Tracking PPC Leads When Your Call-to-Action is “Call Now”

By Posted in - Blog & Site Traffic Control on December 28th, 2012 0 Comments

While online marketing is often focused on generating web form opt-ins and delivering email drip sequences, there’s also a huge opportunity for “old school” phone leads. The biggest issue we see with small businesses that primarily drive traffic to phone calls is that even if they are doing it effectively, they don’t know how to track and separate PPC calls from other incoming calls.

Call Tracking Software

Any small business that’s serious about tracking phone leads needs to have a dedicated number for any call that comes from PPC. At the very minimum, that would allow at least an anecdotal idea of lead volume. To take it a step further, it’s worth looking into using a call tracking software, such as IfByPhone or Kall8.

These services allow advertisers to create one or more forwarding numbers for paid traffic drivers, such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, or Facebook Advertising. Unique numbers can be assigned to each traffic source, or one dedicated number can be used for all Paid Search traffic.

The dedicated number uses your local area code (or an 800 number if you prefer), and can even call whisper to read text like “AdWords” or “PPC” to the answering party as the call is forwarded.

Dynamic Phone Numbers

One of the issues people have with using dedicated phone numbers for PPC is when site visitors navigate off a landing page. Suddenly, the visitor is seeing your business’s standard number instead of the PPC tracking number.

To correct this issue, services such as IfByPhone use dynamic phone number insertion. When a visitor is referred from one of your PPC sources, a bit of code will automatically display the tracking number throughout your website instead of the standard number. In addition, the code will place a cookie in the visitors browser so the PPC number will continue to display if that user comes back within 24 hours. Anyone who comes to your site through another means (organic, email blast, referral partner, etc.) will see your standard number.


What really makes call tracking software useful for online advertisers is the deep reporting capabilities. Typical reporting includes call data such as date, time of day, length of call, talk time, and caller ID. Additional reporting can break down calls by area code, state, or hour of day. Some services also offer add-ons like call recording, Google Analytics integration, and voice mail boxes.

For small businesses that only get the occasional call, a dedicated forwarding number probably isn’t going to be that useful. However, any company that drives significant phone leads should give serious consideration to using call tracking software. Knowing where your leads come from and being able to accurately calculate return-on-ad-spend is often what separates a successful campaign from a failed one.

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