone number it sees across all directories. That’s how I would encourage people to use this.
Another good question here from Ed. He says can I use call tracking for my small pay-per-call lead gen business and how so. That’s a great question and you know there’s a whole pay-per-call market out there. There’s a company called RingRevenue, which has a great app for kind of managing a pay-per-call network or as an enterprise for managing your pay-per-call channels. Challenge with them oftentimes is it’s expensive to get started with them and so they tend not to want to deal with low volume or small startups so I, I know we can be used for this. I think we would have to talk through with your particular use case and how much of an application you may want to build versus just using our app. Our data is structured a little bit differently to be honest than a paper call. We don’t think of terms, we don’t think of terms of affiliates and publishers and campaigns and those types of things. We don’t have that functionality in the app.
Having said that though, we do have companies like Palouse and others that are using our infrastructure and kind of layering a pay-per-call network app on top of what we do and using our API, our tracking number, our conversations analytics, and other things that are a part of our baseline application and then choosing not to use our UI and to design their own UI using their own design and then just kind of incorporate the data by the API. So it can be done, we’d need to talk to your specific use case to see how closely we would fit your business model and I think we’d be happy to give you a call on that.
Again another good question from Ed, and Ed I want to read this to you because I want some clarification on this, we make sure we answer it correctly. So I’m going to read you the question and then we’ll come back to it after addressing somebody else. So Ed asks, will you be including opt in tracking for web leads from our websites? Would you just clarify on that a little bit Ed, just type in a little bit we’ll come back to that one in a moment.
Dana asks a very good question. She says what makes Convirza different from competitor analytics and call tracking companies?
Carlton van Putten: Yeah, that’s pretty straightforward for us. Every other tracking company is going to give you the basics. They’re going to give you time of call, duration, caller I.D., date and time, you work with the Mongoose Metrics you’ll get some really good web analytics but everybody stops with analytics after the phone rings. So it’s still this vacuous black hole about what happens after the phone call.
McKay Allen: That’s a good word by the way, vacuous.
Carlton van Putten: Thanks.
McKay Allen: I like that.
Carlton van Putten: So, there’s still a blind spot and so did the call convert? We don’t know. Why didn’t it convert? We don’t know. So what you’d have to do then is with each of those different providers is go in and drill them into the phone calls and listen to them. And believe me there are huge teams of people at some very large companies that are doing local marketing that are literally listening to phone calls to know whether they can bill a customer or not. And we eliminate that. When we announced Conversation Analytics, and we’re beta-ing that now and launching it in the fall, we will eliminate the need to have to listen to phone calls in order to tell what happened. That’s a huge differentiator for us and really changes the expectations for the marketplace.
McKay Allen: Well, and I would say too Carlton, we are very, I’d say we are competitive if not beating our call tracking competitors just on the traditional quote unquote call tracking features. Then when you add Conversation Analytics on top of that I think it becomes a huge difference.
Carlton van Putten: There are a couple of head to head features I think we’re better on. I mean obviously access to configuring phone numbers. Our API is significantly more modern than anybody else you’re going to see. Dynamic number insertion is more flexible because we provide three different methods, so we can keep costs down for D.N.I. versus others where you might have to get 100 numbers, you may only need 10 numbers with us to be able to execute your dynamic number strategy. So it’s helpful.
McKay Allen: Okay, that’s great. Another thing I would say too is we’re very proactive with our UI and making sure it’s a good experience for your customers.
Carlton van Putten: So Ed clarified, does it have to be a WordPress plugin that’s tied into your software? Just as you would live phone calls. So you want to basically click to call? I think that’s what you’re saying.
McKay Allen: Yes. I mean, we actually have a WordPress plugin but it’s more of a recording plugin. What you may be looking for is something to allow someone to call us right away and there are some really good companies that do, I think they probably do it better than us honestly. Speed-to-Contact actually has a very easy way to incorporate a button, to be able to incorporate a button.
McKay Allen: Yeah, if you’re looking for like if someone filled out a white paper form for example-
Carlton van Putten: And they want to call them right back.
McKay Allen: Immediately call them right back, there’s a couple companies that do that pretty well.
Carlton van Putten: Speed-to-Contact is one that we work with. You can provide them our phone number as the contact’s phone number and then basically you’re recording calls through Convirza, you’re recording all the information, but you are, you’re using a very simple to integrate tool into a webpage.
McKay Allen: And then I think the other question he’s asking here too is the percentage of opt-ins versus calls that they’re getting from allegiance sites. So if you have maybe a landing page you know, for X, Y or Z. Yes, the number of opt-ins versus calls, I mean that would be just a direct comparison from your CRM or whatever.
Carlton van Putten: From your form fills and your phone calls.
McKay Allen: Versus the number of . . .
Carlton van Putten: One thing we do have is number of landings or impressions. So dynamic number keeps track of how many times a number is shown, just like an impression, and then you can see the number of phone calls from it. So what we do track really is your conversion rate of visitors to the page to phone calls, which can give you some of that data. And then if you wanted to compare your email opt-ins or your form fill opt-ins versus your phone calls you can just grab that too. This information looks at your total site visits and come up with your conversion rates separately from those.
McKay Allen: And then the other good question we’ve got from Mike here is what types of businesses does Convirza work with?
We work with agencies running the gambit, we work with a couple very large direct mail companies, we work with a lot of local SEO and local PPC companies, we’re working with local plumbers and local types of businesses. We work with B2B agencies even those that are doing marketing for other businesses. Maybe technology companies or manufacturing companies, so we work with agencies of all types, all sizes, and then in terms of broader clients, we have a fair number of SME clients who will buy from us directly, and then we also work with a lot of enterprise clients, as well.
Carlton van Putten: The industries that are most attracted to this type of metrics and analytics are ones that love phone calls. So you’re talking home service companies, you’re talking about hospitality and travel, you’re talking about cash paid medical and dental, so your LASIKs and cosmetic surgeons, your legal profession, you’ve got anyone that has a fairly complex sale with a local footprint and really values that phone call coming into their place of business. Those are the guys that are going to value this. And the price point for what they sell is relatively high.
So this isn’t attractive to a pizza place where your average sale is 25 bucks. It doesn’t make economic sense to have to track the economics of phone calls. But if you’ve got a tire shop or a repair shop, auto repair shop where someone is going to spend $1000 or $1500 the phone call is critical, and so getting the metrics on those phone calls is an important component to what you should deliver to them.