SEO and Conversion Monitoring – Remember Your Phone Calls
Posted By Jonathan Dempster On January 16, 2013 @ 8:10 AM In Search, Web Analytics, Websites | 5 Comments
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.’
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.
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.
URLs in this post:
 The SEO industry: http://www.imediaconnection.com/seo/
 ResponseTap offer SEO call tracking: http://www.responsetap.com/us/call-tracking-services/seo-call-tracking
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