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SEO and Conversion Monitoring – Remember Your Phone Calls

Posted by Jonathan Dempster on January 16th, 2013 at 8:10 am

Call Tracking Key Words

If you are selling high value products, it is more than likely telephone calls play a huge part in your selling strategy. The internet has allowed small retailers to sell to a global market, but consumers are still wary, therefore a phone call can instantly put them at ease and give you an opportunity to upsell your products.

SEO is a great way to get in front of a large online audience and more traffic to your site increases your chances of creating sales through your website. Some firms forget that the majority of phone calls begin at website level, and data about the path each visitor (want to make the point about it being visitor level data rather than just aggregated data that they need to think about) took before the call was made is invaluable.

Content and Conversion

The SEO industry has improved its reputation over the last few years. Encouraged by Google algorithm changes, an ethical approach to ranking higher on Google is the way in which the SEO industry is evolving. Content strategies are driving long tail search results which lead to traffic to your website and ultimately conversions.

This has allowed data to drive a lot of the decisions that companies make on their websites. By simply looking at top level statistics, you can see which pages are converting and which aren’t. However, the thing people forget about SEO is that it should simply be a part of a bigger marketing strategy.

Think about a fast food stall on the corner of a busy street. Although you would like to try some of the food, the actual stall looks a little tired and there isn’t a menu so you don’t really know what to buy. A lot of people will be passing by, and inevitably some of them will buy food from the stall. However, if the stall was a pleasant looking building that was clean, friendly and welcoming, more people would visit you, talk about you and come back again.

This same thing applies to your website. Make your website difficult to navigate and expect a low conversion rate, no matter where you rank on Google. Spend time, effort and money making your website the best it can be. Remember, content is still the king. Scott Brinker couldn’t have put it better when he said:

‘Ultimately, in both SEO and conversion optimization, content is king. Don’t let technicalities overshadow what really matters: compelling value propositions and meaningful brand experiences. In SEO, this wins you links; in conversion optimisation, it wins you customers.’

Phone Calls?

I continue to read stories about phone calls becoming an expensive inconvenience, especially for smaller businesses. Although video calling is becoming more and more popular, I don’t see any kind of 1984 style world coming any time soon. I think phones are more popular than ever with smartphones making it so easy to call anyone, anywhere.

If a visitor sees a phone number on your website and decides to ring to purchase, this sale is lost from your analytics, as they have not converted online. This means that by not taking into account the sales made by phone that originated from your website, you are only getting half the picture on the efficiency of your digital marketing.

For example, a number of sales that converted by phone may have been driven by a website visit prompted by an organic search result.  Without correctly attributing these sales in your evaluation of your digital marketing, you may decide that you are wasting money on SEO as it is not creating sales, when in fact it is, but they are converting by phone.

However, companies like ResponseTap offer SEO call tracking that can be integrated with Google Analytics, in order to understand which marketing is driving your phone calls. For example, if you create a great piece of content about your industry which leads to 3 phone calls being made, this can be shown in the conversion funnel. This not only allows you to correctly monitor your ROI on SEO as you can see the value of each call, but also enables you to discover which pieces of content are effective in generating calls.

The Future?

So what is in store for the future? I think content will continue to be the driving force behind SEO. Great content leads to great links and inevitably conversions. With the digital revolution has come a lot of data which has given real insight into the behaviours of consumers. Call tracking allows businesses to see in real time  which marketing is making their phone ring, and according to BIA/Kelsey & ConStat Commerce Monitor, 65% of businesses consider phone calls their highest quality lead source.

So, next time your business looks at what is driving your conversions, remember that everything may not be as it seems and be extra vigilant when moving around marketing budgets.

I would love to hear your opinions, comment below.

5 Responses to “SEO and Conversion Monitoring – Remember Your Phone Calls”

  1. Jayden Chu says:

    That is one area that needs a lot of discussion, Jonathan. As a marketer, I have been faced with a lot of questions regarding SEO and its relationship to telemarketing. While there are a lot of marketing gurus claiming that social media is the next big revenue generator for businesses, I firmly believe that this is only plays a small part in a campaign. What matters more would be the other marketing tools used to actively convert prospects in qualified sales leads.

  2. This is why your phone number should be 123-456-7890 and not 123.456.7890! With the hyphens a smartphone will recognize that it's a phone number and let a visitor to your site click to call. You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to connect with your business!

  3. Jonathan says:

    Hi both,

    Thank you for your comments. Jayden, you make a very good point. Social media is hyped to be the next big thing, but I honestly think a backlash to social media is brewing. Users of Facebook have started to decline, and I honestly think it is due to the amount of Ad's you now see on your timeline. Finding the right balance between ad revenues and relevance is difficult to get right (we all seen what happened to MySpace).

    That being said, Google is showing signs of using social signals as a way to rank websites, so in truth, no one really knows.

    And Nick, this should be lesson 1 for making a mobile site!

  4. Call tracking is one of those things that is a great idea, but challenging to find time to get around to implementing (for ourselves and most of our clients)!

    It's a powerful concept though. Partially important for businesses that are

    Love to test it out more thoroughly though.

  5. Salomon says:

    We track call to specific TFNs so we divide the TFNs by channel (desktop landing pages, mobile landings and Social Media)

    Have you seen benefits on going granular to keyword level as the example company, Response Tab offers?

    Thanks

    S

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