I pitched call tracking not too long ago to a bathroom renovations client.
While he understood that call tracking could be useful… he thought it would be something to think about when we start running the SEO and Facebook Ads later down the track.
At least he’ll understand that any leads he gets for the time being are from AdWords – right?
So I call him up a few days into the campaign
Me: “Just wanted to see if you have seen an increase in calls?”
Client: “Yeah, there’s definitely been an increase in calls and they’re all coming from the right areas we talked about but I don’t know if that’s really from the AdWords, or people just looking for me directly or maybe even my SEO?”
(…he didn’t rank for anything)
Me: “Are you asking your customers how they found you?”
Client: “Yeah I ask ‘em, they tell me the website, but I don’t really want to pester my customers askin’ them like what they searched for and which thingy they clicked”
So here I am clearly producing a decent campaign and because all I have is contact form tracking, this is all I can prove:
Proving ValueThe few campaigns that I do actually have call tracking installed on are an absolute breeze to justify their monthly spends.
The call tracking reports are beauutiful with nice, chunky conversion rates and the cost per conversion looks like something you would actually be happy to pay for a genuine business lead.
You can show exactly which medium (SEO, AdWords, Facebook, etc.) is getting the conversions too which is super important when your client has you battling it out with another provider.
But most of all, it’s important for the client to know which avenue is working for them each time they throw money down that seemingly dark marketing hole.
Businesses are understandably looking at all of their costs with a magnifying glass. If we are unable to prove that we’re driving business at a reasonable cost per lead, they would be crazy to not consider cutting us loose.
The Only Metric That Matters
With the right tracking in place, I almost never look at data like pages per session, time on site or bounce rate these days.
Those metrics do nothing for your clients’ balance sheet and they do nothing to prove that the campaign is successful.
In reality you have no idea if someone is actually consuming content or finding it difficult to get what they want. Bouncing or finding what they need immediately, calling the client up and then closing their browser.
Shamefully, back in the day I would often optimised campaigns on user metrics which as it was the best indication I had (combined with contact form tracking). In reality, I could have been damaging those campaigns without even knowing.
The Majority of Conversions
Typically, any service based industry will always have more phone calls than enquiry forms filled out.
You can see below that this dental client has call tracking implemented for each one of his clinics, so we know exactly which clinic is getting the most out of our AdWords campaign which is especially important when bidding on broader keywords like [dentist] or [dentist perth].
And if you’re doing conversion optimization on a website, you want all of that call tracking data to help boost things up to give a true reflection of what your work has delivered over the months.
This pest control client below had the ‘ugly and unnecessary’ changes of adding a phone number and contact form to every single page. Thanks to call tracking, I could prove that those changes were well and truly worth the cosmetic sacrifice.
Call tracking is invaluable even for Organic traffic.
Even with the dreaded companion (not provided), you can still at least know which landing page lead to a conversion, giving you a clear indication as to which groups of keywords are driving your clients’ business.
Push For Success
For both you and your clients’ sake.
Because honestly, I’m sick of delivering a drum tight AdWords campaign yet the Goals section of my report looks like this:
When a client like this one has spent $700 in AdWords Media (not including your management fee) and it looks like you’ve only generated a total of 3 leads to the business… then your days managing that campaign are skating on thin ice.
Let’s face it, it wouldn’t be difficult for a competitor to tear my services to shreds based on this if the client felt like sharing his report around.
What I’m starting to do now is increasing my management fee to include call tracking as a standard so it’s no longer an optional extra for clients. Yes, it makes me look more expensive than my competitors but:
Call tracking helps you produce a better campaign, every time.
Call tracking produces great accountability; which helps both myself in proving my work and for the client justifying my invoices to either themselves or management.
If price is the concern, there are far cheaper options these days than the big companies we’re used to. Some of these providers include CallRail (which has awesome integration with AgencyAnalytics) and TrackMyCalls (an affordable provider for us Australian operators).
Don’t leave it up to the client to gauge, report or track the leads at their end because most of the time they won’t. Stand confidently behind your work and let the data speak for your results.
About the author
Just another digital freelancer who left the agency world for a slower paced, personal and more hands on approach to managing SEO and AdWords campaigns.
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