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Call tracking is of major importance to your search engine optimization efforts. Imagine that you have a team of seven trial-hires picking cherries in your cherry orchard. Your goal today is to evaluate each of your workers’ efficiencies, because you need to narrow down your team to the five most efficient cherry pickers. Two of them will have to go.

In order to evaluate each picker’s progress compared to the others’, you need to know the weight of cherries picked by each of your cherry pickers at the end of the day. Unfortunately, sometime that afternoon, you lost track of Tiffany, one of your trial hires. While you’re sure that she delivered her cherries to the processing plant before she left, you have no idea how efficient she was compared to your other trial-pickers.

You’re left wondering about Tiffany. Do you fire her because you don’t have any report of her effectiveness? But, she could have been the fastest, most effective cherry picker of the group. You simply don’t know – because you have no data.

Without call tracking, you lose valuable data that you need to make decisions

Such is the case with call tracking in the context of internet marketing. Phone calls are one of the key methods that customers use in response to your marketing initiatives – and if you have no data on these crucial interactions, it becomes a huge grey area in your marketing strategy.

Is Tiffany a productive cherry picker, or not?

It’s the sad truth that companies actually tend to take phone calls for granted. When their lines are full, they’re happy. When the lines are dead, they’re wondering what went wrong. Call tracking allows you to see why that is, and more importantly, what published content, promotional initiative, or marketing campaign prompted each of those calls.

But, what does call tracking data tell you?

Think about it like this. If you publish a new blog post, you want to determine the effectiveness of that article. So, you check the page views and the visit duration (length of time the average visitor spent reading your article).

However, let’s say that you want to check the effectiveness of your home page. Yes, you might track the website data in this case as well – but, you most likely have a phone number in the top right corner, right? Is your homepage interesting enough, persuasive enough, effective enough for people to call that number?

Without call tracking, we don’t know. There’s no data. Do we fire Tiffany?

Or, what if you’re considering a redesign of your contact page. If the phone number on the contact page is the same as the phone number on the home page, which page most often persuades viewers to call you? We simply don’t know.

Do we keep Tiffany, or let her go?

What type of data does call tracking provide?

  • Number of calls – When different people answer the phones all day long, it’s hard to keep track of the exact number of phone calls that the business received manually. Call tracking will collect this data automatically.
  • Number of NEW calls – Even if you have a way to count the total number of your callers, you still have no idea how many new callers you’ve received. Maybe 50% of the calls you received that day were from current customers, clients, or patients. You need to know how many new calls you’re receiving.
  • Call duration – Not all phone calls are created equal. The longer the phone call, the more likely that individual will turn into a lead for your company or organization. If one of your landing pages generates longer phone calls from people really digging deep and seeking more information, then you know that the landing page did a great job of explaining your business or organization’s offerings. However, if you’re only receiving short phone calls from people who call from your contact page, that tells you that your contact page might need some more work.
  • Call location – Are you receiving calls from interested people near you? Many companies and organizations serve their local area. If you’re a Washington-based entity and you’re receiving calls from Iowa, Indiana, and Minnesota, that is crucial data to collect.
  • Landing page performance – We touched on this earlier. Without call tracking, you don’t know where your most-qualified leads originate and whether a page is functioning properly and yielding effective results. You’re able to see which pages:
    • Prompt the most calls
    • Bring in more qualified leads
    • Result in more new customers
  • Cost of your results – One of the biggest pressures on marketing departments and business owners these days is balancing their money spent with successful results. If you leave a grey area in your marketing strategy, there’s no way to calculate any amount of related success. Wouldn’t you want to know what areas of your website are the most effective and which ones need work? Call tracking can tell you.

Why is call tracking more important than a branded phone number on your website?

Call tracking is more important than a branded phone number for one simple reason. With the expansion of cell phone capabilities, people rarely remember phone numbers anymore. A New York Times article cites Elizabeth Loftus, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, who studies memory.

She reports that people used to go through the common motion of dialing a phone number – and after enough repetitions, they had it memorized. These days, with 91% of the population using cellphones (an ever-increasing number being smart phones equipped with extensive digital address books) we’re no longer required to dial – or remember – phone numbers. Most people can’t even recognize a phone number they saw an hour before.

We’re sorry to say that, as much as many businesses and organizations would like people to remember their branded phone number, the influx of digital technology into our society’s day-to-day activities has made phone number memorization, and even mere recognition, a thing of the past.

Hence, the data that can be gathered through call tracking is exponentially more important than a consistent phone number across the board.

Remember, you still have to decide what to do about Tiffany.

Regarding call tracking, what’s the gist of it?

It all boils down to this simple list:

  • When the data is missing, the overall effectiveness of a campaign is indeterminable
  • Call tracking provides comprehensive, implicative data
  • Call tracking data allows you to deduce effective and ineffective pages, tactics, and campaigns
  • Call tracking data is a crucial component of a marketing department’s measurement of success

Don’t forget that you still have to decide – would you hire Tiffany?