mobile call extensionsWith the growth of mobile website traffic and the explosion of smartphone adoption worldwide, it’s more important than ever to understand the behavior mobile users exhibit when engaging with your business. And when searching on a mobile device, consumers often prefer to connect with a company by calling rather than filling out a web form. As a result, the number of phone calls stemming from mobile search is exploding. So much so that industry research firm BIA/Kelsey projects that calls in the U.S. from mobile search will increase from 30 billion in 2013 to 73 billion in 2018.

Two mobile call conversion paths: landing pages and search engine results

There are two primary ways calls are triggered to a business from mobile search. The first is from visitors that see a mobile search ad, click on it, visit a company’s website, and then call. The second is from calls resulting directly from the search engine results page through mobile call extensions (the “Call” button, often referred to as mobile click-to-call). Ifbyphone’s solutions address both conversion paths, but the focus of this post is on the latter.

Tracking and analyzing mobile call conversions from search results

Call attribution and automation technology allows marketers to track and analyze the smartphone users that click on their mobile call extensions and have a conversation with their business. Marketers can attribute these calls back to the adgroup and campaign that drove the conversion, giving them useful information around which keywords, ads, and adgroups are successfully driving call activity from the search results page. Data on these calls – call duration, unique versus repeat callers, and a variety of other statistics – can be analyzed to provide additional insights into the behavior of mobile callers. All of this information is available on callers that do not even visit the advertiser’s website, thereby filling in a key piece of the attribution puzzle in today’s mobile-centric world.

Determining caller intent to further optimize mobile campaigns

The behavior of calls from mobile call extensions may differ from other conversion paths. If fact, it most likely will. Think about the kinds of businesses you tend to call, the kinds of questions you typically ask, and the kinds of problems you’re trying to solve when you click the “Call” button. The use cases can be quite different from desktop or other searches.

Analyzing these patterns is important to marketers so they can understand the intent of their mobile callers and optimize the path to conversion accordingly. Call recordings, how callers navigate through IVR menus, and the geo-location of the caller all provide useful signals in this process. Additionally, keyword spotting technology allows marketers to identify the specific phrases and keywords mentioned on their calls. These can be used to hone keyword lists, adjust bids, and further optimize mobile campaigns.

Integrating mobile call conversion data with bid management and CRM platforms

Calls from mobile call extensions can be integrated into bid management systems such as Kenshoo and Marin Software. For advertisers utilizing a bid management tool, this is critical to getting all conversion data in a single source and fully tracking (and proving) ROI. Calls from mobile call extensions can also be recorded in Salesforce to track as they progress from leads, to opportunities, to won accounts, to revenue.

Mobile call conversions: here to stay

As mobile consumes more and more aspects of our daily lives, marketers must realize that the buyer journey will increasingly involve new, complex paths. Optimizing the mobile call experience is a critical step to finding success in our mobile-centric world.