Tracking Local Leads

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
988
Does anyone have good suggestions on tracking local leads from Google+Local? Obviously it wouldn't be wise to use a tracking phone number, because that could create big problems with NAP consistency. Is there something that's within the guidelines which could be used to determine which leads are coming from finding the Google+Local page, rather than just assume the calls are coming from there?

Any and all help on this question is very appreciated.

Thanks!
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
Messages
322
The best solution is to just have the people that answer the phones ask how they found the business, and keep track of it.
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,441
I Tweeted this to try to get some opinions going.

Thanks for weighing in Darren.

Kinda tricky asking customers too though. Because you are lucky to get staff to even ask. But then often the customer will say I found you on Google. You can't really say "Where on Google? Was it a full paragraph listing in the search results? Or was it a little listing with name, address, phone and a little teardrop thingy? Or was it a full page local ad that had a write a review button and pictures on it? Or was it a listing right on Google maps?"

You know what I mean? It's still really hard to tell where in Google they found you and if it was a G+ L listing or maps listing or organic listing.

I was just always really upfront and said G Local is just very hard to track. If you want hard metrics you won't be able to get them. Can't use a tracking # and the G+ local analytics are weak and often don't work at all.
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
988
Thanks for weighing in guys. Darren I tell clients they need to survey new customers and find out where they're hearing about them, but like Linda said they will just say "Google" or something like that. It's definitely hard to tell whether they mean the organic listing or the local listing.

I feel like lead tracking for local is the holy grail of SEO. Every other medium (PPC, organic, direct) can have a definitive trail you can track - usually with phone tracking numbers or analytic cookies.

I've seen articles using a custom landing page URL for the page you list on the Google+Local page, but that obviously leaves a ton of leads on the table because you can't track direct phone calls from the local page. Many people go to the local page but never visit the main site, so I haven't pushed the custom URL as much.
 

mborgelt

Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
472
Gotta have people answering the phones and taking the leads asking how they found the business. On lead forms I use "Internet" as the drop down form option because a lot of times consumer dont understand "Maps" as an option. I think we all know do not use call tracking. I get upset when local SEO companies suggest this solution without explaining the up and down side of this.
 

Keenan Glass

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
235
You could create an offer that is specific to the local page. If you're allowed, you could also use Google Offers.

Definitely not ideal.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 5, 2012
Messages
334
Thanks for weighing in guys. Darren I tell clients they need to survey new customers and find out where they're hearing about them, but like Linda said they will just say "Google" or something like that. It's definitely hard to tell whether they mean the organic listing or the local listing.

I feel like lead tracking for local is the holy grail of SEO. Every other medium (PPC, organic, direct) can have a definitive trail you can track - usually with phone tracking numbers or analytic cookies.

I've seen articles using a custom landing page URL for the page you list on the Google+Local page, but that obviously leaves a ton of leads on the table because you can't track direct phone calls from the local page. Many people go to the local page but never visit the main site, so I haven't pushed the custom URL as much.
Custom phone numbers are a BAD idea. Unless it is a phantom line that the business will always support you risk allienting customers if you pull the number or distrust with Google when the number goes away. Marketing gimmicks that only hurt customers and provide no benefit to the customer are a horrible idea.

Custom URLs on the G+ page aren't permitted as the URL is supposed to go the applicable site/page associated with that repsented on the G+ page. Google doesn't like redirects. Essentially a custom URL would be a redirect, if it isn't then the website is going to rank lower in Organics for having duplicate content.

I think you will have too much trouble trying to differentiate the G+ page from the places entry in Maps, from that's which is displayed on the Web SERPs. I think its wise to break it down to Google > Maps/G+/Webresult (if the person knows/remembers) and also include if the person was influence by the Reviews on the Local page.

Most of the time people are either going to be specifically searching Google for resurants in a given area or will see a check-in/review from one of their friends. Otherwise it is "just getting lucky."
 

Keenan Glass

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2012
Messages
235
Andrew - I think by custom URL, they meant an inner page within the website, other than the home page. Something like the contact us page.

I've yet to meet a client that could get a prospect to break it down for them as to which page specifically they were searching. Even I couldn't do it, and I'm great at it.

Prospects have no idea what you're talking about. They say Google when they mean Yahoo.
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
14,441
Prospects have no idea what you're talking about. They say Google when they mean Yahoo.
Amen to that. The average consumer often thinks the whole Internet is Google. So even if they saw you on a banner ad somewhere and you ask them to fill in a drop down for how they found you, they'll just say Google.

So asking and getting the right answer is tricky. But accurately tracking local through any other means is darned near impossible.
 
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
440
Hopefully someday Google will roll out call tracking on Google+ Local. They have it with their AdWords program. Why can't they do it for Google+ Local? Give the business owner an option to display a Google tracking number, and like in AdWords, charge the business owner a small fee every time that number is called. You would still have the business owner fill out the NAP in the dashboard as usual but then within the dashboard give the option to display a tracking number or the business number. How hard could this be to do??? This would also be an easy way for Google to monetize Google+ Local.

Travis Van Slooten
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,781
There really is no solution to connect an online persona to their offline counterpart. It's the same issue that advertising has had for years and the person that invents the solution will be a rich man indeed. Routing phone numbers don't even do the job. Sure, you can track calls but how many of those were wrong numbers, price shoppers, etc. If you could hook it up to your point of sale system and identify by phone, that might work but what if they call from their home phone and give you their cell phone for their records? Or what if they call from their business phone? Do you start to see the issue? No marketing is 100% trackable and Local SEO actually provides much more user behavior than other forms of marketing with analytics programs.

I just tell my local clients the above and they've all kind of grasped the situation. Normally, most don't even bring the issue up.

Just hope that the new G+L platform is a sign of change for Google with a more intense focus on local. If so, maybe we can expect an upgraded and intense analytics program that goes beyond Google Analytics and is more local focused.

However, with the slow roll out and still buggy G+L, this may be (and probably is) overly optimistic.

If you figure out the solution, be sure to a) get a patent and then b) call me right away :)
 

Nick.SEOSpark

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2012
Messages
361
This is a very productive debate as it's easily forgotten that this is one of the mos important things within (any) SEO campaign: Tracking!

My local clients also do not "tend to bring this up" as a topic, however, it would be great to do as it gives us further evidence in proving our worth to our local clients. And of course, the more worth we are giving, the more likely they will stick with us for a long time.

Travis has an interesting idea with adding the function onto G+ Local with a small cost - Personally I'd expect the cost to be very small. Would it be on a "per click" basis or "one off" function. I'd prefer the latter. So, yes, that would be great if the cost was small. It's clearly looking like G+ Local cold easily be monetised in the future and this would be a healthy way of doing it.
 

Trending: Most Viewed

Local Search Forum


Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe


Google Product Exert

@LocalSearchLink

Join Our Facebook Group

Top