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What is call tracking?

Published: 04.08.2022

Call tracking is the name of service which tracks the phone calls to a business. It doesn't mean tracking all calls, but only the calls that are made after visiting the company's website. Usually it is performed by assigning and giving each user an unique telephone number that replaces the company's usual one. When the trackable number is called, it is automatically registered in Google Analytics, and then call is immediately forwarded to the company's real phone number. Website users do not experience any difference, just like they have called directly company's main number.

Cases from the real world

Now you might be thinking: "Yes, yes, it all sounds very nice. But what happens when real companies expose their live visitors to a call tracking company on a real website?” I'm so glad you ask… that's a really good question! The answer is that many companies suddenly discover that from the website go twice as many conversions (leads / inquiries) as supposed to be.

The above percentages together give an average of a whopping 51%. Just try to think about it for a moment... this means that approx. half of all inquiries to the company from their website go via telephone!

What is call tracking?

This means, conversely, that if these companies had not used call tracking, they would have miscounted in their conversion data a half of all website inquiries. The price per lead had then appeared to be twice as high as it is in reality. And furthermore, the conversion rate would also seem significantly lower than it actually is.

Sum summarum; without call tracking, you run the risk of reducing or even stopping PPC campaigns (like AdWords and Facebook) that actually bring you leads – you just can't see these leads in Analytics because you don't use call tracking! Lost leads and sales opportunities… aw aw, it can hardly get any worse.

Why should I use call tracking?

There are many good reasons to use call tracking. But quite simply you can say that call tracking gives you a far more accurate and complete picture of your website's ability to generate sales and new customers. The more complete and correct your conversion data is, the better your chances to optimize the website and paid traffic sources.

  • You get a more complete and accurate picture of how many website inquiries are generated based on your various traffic sources
  • You get a more correct calculation of your cost per conversion (CPA) and conversion rate
  • You get better opportunities to optimize your PPC campaigns, such as Google AdWords and Facebook
  • You get better options for optimal budget distribution between your paid traffic sources
  • You gain greater insight and understanding of your traffic sources in relation to their ability to generate leads
  • You get specific information about how many calls your website generates in total or splitted between traffic sources
Can all types of companies use call tracking?

Can all types of companies use call tracking?

The short answer is YES. But for the vast majority of webshops, call tracking does not make much sense, as calls here will more often represent customer service instead of direct selling activity. But companies that use their website for lead generation have the greatest joy and benefit from call tracking.

However, there may be webshops that sell complicated products or products that simply require personal advice before a final purchase decision can be made – for these webshops it often makes good sense to count and track calls in addition to the actual purchases count from the site.

Simply put, you can say that all companies that experience phone calls from the website as a sales channel are suitable for call tracking.

Can all types of companies use call tracking?

How does call tracking work in practice?

Although call tracking may appear to be rather convoluted and complicated, it's actually not that bad... Of course, there are some complex systems behind call tracking, but luckily we don't have to worry about them.

Call tracking works as follows:

  1. You choose a supplier for your call tracking
  2. You insert a small code snippet on your website
  3. The call tracking code now automatically replaces your normal phone number with a dynamic tracking number
  4. When a person visits your website, a unique phone number from your own pool of phone numbers is automatically displayed. Other simultaneous visitors to the website will see other phone numbers from your number pool.
  5. When person calls the call tracking number, the call is registered in your Google Analytics with direct connection to the person's current visit session in Analytics
  6. Simultaneously with registration, the call is immediately forwarded to your company's normal telephone number
Can all types of companies use call tracking?

The result of described process is that afterwards you can track phone calls in Google Analytics in exactly the same way as you are used to tracking completed contact forms and the like. Furthermore, your Analytics call goal can also be imported into Google AdWords, just like all other types of goals in Analytics.