What Call Tracking Metrics to Watch in PPC Search Ad Campaigns

hanapin PPC marketingThe PPC experts at Hanapin Marketing and Ifbyphone have collaborated to write “Call Tracking for PPC Search Ads: What Your Need to Know”, a guide to tracking phone leads from PPC (pay-per-click) advertising. It introduces call tracking and explains how it can benefit your PPC marketing. The guide also includes tips on how to use call tracking to optimize your PPC campaigns.

Taken from the guide, here are a few suggestions on how to use various metrics from call tracking to improve PPC results:

Generate Reports to Analyze Call Sources and Activity

If your company relies on PPC advertising on search engines like Google and Bing to generate leads and revenue, call tracking technology can tell you a great deal about which ads and landing pages are working and which aren’t. So what metrics should you pay attention to?

The first and most obvious is the raw number of phone calls each of your marketing sources generates. Call tracking reports enable you to drill down and monitor calls from the ad level, so instead of seeing that PPC campaigns overall generated X amount of calls last month, you can see how each individual ad performed and make adjustments accordingly.

Call tracking reports also provide other metrics to pay attention to, including:

  • Call duration by source: Understanding total calls by PPC ad source is important, but it also helps to know which sources are driving longer, more meaningful conversations.
  • Call location by source: Understanding where callers are located geographically can help you advertise more intelligently. For example, if 60% of your callers are coming from New York and Chicago, you can bid more for Google mobile PPC ads targeting smartphone users in those areas.
  • Call time of day by source: That strategy also applies to when in the day people are calling you. If most of your calls come in the afternoon, you may wish to reduce your PPC advertising spend during slower times.

Track Phone Leads through the Sales Cycle with CRM Integration

While call tracking software works as a standalone platform, it also integrates with CRM systems like, giving you additional metrics. You can use CRM reports to not only view how each marketing source is driving phone leads, but also how those leads are moving through the sales cycle.

Key metrics generated by integrating call tracking with a CRM include:

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  • Track phone leads by source: Just because a PPC ad or campaign generates a ton of calls, doesn’t mean it is generating legitimate leads. Tracking qualified phone leads by source is the first important metric to measuring success.
  • Track opportunities by source: Many marketing teams are judged not on the leads they generate, but on the opportunities. This metric gives you a truer sense of a PPC campaign’s performance.
  • Track revenue by source: Ultimately, money is what matters. If a $20,000 monthly PPC campaign generates over 1,000 phone leads, that may seem like a good return. But what if none of those leads ever become revenue? It’s important to follow every lead through the sales cycle to revenue.
  • View deals won by agent: Are some sales agents better at closing inbound calls than others? Knowing who to send the most calls to can help you increase a campaign’s chances of success.

Basic Steps for Measuring PPC Campaign Success

Ultimately, however, you don’t want to analyze phone conversions without web leads any more than you would want to only measure web conversions without phone leads. Here are some basic steps most marketers who track PPC calls use to understand what’s really working:

  1. Add the total number of PPC phone conversions to total web leads over a set period of time.
  2. Compare that to the budget you spent during that period to see your CPL (cost per lead). How does this compare to other marketing programs? Do you need to make adjustments to your keywords, ads, landing pages, or bids?
  3. Use your CRM data to monitor how those PPC leads converted to opportunities, accounts, and revenue. It is helpful to also analyze web and phone leads separately to understand which lead type is more valuable.
  4. Compare those opportunity and account data with your PPC spend to get your cost per opportunity and cost per acquisition (CPA). Is the number too high? Are adjustments needed?
  5. Compare this report to others from last week, last month, last quarter, etc. Are you improving, or are things getting worse?
  6. Compare revenue from PPC to total spend for a given period. Are you getting a good ROI from PPC?

You can repeat this analysis for every PPC campaign you run, and even drill down to the ad level to get more granular detail to see what’s working and what needs to change. To learn more about call tracking for PPC search advertising, you can download the Hanapin Marketing and Ifbyphone guide “Call Tracking for PPC Search Ads: What Your Need to Know”.

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