Ep27 – How to Setup Call Tracking Using Google Analytics

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Keynotes

Below is the snippet of code you need to place on your website. Place this snippet of code around every instance of your phone number. Byron has published an article that you can view here that explains how to get it working.

0123456789” onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’,’Phone Call’,’Click’]);”>Call Us Today: 0123456789

If you have any questions be sure to ask them below and we will answer them.

In this episode

  • 00:40 – I blame Byron for our absence and why we haven’t done any recent podcasts
  • 02:30 – Listeners send in their thanks and remind us that we’re appreciated
  • 03:45 – Why phone call tracking is vital. Especially if you’re paying for SEO or other forms of marketing
  • 05:00 – Byron tries to impress us with some technical know how about call tracking
  • 06:40 – Why call tracking matters (why we focus on the metrics that matter)
  • 07:20 – Without the right data, you could be losing money
  • 08:00 – Why small business owners should be paying attention to mobile/call tracking
  • 10:00 – Phone calls might be outperforming email enquiries
  • 11:45 – Ensuring the correct version of tracking code is embedded (universal/standard)
  • 14:25 – I mumble my way through setting it up within Google Analytics (just copy the snippet of code below)
  • 15:25 – We explain why tracking conversions is far more important than tracking volatile rankings
  • 16:55 – How tracking calls can tell you if you’re site is profitable
  • 18:40 – SEO agencies that care will be tracking conversions, not just rankings
  • 20:35 – Byron explains how to identify which pages are performing on your site
  • 22:30 – Asking yourself the big questions
  • 23:45 – Byron offers me a hug

Transcription

John Romaine: Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of the Works Media Podcast, I’m your host John Romaine and joining me is —

Byron Trzeciak: Byron Trzeciak.

John Romaine: This is Episode Number 27 and in today’s Podcast we’re talking about phone tracking, telephone tracking, through Google Analytics.

Byron Trzeciak: Perfect, great topic for this week.

John Romaine: It is.

Byron Trzeciak: Welcome back John, it’s been a while hasn’t it?

John Romaine: It has been a while. We need to come up with an excuse don’t we?

Byron Trzeciak: Well, yeah, I think it’s probably my fault more so than yours.

John Romaine: I think it’s been about six weeks or something since we did our last one.

Byron Trzeciak: Well, it must be because the last time I was up in Port Douglas.

John Romaine: That’s right.

Byron Trzeciak: And I was in the warmth, sunshine and now I’m back down in not so sunny Melbourne and it’s freezing and because of this Podcast I’m actually sitting in the room without the heater on so that’s a big sacrifice in making this.

John Romaine: And it’s just after midnight so —

Byron Trzeciak: Exactly.

John Romaine: But, yeah I mean we haven’t done one in a while so apologies to the listeners. I really want to blame you Byron and I think I’m entitled to but, you know what, every time there’s some sort of problem it always seems to be your fault.

Byron Trzeciak: I’m just like the — that’s my role on this show I think is just to — I’m just here to make you look good John so —

John Romaine: Well, last time you almost died in Japan.

Byron Trzeciak: I did, yeah.

John Romaine: You were attacked by Godzilla and you made it out of there thankfully, you got back and this time you’ve moved into state so —

Byron Trzeciak: Definitely, yeah.

John Romaine: So long as you’re not dying or moving house or, I don’t know, what other disasters are likely to happen we’ll have everything back on track to doing these weekly, yeah?

Byron Trzeciak: Definitely, yeah. Absolutely. I actually think maybe in the future if we do any more road trips I’m more than keen to road trip back up to Port Douglas, we could do a Podcast in every major place we stop along the way, there you go, that could really send this Podcast national.

John Romaine: National? That’s big.

Byron Trzeciak: Doesn’t quite sound as good as global but —

John Romaine: Well, you’ve got to think locally.

Byron Trzeciak: That’s it.

John Romaine: All right, enough dribble, let’s get onto it. I’ve had some interesting emails actually from listeners overseas thanking us for the Podcasts, they really enjoy it, and one thing that I’ve noticed that seems to come through in a lot of the emails that I receive is listeners like the no BS approach. So that’s always good to know so we’ll stick with that approach.

