How to Use Call Tracking for your Clients and Save your Sanity

Picture this scene: 

Is this the ultimate call tracking. Or the first mobile phone?

Your client's business is one where people go to Google, find their site, go to the site and learn about their products and services and then calls them to buy something, learn more or set up an appointment.  Perhaps your client is a doctor, local restaurant, etc. 

Quietly in the background you have been working hard to market their site online via SEO, PPC, social media and more.  Your client's website traffic has jumped way up.  People are filling in their Contact Us form, emailing and calling them due to your efforts.  

Contrast that with a client with an ecommerce site.  Every purchase you can track right down to each individual sale- even to the exact amount of revenue that is generated via ecommerce reporting in Google Analytics.  You can show these accurate numbers to your client and they're happy about it.

But if you have a client who is not ecommerce or who get the majority of their initial contact with clients via phone call you may have this conversation:

Frustrating Exchange:

Client:  "Its great what you've been doing from the reports you've sent me, but... I think this yellow page ad I've had for years is working way better than what you've been doing, we've been getting a ton of calls from it".

You:  "How do you know that's what generating the calls?"   

Client:  "I just know.  Plus, we have our receptionist ask people where they heard about us and people always say the yellow pages (or some other non-online advertising)."

You:  "That's great, all the work I've done that has in reality actually driven you way more customers than you ever had now (vs. the yellow pages ad you spend $$$ a month on and no one looks at anymore)  is getting all the credit.  I'll think I'll jump off a cliff now."

Of course, you wouldn't say the last part (only think it ; ) ).  And you only deal with clients who truly appreciate your hard work.  But when it comes to knowing if a person has called your clients business after finding it on the internet first you simply never want to have the above conversation in any form. 

A Slippery Slope...

If you are an internet marketer, don't go down this route.  Trying to answer the question of how many calls the business owner is getting from your efforts to market their website without real, accurate data is simply a losing battle.  If your client is a business that people go to their website, learn about their products and services and then call far more than they email you need to set them up with call tracking-now

Think again about the above situation:   You know for a fact that your work on their site has been driving a ton of new business their way.  People visit the site, they learn about the business, they call to make an appointment or learn more.  That's the way it goes today.  But your client is going by what they think works.

Try not to get frustrated with your clients.  For years they've likely spent thousands of dollars on traditional advertising yet they really don't know if its working or not, as there's no way to track if each person that called is coming from yellow pages, or some other form of advertising.  That's fine for the past, but if you don't have data, real concrete numbers showing that what you're doing for their site is working you're going down a slippery slope. 

Call tracking- Problem (Mostly) Solved

There are a number of third party call tracking options that will let you know for a fact that a person has visited the site, got a phone number and actually called the phone number.  There are many different call tracking options, some can use your businesses number, some use a custom number and some integrate with Google Analytics so that you can show a report with the number of calls.  Here are a few:

Google Analytics List of Call Tracking Companies

It's good to remember that while call tracking software is going to track the majority of business from your internet marketing efforts its not likely going to show a person who visited your clients site and then drove to their business without calling.  Someday maybe we'll have car tracking conversions like the photo above.

In Conclusion: 

If you are working for a client/business that people primarily call, you need to set up call tracking now.  You need to know and need to show that what you are doing to market your client's site is working.  In addition you need to show this with data that is just a clear as the data you get from an ecommerce site that shows every conversion. 

Only in this way can you change the conversation from the above to a new, happy one:

Client:  "I was a little skeptical about hiring an internet marketer but I can't believe the amount of new customers we are getting.  The reports showing how many people emailed, filled out a form or called are unbelievable!"

You:  "Thanks!  I'm glad to help.  And I'm so happy what we're doing is getting you so much new business."

Client:  "Definitely!  And to show my thankfulness, I'd like to buy you a yacht."

You:  "Ok, yachts are great."

What are your thoughts on call tracking?  Leave a comment below!

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