Call Tracking & Local Search


iFuse

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Hi all, I know this topic has been discussed more than once, but I am trying to figure out a way to get credit for more calls when using call tracking. As of now we use DNI through CallRail, and it does a great job of tracking calls once the prospect goes to the clients website, however we lose tons of calls when they just call from the source (GMB, Yelp listing, etc.) and don't go to the clients website.

I am thinking why not along with the DNI pool that we buy also buy a separate local tracking number, and publish this number on the site, citations, etc. We already use a combination of Yext, Moz Local and industry specific citations, so we will cover a vast majority of top citations and aggregators and could update the number rather quickly.

It may take 30-60 days for the aggregators to update, but this way we would be able to track almost all calls coming in from digital sources.

The risk is would this hurt local SEO efforts, my belief is that it could temporarily, but it would recover. Not to mention that when they come to us for SEO help they probably aren't ranking that well any way. :)

What do you guys think? Thanks!
 

JoshuaMackens

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Issues I can think of:

What if the client isn't working with you any longer? Will you port the number over? If so, that might be a lot of hassle for you.

Also, you'll be getting credit for new customers that you make actually not have sent them. For instance, if someone Google's their business name because of a TV, Radio, mailer, or other marketing initiative. Heck, even a referral. How do you distinguish between those? You would still have to ask the person answering the phone to ask where the customer heard about you from.

At the end of the day, that's the only way currently to connect online and offline worlds: getting your client to ask the question. And, as I'm sure you know, that's super difficult.
 
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The porting issue is a major one we've run into in the past. Also, don't forget about if you want to change call tracking providers....you need to port those #s then as well!
 
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I always thinks it's good to take a step back so you don't miss the forest for the trees. Call tracking is a powerful metric that can absolutely be used as part of how you show value to clients, but it's just one metric. If the client decides to leave and the transition is absolutely, 100% easy and seamless for them then it's fine, but even if you give them the call number they're still going to have to maintain the service. Kind of annoying for them, knowing they're married to a nickel and dime service that was established to make you look better, and not to actually benefit them in any way.

I've used call tracking in the past for local clients, it was helpful to have the metric, but I would never start doing it again. Better to make the most seamless, positive experience for clients you can, and if someone's already leaving anyway you don't want to salt the ground behind you with extra hassle.
 

JoshuaMackens

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I always thinks it's good to take a step back so you don't miss the forest for the trees. Call tracking is a powerful metric that can absolutely be used as part of how you show value to clients, but it's just one metric. If the client decides to leave and the transition is absolutely, 100% easy and seamless for them then it's fine, but even if you give them the call number they're still going to have to maintain the service. Kind of annoying for them, knowing they're married to a nickel and dime service that was established to make you look better, and not to actually benefit them in any way.

I've used call tracking in the past for local clients, it was helpful to have the metric, but I would never start doing it again. Better to make the most seamless, positive experience for clients you can, and if someone's already leaving anyway you don't want to salt the ground behind you with extra hassle.
I agree on the point that it is a hassle and if the owner doesn't want to do it in the first place, it may not be worth it.

But call tracking isn't just for the agency. It's for the client too so they can keep track of their marketing and understand what is and what isn't working. Many times you can also use left over numbers in the call tracking system to also track their other forms of marketing as well.

Call tracking is awesome, it just a) won't capture 100% of the leads you generate and b) can be a hassle if the client doesn't want it anymore.
 
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For sure, and I should say that when I said I'd never use call tracking for a local client again, what I mean is I'd never use a call tracking number with their NAP in the local ecosystem. There's many other places it's great. Even when I say I wouldn't use a tracking number again for citation work, I'm sure it can work using the number everywhere as long as you communicate with the client and do it right.
 

JoshuaMackens

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For sure, and I should say that when I said I'd never use call tracking for a local client again, what I mean is I'd never use a call tracking number with their NAP in the local ecosystem. There's many other places it's great. Even when I say I wouldn't use a tracking number again for citation work, I'm sure it can work using the number everywhere as long as you communicate with the client and do it right.
Agreed. Not sure I would use it for listings either. But I wouldn't necessarily rule it out I guess.
 

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