SEM Pros: Add Call Tracking to Your Toolkit

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In our constantly changing world, it’s mandatory Search Engine Marketing (SEM) pros stay up-to-date on the latest paid search trends and tools. But even the most accomplished professionals might be missing expertise that’s crucial to landing that next job or bringing success to an online campaign: call tracking

Call tracking is a necessity for all Search Engine Marketing Managers, PPC professionals and others in the Digital Marketing industry. Call tracking provides the ability to better measure each conversion point in the buyer journey, giving marketers more accurate and precise knowledge of campaign success.

While a sharp grasp of key analytics is seen as an integral part of the SEM role — and is often the first item listed in job descriptions — call tracking is what enables you to make sense of these analytics and drive meaningful insights. Here’s why call tracking is such a valuable tool to SEM pros: 

Attribution Is a Hard Problem to Solve

There’s significant value in attribution. Attribution allows marketers to see which tactics, from social and search ads to landing pages and blog posts, are actually bringing in conversions. If you have no way to understand how customers are engaging with your content (or even how they found it in the first place), you’re just playing an elaborate guessing game. Even if your efforts are successful, you won’t know how to improve them if you can’t identify what made them successful in the first place. To solve this problem, marketers should be using a variety of attribution methods and models. 

Logical Position had been using a less advanced call tracking service for the past few years, which meant we were only able to track phone calls for our clients on the account level. We could capture a call log of those phone calls and were able to report how many calls we generated month-over-month for our clients, but that’s where the attribution stopped.

In 2018, we partnered with CallRail and everything changed for us and our clients. We now have the ability to see what source and medium are driving phone calls and more importantly, CallRail is able to communicate with those platforms and attribute the calls down to the beginning of the user’s journey. We can see the keyword the user typed into whatever search engine they were using. We no longer need to make our best-educated guess as to what campaign or ad group we should be allocating more budget to because that information is available for us to report on with our clients— allowing us to focus on the needs of their business so we can generate more of the leads they want.

Of course, many of these platforms, like Google or Facebook, provide their own attribution data that can illuminate where conversions are coming from. But tracking different metrics across multiple platforms (which often use differing attribution models) can be quite the feat for a marketer. Without a central tool to track and analyze key metrics, marketers risk wasting time and effort trying to make sense of it all. 

That’s why a central platform using a multichannel attribution model that assigns credit to each touchpoint (including phone calls, form submissions, social media engagements and more) is most effective for SEM pros looking to see the bigger picture.

Of course, attribution looks different for every business, and some businesses may receive less phone calls or form submissions than others. But for most small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), call tracking is a fundamental part of a multi-faceted attribution strategy — especially since many customers continue to use phone calls as their primary contact point. 

Read more: The Lesser-Known Benefits of Tech Support for Retailers

Call Tracking Redefines Multichannel Attribution

Call tracking uses dynamic number insertion (DNI) to give you a better understanding of this journey. Using DNI, your customer is given a phone number unique to the channel he or she is visiting, whether it’s Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Yelp, or a landing page or other content on your site. That number is displayed everywhere a phone number would normally appear when that customer reaches your website through one of those sources. 

DNI shows you exactly where customers viewed each phone number, which allows you to see what exactly led them to the last conversion. In other words, you’ll know which keywords, paid content and owned content inspired your customers to convert and whether they came from paid or organic content. Without this model, you may see that your customers are converting after spotting a Facebook ad, without the insight that your blog was a key player in the conversion.

In the end, call tracking unites the insights you need as an SEM pro to improve your efforts and report on them with confidence. It also eliminates the confusion created when you’re receiving different stories and data points from each platform you’re using. By relying on a unified approach, you can get the real story and respond quickly and appropriately. 

There are many skills every SEM pro needs to master, and many of them are constantly changing. But it’s clear that call tracking isn’t going anywhere. If you can add call tracking to your resume, your clients will benefit greatly. 

Read more: Why Marketers Use Call Tracking Software

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