What is call tracking and how does it work?If you have any experience with PPC advertising, you’ve probably seen the option to include a call tracking extension on your ads. You may have been curious about what call tracking is and how it works, but haven’t actually tried it yet. We’ve compiled the answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about what call tracking is and how you can use it to help your advertising efforts.

What is Call Tracking?

Call tracking is a form of marketing analytics technology that helps businesses and agencies measure how their digital advertising, offline marketing, and website contribute to inbound calls to your business. With the way call tracking works, it also helps to detect the quality and the conversion outcome of the calls at scale.

According to Dialogtech, call tracking can be set up in one of two ways:

  • Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI): DNI call tracking works by placing a piece of JavaScript code on your site so that whenever someone visits your site, the code replaces the phone number on each of your web pages with a unique, trackable phone number that’s tied to each individual visitor. It also captures how they found your site as well as the specifics regarding their visit session. The information about the caller and their call is then compiled into the call tracking analysis. This form of call tracking is best for understanding your digital marketing and advertising efforts, website visitor interactions, and your site’s SEO.
  • 1-to-1 Call Tracking: This kind of call tracking works by generating unique phone numbers that you can use for your offline marketing efforts, including ad content, direct mailers, and other campaigns. You can then track the phone calls from each of the unique phone numbers to understand the effectiveness of each of your offline marketing campaigns.

Your sales and marketing teams can also use the insights from your call tracking analysis to optimize your marketing and advertising efforts, including media spend and website performance, to generate the highest number and quality phone leads at the lowest cost.

Here’s an example of how to incorporate a call tracking extension in your Google Ads:

What is call tracking and how does it work for Google Ads?

Call Tracking FAQs

  • When did call tracking become available? Call tracking has existed, in some form, since telephones were first invented and used for businesses, with small business owners asking their customers, “How did you hear about us?” Many businesses today still ask customers how they heard about them, but this could be lead to misattribution since customers typically have more than one touchpoint with a business before converting. This is called last touch attribution and gives 100% of the credit for the conversion or sale to the last touchpoint a customer uses to connect with the business.
  • What marketing channels are best suited for call tracking? Call tracking works for the following marketing channels:
    • TV and radio commercials
    • Flyers, brochures, and billboards
    • Yellow pages
    • Print ads
    • Direct mail
    • Web referrals
    • Online directories
    • Organic search results
    • Social media pages
    • Microsoft ads PPC
    • Google Ads PPC

Why It’s Important to Track Your Calls

As mentioned before, call tracking can help you understand which of your digital and offline marketing campaigns are performing well and which need improvement.

Call tracking works well for:

  • Digital advertising campaigns. By incorporating different phone numbers into each of your ads, you can understand which ads resonate with your target audience and perform the best.
  • PPC advertising campaigns. If you want to further optimize your keywords, call tracking analysis or keyword call tracking can help you see which of your designated keywords are working best.
  • Organic search engine traffic. Call tracking will allow you to determine which of your site’s landing pages are generating calls to your business.

The way call tracking works, it provides the added bonus of being able to listen to the calls, which can provide insight into your business’s sales, marketing, and customer service teams and their methods.

How Does Call Tracking Work?

Call tracking works by using dynamic numbers and cookies to track online activity and campaign call tracking to assign each offline marketing effort its own tracking number. Every phone call that comes in from one of these numbers will be forwarded to your business’s main phone line. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, you can also use call tracking to set up a mainline tracking number to ensure that calls to your mainline are also included in your call tracking metrics.

By implementing this all-encompassing tracking strategy, you’ll be able to see which of your marketing campaigns are generating the most inbound calls, and the call tracking analysis can give you access to the following information about your customers:

  • The caller’s name, phone number, and location
  • Call transcriptions
  • Call recordings
  • Website visitor timeline to track every interaction the caller had with your marketing content and website
  • And more.

Will Call Tracking Affect Local SEO?

One of the most common misconceptions of call tracking is that it will negatively impact a business’s local SEO wins. When set up correctly, call tracking won’t interfere with your DNI, local SEO, or NAP Consistency, which according to CallRail, “refers to the accuracy of a location-based business’s name, address, and phone number across all business listings, local directories, social media profiles, and websites. It is widely considered a search ranking factor for local SEO.”