Following on from my post about how to track on page website leads in Google Analytics, this post is here to show you how to tie in any leads via the phone with the callers’ activity on your website.

With many businesses that do not have an online shop, the phone is often the biggest source of business but also one of the hardest to track.

Imagine seeing which users called you and finding out which keywords and traffic sources they used to get to your site.

By the end of this post you will know how to get this invaluable data too.

This is one of the areas most lacking in tracking as it has historically been very hard to correlate web activity with phone calls.

However, due to some ingenuity by clever people who know how valuable this data is, we now have the ability to track what source of traffic led to each phone call and even which search engine and keyword the caller used.

The only downside is that there is often a cost for this functionality, but it is well worth paying for in my opinion.

We use Infinity call tracking to gain data about how marketing activity online (and even offline) has led to phone calls. There are other services available to do a similar thing, but for the purposes of this post, I’ll focus on my experiences with Infinity.

Phone call data can be integrated with Google Analytics, AdWords and even your CRM to fully track website activity and phone call leads from entry to sale completion.

The possibilities are exciting when you’re able to see exactly which keywords led to conversions, the value of those sales and how users who convert via the phone interacted with your website before calling.

It is also very powerful to have this data in AdWords, as Google has realised and is rolling out in the US at the moment.

How call tracking works

Call tracking for a website works by adding a small amount of code to the page and phone numbers on site. You then have phone numbers available that are rotated and each user sees a different one in the set.

When a call is made the tracking code is activated and tied with the user viewing that number and the results are then fed in to the data portals you set it up with. Cookies are set to ensure the data is kept alongside the entry source so it is all reported together in the portals.

In addition to the code on the page, any pay per click adverts may need to be tagged with the relevant details to enable these to be passed on to the data portals.

Infinity has been kind enough to provide an excel macro that updates your ads for you, and if you don’t have this just export all your ads to a spreadsheet and use the wonderful concatenate function to add all the information you need together.

The quantity of numbers that you will need for your site will vary depending on the volume of traffic that your site receives. You can also ensure that the first seven digits are always the same and only the last four change.

Call tracking can be set up with different types of numbers, including freephone and local.

Implementation process for call tracking:

  • Organise package and numbers with call tracking provider.
  • Add code round phone numbers on website.
  • Add standard tracking code on every page.
  • Add tags to PPC destination URLs using a macro.
  • Set up goals in Google Analytics for call pass/fails.
  • Import Analytics goals in to AdWords.
  • Set up integration with a CRM or other system.

Tracking phone call leads against unrelated calls

To identify between phone calls that are actual leads and those that do not lead to anything or are on a different topic you have the ability to set a length of call as a goal.

For example, if a call is longer than one minute it might be much more likely to be a lead than anything under one minute. This would then be the time that you choose for a goal to be marked as successful after.

Anything under one minute would be a call fail and any calls over would count as a call pass.

Tracking phone calls as goals in Google Analytics

When a phone call is made the code executes a virtual pageview in Google Analytics and attributes it to the user’s data so that the entry source and activity on site can be combined with the phone call.

The virtual pageview is also labelled with call pass or call fail so that you can identify which visitors to your site actually count as leads and which ones do not. It is also beneficial to include goal values for calls so that you can attribute a monetary return with the data.

The goals can be set up like so:

Setting up call tracking goals in Google Analytics

Analysing prospects in Google Analytics

Now that you have your call data coming in to Google Analytics you can get a good insight in to how many users from each source actually pick up the phone, as well as where they have been on site, where they are based and which channels are resulting in calls.

Here’s an example of some data you can get from the goals overview tab if you choose only the relevant goal and click source/medium:

Call tracking goal statistics

However, this doesn’t really show you as much as you might want to know. I’ve created various custom reports to gain more data about phone calls.

The following images are both taken from this report, which if you’re logged in to Google Analytics you should be able to save and apply to your profiles in just a couple of clicks, you will just need to update the goals used to the relevant ones to you.

This table shows which mediums led to how many calls and what conversion rate each medium saw for the goal.

call tracking by mediums in Google Analytics

By clicking View > Percentage you can easily see which medium led to what percentage of calls:

call tracking data in Google Analytics

You can create an Advanced Segment for the call goal completion which will then enable you to analyse the callers across all the data. This can be done through the page or goal for the call:

Advanced Segments for call tracking

With this segment turned on you can then look at data such as New vs Returning Visitors, Mobile visits, Landing pages and other core information.

Integrating phone call data with Google AdWords

Once the goals have been set up in Google Analytics these can be imported in to AdWords as conversions and tracked within the AdWords interface.

This means you don’t have to go to a separate portal to find all the information. AdWords accounts where phone calls make the bulk of the business have historically been very hard to optimise as you don’t know which keywords and ad groups have led to calls and which haven’t.

Now that phone calls can be reported alongside the keywords you will know which ones are not worth investing in and which ones have a strong lead generation.

As I mentioned earlier, Google is bringing out its own call tracking functionality. However the dedicated portal available with external companies that offer call tracking solutions is often more comprehensive than the data you can get from Google.

It also brings all sources together and provides more information about the caller, including phone number, length of call and more.

Offline phone call lead tracking

Call tracking software can also be combined with your offline advertising campaigns by using a dedicated number for that media and recording the calls from this within the portal.

This way you can see the volume of calls from each source in one place and quickly see which marketing method is bringing in the most calls and sales.

Summary

Combining phone call data from all marketing channels enables you to understand your return from each channel much more easily.

And as long as this post is, it’s actually relatively straightforward to set up, especially when the company has a dedicated and helpful support team to help you through this.

Personally, I hate to see businesses relying on the phone for sales but unable to track the source of the calls. Having used this tracking method justification to keep spending thousands of pounds a month on PPC can easily be made.