This is the second of a two-part series of posts to help SMBs take their analytics beyond the basics. In Part I, we introduced you to Danny of Farryn Electric and our plan to help him improve his analytics. In part II, we’ll share how we executed that plan and how it transformed Danny’s understanding of his marketing results.
We started by setting up Google Analytics Goals to track contact form submissions and phone calls.
There are three ways to track phone calls that come to your websites. The first involves setting up a Google Goal to track when someone clicks on a phone number to call you. This method has no cost, but only allows you to track phone calls made when users call you via click to call links on your mobile website. The other two methods involve replacing your phone number with a tracking phone number. This requires signing up for a phone call tracking service and paying for the number of phone lines you need as well as for every minute of phone call usage the system tracks. You can purchase a single phone number if all you want to do is track that phone calls were made by people who visited your website. While a less costly approach, this method doesn’t let you know where those visitors were before they came to your site. In order to do this, you need to use a phone number pool, which is a group of phone numbers. You need to purchase enough phone numbers to allow everyone who is on your site simultaneously to be assigned a unique phone number. In Danny’s case, he needed 4 numbers.
In case you were wondering why you need multiple calls tracking numbers to know how prospects found you or were wondering how phone call pools work, a brief explanation follows.
When users visit a site that uses a phone call pool, the system assigns them their own phone number and creates a record for your visitor which include the source, medium, as well as other data that tells you exactly how that visitor found you. This process is also referred to as Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI). If the person calls you, the phone tracking system will use Caller ID to figure out who they are. Most phone tracking systems also include the option to record the call. When the person hangs up, the phone number that had been in use is released back into the pool and ready to be used by your next visitor.
Form tracking works in a similar way. Like phone call tracking systems, form tracking creates a record that includes the information from the contact form and enriches it with the source, medium, and other data about how that visitor found you. Most form tracking software programs knows how to parse the fields in your contact form, i.e. identify name, email, phone, and other information in your contact form, and map the information to the right fields your form tracking database.
Finally, we set up Google Analytics goals to track the contact form submission and phone call conversions. Setting up a goal for contact forms requires configuring your website to send a notification to Google Analytics so it knows when a contact form has been submitted. Google calls these notifications Events. You then set up a Google Goal to record when a contact form submission event is sent.
You can also configure an integration between most phone call tracking software platforms with Google Analytics. Once set up, they will automatically send an Event to Google Analytics every time a call is completed, and you’ll just need to set up a Goal to track the Event the call tracking company is sending.
You might be wondering why we introduced the complication and cost of setting up phone and form tracking. We did this because while Google Analytics gets you part of the way there and is a great solution for a company with a very limited budget, it has limitations. On the plus side, you can track when contact forms are submitted and you can track calls from mobile browsers. You can also import these goal completions into Google Ads which helps you use conversion data to inform automated or manual bid management.
However, if you want to track calls from prospects who aren’t browsing your mobile site on their cell phone, you can’t do this without a phone call tracking service. Since Danny’s corporate customers are more likely to find him while browsing from a desktop, laptop, or tablet device, he needed call tracking to know how many phone calls he was receiving.
Further, while Google can track that someone clicked your phone number or that a contact form submission occurred, it can’t tell you exactly who converted. Phone call and form tracking software is needed to capture this information.
Phone call and form tracking solutions tell you how individual prospects find you by appending the contact’s information with the referring site and other details that let you see which of your marketing campaigns generated individual leads. This is important because your contact forms aren’t always filled out by prospects. They are used by your clients looking to contact you for support as well as by suppliers looking to connect and sell you their products or services. Phone and form tracking systems let you remove data from calls and form submissions that were made by people who aren’t looking to buy from you which lets you know the number of qualified leads you received. Relying on Google Analytics conversions alone exaggerates results because it counts every phone call and every contact form submission. The number of leads you actually receive is almost always far less than the number contact form completions or phone calls Google Analytics tracks.
Some phone call and contact form tracking systems, like Jess, will also let you import your advertising costs and calculate the cost per lead and cost per qualified lead. This lets you see the results from different marketing campaigns side by side and helps you better allocate your marketing budget between different marketing and advertising platforms.
Now Danny knows not only that he’s getting a lot of leads from his website, but where they came from, and at what cost.
This has allowed Danny to feel a lot more confident about where he is spending his marketing dollars. He knows his SEO campaign works the best and is generating leads at an incredible $11 cost per lead. This validated his decision to continue investing in SEO. Most notably, he felt more comfortable trying Google Ads again. He had been using paid advertising before but turned spending off because he couldn’t track results. Now that he can see which leads are generated by his Google Ads campaign, down to the keyword the prospect used, and at what cost. This makes him feel confident that Google Ads works for his business. This also lets his agency manage spending on his paid advertising with more granularity than it could do previously.
As an added bonus, his form tracking solution keeps a duplicate of all his contact forms submissions. He had a disruption to his email service and wasn’t able to receive email for a couple of days. He was able to get back in touch with everyone because he had a backup of all his contact form submissions.
Where does Danny go from here? He’s been too busy to take things to the next level, but the next step would be to integrate his marketing analytics platform with his CRM to track cost per sale and ROAS.
Interesting in learning more how to set up Google Analytics or take your marketing analytics beyond the basics? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.