Search Marketing Companies -€“ Phone Tracking Can Save Your Budgets!

Search marketing budgets are not safe, many agencies are seeing cuts in search spend, there's one simple way to make sure your clients are not cutting budgets on something that really is working...close the holes in the lead tracking process.

Today Laura, sent out this post on Google Analytics integration with phone tracking and Liveperson. At SEER we have vetted a ton of companies that do phone tracking, we started this process about 18 months ago with Voicestar and liked many things about them (especially the API).

But I'll tell you a story on why now more than ever every search marketing company should be doing phone tracking. Lets start with a real example:

One of our clients found that after implementing phone lead tracking that we were under reporting our results by 50%!!! In other words if we reported 100 online leads in a month, they actually had 150 that came from search! We were turning a positive ROI at 100 leads, but by finding this out we changed the entire economics of the campaign, we could change positions, we could enable keywords that we thought were NOT returning a positive ROI, just to name a few. This resulted in increased budgets and more leads because we had a more accurate view of our impact down to phone calls.

Sage Lewis wrote this story comparing 3 phone tracking services again we liked Voicestar, but their pricing is REALLY complicated and high, however their system is robust, so again, we liked it – but I really like seeing more competition in this space, Mongoose has pricing that is MUCH easier to understand.

With the post from Google analytics above it just got me thinking that if your SEO/SEM/PPC agency is experiencing tightening budgets you should have your clients implement call tracking especially for B2B clients and even for complex lead gen / and e-commerce sites.

Our client was a B2C client with a very VERY basic form for leads and they were still under reporting our leads by 50%! Can you imagine the B2B marketers out there selling complex software solutions that may have a longer sales cycle and more questions?

Why should you go through the hassle of vetting phone companies? Simple, by implementing call tracking you are helping your clients get a more accurate view of the traffic you are driving and possibly showing them a more accurate (and hopefully better) ROI. Its the right thing to do!

Be ethical! - Remember you have to take out calls from branded search if you want to be 100% on the up and up and not take credit for people calling in because they searched for the client name. Taking credit for branded search from an SEO campaign is one of the ways you can get ripped off by SEO's.

If your client says that they don't have the money to do this, I am thinking that in this economy they can not afford NOT to know the true value on the leads driven by their search campaigns and their true search ROI. Someone asking “how did you hear about us” on the phone is just not cutting it in this economy. Mongoose is offering a GREAT credit which basically makes the first month free, and it integrates with several popular web analytics tools. If you decided Mongoose is not right for you and you go with another solution but want to save money, you may only need to run call tracking for 3 months to see the percentage of calls to online leads ratio and apply that as an estimate of online leads going forward, allowing you to drop the provider after a while.

We are going to be playing with this soon and will update you guys with what we find.

What are you waiting for?!! Go save (or increase your budgets) by implementing call tracking!

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Wil Reynolds
Wil Reynolds
CEO & Vice President