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Monitoring phone call conversions in GA with event tracking

Monitoring phone call conversions in GA with event tracking

With chat bots and messaging apps on the rise, marketers might assume the phone call is dead.

This is simply not the case. For many businesses, phone calls equal conversion and that conversion is driven through the content you publish online.

People aren’t using phone books to find your number anymore. They’re accessing it through ads, blog posts and other online campaigns. Essentially, through Google. But how can you tell exactly which keywords and campaigns are driving the most valuable calls to your business?

The answer lies in importing phone call conversion tracking. Here’s an overview of how it works and why it’s so essential.

The benefits of phone call conversion tracking

The whole purpose of phone call conversion tracking is to understand what role calls play in the customer experience. An essential touchpoint along a user journey, phone calls are not to be overlooked.

If you conduct any aspect of business on the phone – from answering questions to scheduling meetings with prospects – phone call conversions are a critical goal.

What you can find out from phone call conversion tracking

Phone call conversion tracking allows you to monitor:

  • Calls from ads – To track calls made directly from call-only ads or call extensensions, determine a minimum call length and every call that lasts this long will be considered a conversion.
  • Calls to a phone number on your website – You can also track calls when someone clicks on your ad, then goes on to click the phone number, button or link. In this case, however, Ads can only track the clicks, not the calls. Still, this is useful information for understanding your user journey.
  • Clicks on a number on your mobile website – Again, with mobile websites, Ads can only track clicks, not calls. You’ll still be able to see when someone clicks on your ad, the phone number, button or link on your mobile site.

What you can do with all that data

So,  what’s the benefit of recording these calls – or the clicks on a smartphone that turn into calls? By tracking phone call conversions, marketers can:

  • Add an important piece of data to their paid search ROI analysis,
  • See where you can improve services,
  • Enhance your buyer persona and targeting methods,
  • Weigh the effectiveness of specific keywords and campaigns,
  • Make more informed decisions on how to optimise their campaigns for calling purposes.

Monitoring phone call conversions

To track call conversions, set up phone calls as a conversion action in Google Ads. This will automatically track when a customer’s call comes from one of your advertisements or a person who has clicked on one of your ads calls the phone number on your website.

You can get a more comprehensive picture of how phone calls are affecting your marketing goals by also uploading information you track on your own or through your client relationship management (CRM) system.

Metrics worth tracking include:

  • Time and length of the call,
  • Caller’s phone number,
  • Whether those calls led to a sale (or other conversion action).

You’re then able to collate this data with the calls tracked as a conversion action, giving you insights on which of your campaigns, ad groups, ads and keywords are leading to those calls.

You can also monitor phone call conversions in GA by setting up event tracking for when a user calls your phone number.

How to set up Event Tracking in Google Analytics

If you’re new to GA, an Event is a user interaction with the content on your website that can be tracked – things like ad clicks, downloads, flash elements and videos. To monitor phone calls, you need to set up Event Tracking for when a user initiates a phone call from your website.

This highlights one of the cool things about monitoring phone call conversions. In addition to getting a better idea of your marketing ROI, you also have the chance to analyse some different data for once: phone calls. It’s a distinct set of metrics and reporting than what you typically see using GA or other analytics tools.

With Event Tracking, you can identify the source of phone calls to your business. Are they coming from:

  • Social,
  • Organic,
  • Direct,
  • Email campaigns?

If you don’t have phone calls as a clickable action for users, you’ll need a certain code to set it up. GA doesn’t give you this code automatically, so many marketers will need to work with a developer to set up click-to-call manually.

You also need to set up Goals, which measure how your site or app meets your objectives. In this case, your Goal or completed activity would be phone call conversions.

Using your results

With everything in place, it’s time to have a look at that data. Here’s what you can glean from your Events Report:

Geographic location of users

Call data provides information about a user’s location, allowing you to see if any particular area is a major source of phone traffic. From there, you can refine your marketing and improve your targeting.

Device breakdown

Similarly, you can use GA to see the device callers are ringing from. Determining device is another way to improve targeting. If the majority of calls are coming from Samsung phones, for example, ensure your number is displayed large and clearly on those devices.

GA cannot, however, track the phone calls itself or provide detailed reports on phone call data, such as call length or time and day of location.

That’s why it makes the most sense to pair your Event Tracking efforts with another phone call tracking solution, particularly if phone conversions are a major part of your business.

There are a variety of call tracking apps out there and the best ones integrate easily with GA. Simply enter your GA ID in the app’s dash and all call data will come through your GA dash automatically.

Unlike GA, these apps can track every site visitor and even allocate phone numbers to each visitor that also correlates with that user’s Google Client ID.



Natalie Fortier About the author