Google Touts Conversion Boost With Call Tracking Solution

Call tracking pre-dates the internet. At times it has been the subject of intense debate about its use in online (local) marketing (see Related Entries below). However in Q4 last year Google launched its own call tracking solution: Google Call Metrics.

Google Call Metrics uses the same technology that’s behind Google Voice. It generates a unique phone number for each ad/search  campaign and can be used for both PC search ads and those that appear on smartphones or tablets.

To showcase Call Metrics Google has put out a new case study. It involves agency ConvergeDirect and “a large financial services company,” which shall remain nameless. The associated materials say that use of Call Metrics helped the client increase response rates by almost 30 percent and conversions by nearly 20 percent.

Steve Jacoby, Managing Director of Search at ConvergeDirect, is quoted saying that Call Metrics helped the client better qualify leads, which often involve a multi-step process.

I also spoke to Jacoby a couple of weeks ago. He told me that with conventional call tracking he had to give up valuable ad-copy space to a phone number. However the additional ad copy was necessary to financially qualify prospects.

Google’s call tracking numbers are appended onto ad copy without “cannibalizing” any characters. Jacoby was thus pleased that he could use all his ad copy and still get a tracking number associated with the ad.

Jacoby said that using Call Metrics with ConvergeTrack, the agency’s own platform helped improve efficiency and conversions for the client’s search campaigns. “We’ve achieved an increase in call volumes, and we get more highly qualified leads,” he explained. Now here’s the money quote — literally:

With call metrics, we saw a 29% increase in calls and a 17% boost in conversions. Call metrics has significantly improved our efficiency both in terms of responses and conversions.

Putting a phone number in a paid search ad enables people to respond immediately. And if leads are closed over the phone, as in a complex sale, driving phone calls will make a meaningful difference. To my knowledge Google isn’t charging for calls generated from PC ads, absent a click.

Finally adding local telephone numbers to online ads can trigger higher response rates because the information creates a perception of greater relevance. Google has seen this in its mobile Click to Call ads and there’s independent evidence of this as well.

Related Entries

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Google: AdWords | Google: Analytics | Google: Mobile

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://www.freespee.com Freespee

    Hi Greg, is that case study publicly available somewhere? Sorry if I missed the link. -Juhani

  • http://www.mongoosemetrics.com Mongoose Metrics

    Greg, thanks for the case study summary. This is very exciting news to us in the call tracking industry because it shines a brighter light on the importance of tracking offline conversions in addition to online conversions. Only with a complete lead conversion picture, can you effectively optimize a PPC campaign to improve quality lead generation.

    My one question is, was the financial services company tracking PPC call conversions prior to integrating Google Call Metrics? We’ve seen a number of our clients quickly realize after integrating call tracking that their PPC campaigns were driving significantly more conversion than they realized because for whatever reason their visitors preferred to call instead of complete a web form.

    In addition, do you know if the firm has any plans after seeing these results to integrate a full call tracking solution to better track other sources of offline conversions, such as Bing PPC, online banner ads or email marketing campaigns? While I know call tracking can sometimes negatively impact online rankings, the tradeoff is a more robust conversion picture that can be used to better evaluate and evolve all marketing initiatives to improve performance.

  • http://www.ringrevenue.com RingRevenue

    Great article Greg. It is true that certain vertical segments like financial services have products that convert better over the phone, than simply online. Including phone numbers in search ads and other types of advertising media such as banner and display, gives the consumer the choice for how they want to engage with the advertiser. We released a case study and white paper yesterday revealing how the financial services industry is leveraging call performance marketing and how Lexington Law’s has increased sales 50% month-over-month with their pay-per-call program. Their program leverages call performance marketing to promote call-based campaigns and has helped them broaden their distribution on a pay-for-performance basis.

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