Wouldn’t we all love to be able track how our visitors are engaging with our site and our brand offline? Oh wait, hold the phone, you can!

According to a recent US mobile study, close to two in three (64 per cent) of mobile-driven purchases occur offline. This comes as data suggests mobile traffic will overtake desktop traffic for the very first time.

Not only are more consumers driven to buy products offline, but a recent website and call tracking case study released by Mediahawk has shown that offline conversations are helping to drive online sales too.

In an increasingly online world, it would seem counterintuitive that offline activity is driving sales. But the figures speak for themselves, so it’s about time that you started paying attention to how your call data can boost your profits.

So how can we track offline activity?

There is plenty of online tracking data at your disposal, from cookies to clicks, event tracking to downloads. But when a lead comes through to your business via the phone, that’s where the tracking appears to end.

With a growing number of your website’s visitors arriving via mobile or tablet, it should come as no surprise then that most are searching for a number, a place or a person to talk to (and this number is only growing).

So how do you now combat this Omni-channel search behaviour and turn it into something useful for bettering your business? Well, the answer is call tracking.

So, how does call tracking actually work?

Call tracking is a type of software that tracks and collects information about phone call conversations and website interactions with your business.

To implement the technology, you’ll need to insert a piece of JavaScript code into your website.

Call tracking is real simple:fFor each unique page displayed or channel referral you’d like to track an interaction with, you apply a unique (dynamic) telephone number.

What’s great about call tracking software is the integrated visitor level tracking offered by the majority of the top suppliers. Visitor level tracking shows you which web pages your callers looked at right up until they called you, so you can trace the journey and garner a better understanding of how you audience convert.

visitor call tracking

This information is infinitely valuable for marketing agencies who receive enquiries from both online and offline channels. This bridging of the online and offline worlds allows you to track even more of your sales, and where enquiries are coming from.

So whether someone calls from a billboard or a magazine ad, you can assign callers back to the original marketing and compare and contract return on investment.

Whilst this all sounds pretty impressive, the real magic happens when you integrate all of this call data with your other analytics platforms and close the loop on your sales and attribution.

With phone calls still proving to be the highest quality leads for the majority of businesses (Source: BIA/Kelsey, 2010), it’s paramount that you integrate these valuable leads with your overall reporting and sales attribution.

Let’s take a look at three of the most important call integrations.

Call tracking integrations

Most good call tracking services will house a lot of call data in their reporting suites, such as the number dialled, the redirected number, the salesperson’s name, perhaps an e-mail, the time, date, duration of the call, a link to the digital recording and even the facility to make additional notes. Bonus.

And the majority of good quality call tracking providers can seamlessly be integrated with Google AdWords, Analytics and your CRM systems.

1. Integration with Google AdWords

A 2013 Google study revealed that 7 in 10 users called a a paid ad directly from the SERPs without even clicking. The power of a number is incredible.

The benefits are three-fold: you stand out from your competitors who might not be using the extension; you appear more credible and trustworthy; and finally, you’re more appealing to the customer who wants to speak to a human (most people).

Click-to-call or call extensions on a mobile device have even greater success. Compared to a desktop where your number displays in full, on a mobile ad, a ‘Click to Call’ button displays. Since these can be set at ad group level, you can find out what keywords work and what works better in certain areas.

Here’s what a click-to-call extension looks like in a paid ad:

dress alterations click to call extension

Case studies reveal that call extensions in AdWords can refer as much as 30 per cent of your site’s conversions, typically increasing an ad’s click-through rate by 6 to 8 per cent.

Even though Google recently announced a new feature which enables advertisers to track website call conversions in AdWords, this feature alone doesn’t provide the level of insight that third party call tracking software can offer. Therefore it’s still important to link your call tracking software through to AdWords.

Once you’ve set calls as goals in Analytics, you’ll be able to link these through to AdWords as conversions. But you must make sure you have auto-tagging turned on in AdWords as this will allow AdWords data to flow back into Analytics and vice versa.

This is incredibly important for managing PPC effectively as calls need to be mapped to a conversion in the same way you would any other AdWords conversion tracking so you can see which keywords need managing. This will also be incredibly useful for adjusting ad spend and bids quickly to meet demand.

Dynamic numbers from a call tracking service allows you to filter your ad traffic on an individual basis and compare and contrast how effective each campaign has been in generating calls. This kind of data will help with keyword mining for broad terms or adding negative terms

Display advertising can be attributed a unique number for each particular campaign you want to track (for example a wide banner versus side banner). There are limited options for call extensions in display ads, but only for mobile, and call forwarding is not available. Whilst you won’t get as much granular detail as other paid campaigns, you’ll get some sense as to how well your remarketing campaigns are performing.

2. Integrate with Google Analytics

Within Google Analytics you can set calls to count as conversions, just like any other conversions you might be tracking.

So every time someone calls your tracking number, your call tracking provider will send the call and details to your Google Analytics account to register it as a conversion.

The reason why this integration is so powerful is because you can view your calls alongside all other aspects of online user behaviour. This means you’ll be able to see a detailed segmentation and path analysis for your visitors and goals.

You’ll also be able to see phone calls as a stage in your multi-channel conversion funnel.

phone call conversions Google Analytics

Integration with Google Analytics means you can see which keyword brought the caller to the site, whether it was organic or paid search, or what social media channel or referral path your visitors came from. Essentially, you can follow their every move from time on the site to pages viewed and exit pages all from an individual number.

Digging deeper into analytics call data

You can even track qualitative data from your unique numbers. For example, find out which page or channel brings in the most new visitors; which lead to the highest conversions; which results in the most loyal customers (based on lifetime value); or at what times of the day or week do particular pages perform best.

Call tracking software can help you drill-down even further into your call metrics. It’s possible to tie your phone call event to a unique web visit.

Depending on your conversion funnel, you may even be able to build a profile of your user. For instance, if the user enters their e-mail address on the page before picking up the phone, you can alias their incoming call with tracking software.

3. Integrate with your CRM (Customer Relationship Software)

And finally, closing the full sales loop with CRM integration.

Many call tracking services feed leads automatically through to your CRM as soon as a phone conversion event triggers. You’ll also be able to see detailed advertising information so that your sales team will be well-equipped to follow up with leads.

But the most important aspect of this integration is the amount of information you’ll instantaneously collect about missed calls. The chance of converting your lead drops by 100 times if you call within thirty minutes as opposed to five minutes after the missed call.

So time is of the essence and this integration will be the most important for you to secure those leads as quickly as possible.

Attributing customer satisfaction with specific members of your sales team is even possible, as all unique numbers are redirected to an internal number. So you might find that “Charlie” is great at winning over customers so you might direct calls from the complaints section of your site to him, or “Harriet” is better at dealing with broadband bundles so calls based on that keyword might go to her.

And with this being the final step in the closed loop sales attribution and where the majority of your open leads are stored, you’ll ensure that you’ll always have up to date and accurate pipeline info.

To Sum up – there’s never an excuse to miss a lead

No more is there a black-hole in your online marketing efforts. People will always like to pick up the phone to you, and with the right call tracking tools, it’s possible to ascertain which marketing channels and strategy as well as what site structure may all impact your conversions.

With call tracking software you are at least ten times as likely to convert your lead. Couple this with Google Analytics for a better understanding of your visitor’s behaviour and an automated dialler, and you’ll find your call conversions rocket.