Whether it is traditional or Internet marketing, being able to quantify your results is crucial to understanding the effectiveness of your efforts. In some campaigns, which operate on a more black-and-white, input-output scale, this can be easy to do; however, there are a lot of instances in which you need to dig deeper into your toolbox to find a couple of non-traditional tools that can assist you in measuring results. A couple of great tools—phone call tracking and link tagging—can be your saving grace when it comes to quantifying and qualifying results. Let’s take a look at how these two tools can help your business.
Phone Call Tracking
If you are a business that depends upon inbound phone calls as leads, knowing how those leads are generated can be very valuable information. Did that person call based on an ad in the phone book? Did they see your billboard on the highway? Did they find you through a Google search? Yes, you can ask the customers directly, but sometimes that question does not naturally fit into the conversation. Furthermore, what if you have numerous billboards, ads, or want to know if they found your website through a Google search or just went directly to your website? Now, the answer to how exactly the customer found your business is a little more difficult to answer. This is where phone call tracking comes in handy.
Phone call tracking is a simple concept. You purchase a temporary phone number to use for your campaign. On the backend, you have that phone number redirect to your actual phone number so that you receive those phone calls. The phone call tracking provider, in turn, stores detailed reports of each phone call that is generated by the temporary number. Based on that call volume and the quality of those leads, you can better assess the quantity and quality of your marketing efforts.
When it comes to phone call tracking, keep in mind that you can use as many temporary phone numbers as you would like in order to distinguish between mediums. You can even install code on your website that will give users a different number depending if they entered your website directly, through a search engine, or through a pay-per-click ad. Also, you usually can continue to renew your temporary number, so you can use it for as long as you want, which is especially beneficial for long-term campaigns.
While phone call tracking can be applied to both the offline and online world, let’s narrow our focus to the online world by looking at link tagging. Essentially, link tagging allows you to add additional characters to the end of a link that still allows the user to go to the appropriate landing page, but also provides you with additional tracking information. This is especially beneficial in email marketing and social media campaigns, where link tagging allows you to distinguish between posts and links in Google Analytics.
In order to properly execute link tagging, you need to create a custom campaign via Google’s handy URL builder. By filling out the necessary fields, Google generates the proper link for you to use. Google Analytics will automatically track data from that generated link, and you can view it in Google Analytics under Acquisition > Campaigns.
Using Google’s URL builder, here is what a link would look like that takes users to the Full Media homepage, but would tell Google Analytics that they clicked on this specific link on this blog entry:
Without implementing link tagging, Google Analytics will automatically tell you how much traffic you are generating from different sources, such as Twitter or Facebook. Link tagging, however, allows you to break that information down even further by telling you which specific posts are generating the most amount of traffic. Furthermore, if you have created goals in Google Analytics (e.g. contact form submissions), you can tell which specific posts are generating the most amount of these goals. Just make sure that you create different tagged links for each post that you want to track. The same strategy applies to newsletter campaigns if you want to distinguish between newsletters and sections within a newsletter. Do not feel as though you have to get too wild with link tagging, as it should only be used to differentiate. If you have a “Contact Us” link listed several times on a particular newsletter and do not particularly care about which one a user clicks on, just use to the same tagged link for that newsletter. Also, Google forbids you from creating link tags that allow you to identify specific users, so do not do that. Link tag responsibly!
For more information on how you can implement phone call tracking and link tagging into your marketing efforts, contact Full Media!