• http://silvery.com Chris Silver Smith

    Unfortunately, a key issue with call tracking is that it can reduce effectiveness of one’s overall search marketing effort. Until the industry solves this issue, many of us will have to continue to strongly recommend that clients avoid call tracking entirely. Analytics is great to have, but it shouldn’t be obtained to the detriment of actual performance. See:


  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    John, Chris,

    This seems like a complicated solution to a fairly straight-forward problem. For our clients with material call center activity, we append a code to the paid search destination url which is then embedded in a “code” box at the bottom of the page. The call center person databases that code — “Could you scroll to the bottom of the page and read off the code in the yellow box” — and through a back feed those sales are credited to the exact ad that drove the person to the website.

    To Chris’s point, this doesn’t cannibalize paid search sales, in increases them by capturing what’s currently missed.

    John is the notion that these businesses are too small to implement a tracking system? Seems like language parsing off of transcripts is a hard way to go when call-center code tracking has been around forever.

  • http://searchengineland.com John Busby

    Hi George,

    If I’ve made call mining out to be complicated, then shame on me! As part of your call tracking package, you just opt-in and as soon as the calls stream in you can compare the relative effectiveness of your campaigns.

    I do like call-center code-tracking as an option, and it sounds like you have employed it effectively. For many of the customers that I’ve spoken to, though, adjusting contact center procedure just isn’t feasible (and, as you suggest, some businesses are just too small or otherwise ill-equipped).

    I also want to point out that with call mining you can get other information about the call, such as which features were asked about by the caller or discussed by the agent.

    — John

  • http://searchengineland.com John Busby


    Totally agree that analytics shouldn’t compromise performance! We’ve worked with customers, large and small, that have utilized best practices in call tracking for years without incident (while reporting much improved performance).

    — John

  • http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Thanks John, makes sense to me!