When we first start working with new clients, a huge majority of the time they place all of the leads from their website into a single bucket called “Web Leads.” This translates to the client not knowing which Internet marketing channels or campaigns drove those leads. Without that information, it is impossible to know performance regarding specific channels or campaigns. Furthermore, they cannot accurately calculate ROI or know what adjustments can be made to improve specific channels or campaigns.
1. Hiding your phone number.
Many company websites only display their phone number on the Contact Us page of their website. This makes it hard for visitors to find the phone number and generate a sales lead for the company. Best practice for a lead generation website is to have a phone number displayed at least once on the top of every page of the website. Some experts recommend displaying a phone number multiple times on each page.
2. Relying on counting inbound phone calls.
Some companies analyze phone company bills to see how many inbound calls they received. Other companies have the person who answers the phone count how many inbound calls they receive, which introduces human error. Without knowing the marketing source of your phone calls, a count of inbound phone calls provides no meaningful lead tracking data.
3. Not knowing the marketing source of your phone calls.
Having a phone number clearly displayed on your website is a start, but in order to track sales leads you need to know what marketing channel or campaign generated each phone call. (See No. 4.)
4. Not using a call tracking provider.
A call tracking provider is required in order to track the marketing source of inbound phone calls from Internet marketing channels and campaigns. There are many different vendors to choose from when looking for a call tracking solution. The best solutions assign your company a unique pool of phone numbers that are dedicated to your company only. You do not want your phone numbers shared by other companies. The other very important element to consider when looking for a vendor is to choose one that has the ability to assign a unique phone number directly to a single visitor on your website. This allows you to uncover the exact referral URL that was used by the visitor to reach your website. You will also want to be sure to select a vendor who has call recording features and remember to turn that feature on as most disable it by default.
5. Not validating phone calls.
With a call tracking solution in place, companies can now get a count of inbound phone calls segmented by each Internet marketing channel or campaign. Most companies classify these phone call counts as conversions, which is a huge mistake. They forget that phone tracking technology isn’t perfect and has a lot of noise in the data. Many phone calls that are tracked come from callers who dialed a wrong number, telemarketers who run auto-dialer software, people looking for jobs, sales reps trying to sell their company things, etc. Some companies may be surprised to find that over 50 percent of their tracked calls are not sales leads. The solution to this is lead validation where each phone call recording is reviewed by a human and marked as a sales lead or not a sales lead. It is imperative that your phone leads are validated before you consider any phone call counts as conversions or sales leads.
6. Not including phone leads in your conversion data.
It’s surprising how many clients disregard phone leads when analyzing their PPC campaign conversions or Google Analytics conversion data. If a company displays a phone number on its website, but doesn’t include those conversions in campaign reporting — sales lead data is flawed. Think about a company who gets 10 leads per day, and one day it receives three phone leads and seven form submissions. The next day, it receives seven phone leads and three form submissions. If the company failed to track phone leads, it would be overlooking 50 percent of its conversions. Then, imagine if this company is modifying its PPC campaign based on only 50 percent of the conversion data; it would be making changes to reduce bids or pause keywords that could have been producing the majority of its phone leads.
In an upcoming article, we’ll look at common