Today’s post is brought to you by Acquisio, a leading provider of bid and budget automation solutions.
More and more people are using their mobile phones to search for and then call local businesses, whether to order a pizza, a bouquet of flowers or to get more information about how much it would cost to get their bumper fixed at the closest auto shop.
In 2014, there were 40 billion calls made from mobile search ads. By 2016, BIA/Kelsey estimates the number of inbound phone calls from call extensions in search to reach 70 billion.
If more people are using their mobile phones to call businesses, logically more businesses should be tracking the calls that come in through click-to-call ads.
But it looks like that may not be the case.
A study by a voice-based marketing automation platform revealed that in terms of technologies used to measure marketing success, only 38% of marketing executives surveyed used call tracking in 2014.
In a survey conducted by another inbound call tracking software company, similar numbers were recorded – with only 36% of respondents saying they use call extensions and click to call ads in search.
That means about 62-64% of marketing executives are missing out.
One of the potential reasons to explain such low numbers, considering the importance and growth of call tracking, is that these studies surveyed businesses outside of the local SMB realm, where call tracking is not as pertinent. As for local and small businesses, if calls are a main goal in terms of conversion tracking, call tracking should always be implemented.
Perhaps mixed messages, or confusing statistics concerning call tracking released by other call tracking vendors, are deterring businesses from investing in proper call tracking solutions.
So it’s time to clear the air and focus on the numbers that really matter.
The Stats SMBs Need to Know
In the same studying revealing that only 36% of businesses are using call tracking, it was also revealed that 63% of those executives surveyed believe that phone call leads are just as valuable, if not more valuable, than web conversions.
A study by iAcquire and SurveyMonkey found that 70% of mobile searches lead to action within an hour, and that action is often a phone call.
In fact, Google reports that 61% of local searches result in a call and that 70% of mobile searchers have called a business directly from search results.
Coupled with the estimation that 70 billion phone calls will be made from call extensions in search ads in 2016, those percentages are significant for any local or small business calculating success based on calls.
The next step for businesses not yet tracking calls is to find the right call tracking vendor and get started!
Finding the Right Call Tracking Vendor
For businesses serious about call tracking, Google’s free offering doesn’t even begin to cut it. Tracking the number of calls and which ads and keywords attract the most attention is important, but it’s just the beginning.
The most effective call tracking vendors, like Convirza, offer detailed tracking. Tools like “Conversation Analytics” that help businesses learn not only which keywords generate the most calls, but which calls are the most valuable by analyzing the words and phrases spoken using speech recognition to give the call a quality score.
By giving each call a quality score, marketers can easily read their reports and see which keywords were the most effective – not by the total number of calls generated but by the number of high quality calls that occurred.
More detailed tracking can eliminate any misleading data. For example, perhaps one keyword is attracting a lot of spam calls. Other call tracking solutions that don’t analyze recorded conversations would simply record the number of calls. The keyword would appear to be doing well and the marketer analyzing the report may even increase the bids for that keyword.
Rather than make assumptions about the call data coming in, effective call vendors like Convirza provide insight that saves time and makes decision making easy and accurate in terms of adjusting bids to improve campaign performance.
To really benefit from call tracking, the best thing to do is integrate your call tracking data with search marketing software, like Acquisio. That way marketers can see all the call tracking information alongside their social, display and search data so businesses can make changes and improvements to keywords, ads and campaigns all in one place.
Amalgamating the information from call tracking alongside the information collected through the search marketing software allows businesses to get the full picture. For example, Acquisio translates all the detailed and complex analysis performed at Convirza into an easy to read, interactive report.
Reporting and amalgamating information aren’t the only benefits to coupling call tracking with search marketing software. The primary benefit of using Convirza together with Acquisio is the access to industry leading bid and budget automation solutions.
Bid & Budget Management (BBM) is capable of doing all the basic and monotonous bid and budget changes to campaigns automatically. With call tracking data recording, which keywords and campaigns draw in the most high-quality calls, this solution can update bids automatically and enhance productivity by setting bids that generate more calls for a lower cost.
Just as Convirza is a leader in call tracking, BBM is a leader in bid optimization, using complex algorithms to update every 30 minutes to continuously make changes in response to what happens in the auction throughout the day so bids are set more accurately than any human could manage on their own.
This is great for marketing managers who are responsible for many different accounts, because their time can be spent improving campaign at a high level, coming up with creative solutions to attract more calls.
Despite any hesitation marketers have toward call tracking, the most important takeaway is that call tracking is essential for local SMBs. Rather than deciding whether to track calls or not, the question should be what technologies to use to best understand and profit from call tracking analytics.
Need more convincing? See what McKay Allen from Convirza wrote on Acquisio’s blog, about the 7 reasons this partnership is game changing for search marketers.