Byron Trzeciak: Definitely, they’re in the right place I think.

John Romaine: You don’t make friends with salad, forget the vegetables just get straight to the meat and potatoes.

Byron Trzeciak: Absolutely, yeah. That’s what makes you money, you’ve got to be well-fed.

John Romaine: All right dude so phone tracking through Google Analytics.

Byron Trzeciak: Absolutely.

John Romaine: I have to say Byron, I take my hat off to you for this, you being in my ear about phone tracking now for a couple of weeks and admittedly when you started talking about phone tracking I thought you may have been going down a rabbit hole because you know, providing search engine optimization services to clients most of them, as you know, just want to rank and you start talking about things like conversion tracking and especially tracking phone calls, I don’t know, some of them just don’t quite get it so —

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, yeah. No, it is, it’s an absolute critical area, I think, of your Web site, obviously contact form, that’s one that we’ve spoken about a lot in the past but phone calls just really opens your eyes up to exactly where areas of your Web site are working, what forms are marking are working for you and it just — it’s changed our world I think.

John Romaine: Absolutely and I know, again, when you started talking about phone call tracking I was kind of reluctant to get involved because I thought, oh, phone call tracking, I’m going to have to get, invest, my time and efforts to try and understand how to implement this. I’m going to have to get involved in — buy into some third-party service that’s going to cost me a monthly fee and that wasn’t the case at all. So, do you want to just explain Byron how you managed to figure this one out?

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, I guess it was probably a combination of the two of us really because I originally used a third-party call tracking software and basically that works by presenting unique telephone numbers on your Web site and it can track who’s clicking on that. The advantage of that one is obviously that if someone just goes to your Web site, sees the number and calls it because it’s one of these tracking numbers you’ll still be able to report on it so that’s the good thing about that but of course you’ll have to pay some sort of subscription service fee for something like that.

John Romaine: Right, so when you say that you’re talking like they’re looking at the number and then they close the browser and then the just use their phone so it’s not actually tracked as an event like a click on that phone number on the Web site?

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, absolutely yep. So that’s your advantages so you pick up a few more things if you go for a paid approach but we’ve spoken about that John, we feel maybe a little bit of over-servicing, we obviously don’t want to play around with people’s phone lines, that kind of thing. It can get a bit hectic so we spoke to, I spoke to, you about it and we came up with another way which was by basically when a visitor clicks on your telephone number that will send an event to your Google Analytics and you can then track that event with a goal.

John Romaine: Where you can set up goals, right, too be able to identify those events.

Byron Trzeciak: Exactly.

John Romaine: Yeah. I mean, I was pretty surprised just how easy it was to get this stuff working. As I said, I thought, oh my God, you started talking about phone call tracking and I was like, oh man, this is just — you are going down the biggest rabbit hole here, I was thinking, how can I invest my time because, you know, there’s quite a lot to do just for SEO alone and then you start talking about tracking conversions and I mean, let’s face it, we’re not going to operate like traditional SEO companies because we focus on the metrics that matter, right?

Byron Trzeciak: Exactly.

John Romaine: Being first page in Google doesn’t mean anything if your site is not actually converting. So both myself and Byron are big fans of tracking conversions. How many inquiries have you had this month? How many phone calls are you getting? Tracking phone calls especially nowadays because it’s super important, especially nowadays, because mobile is outperforming regular desktops and that’s because people are just everywhere on their phones.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, exactly.

John Romaine: So it’s really, you know, it’s something worth doing. So, yeah.

Byron Trzeciak: I think the amount of — like if you’re making changes to your Web site and you don’t have the full data and the full picture in front of you I think you’re really setting yourself up to make a mistake because since we’ve set up this call tracking for a few of our clients John we’ve basically seen all of this extra data that we wouldn’t have had otherwise. You could be there saying that the client’s site is actually converting at, say, 1% when it’s actually closer to 4% and the client’s none the wiser, they just know, well, I’m getting phone calls so that’s a good thing but as far as my organic SEO campaign it’s really not doing that much for me but certain industries like, for example, if you’re a plumber then you’re probably more inclined to give the plumber a call. You know, some industries and some businesses are more call-focused.

John Romaine: Yeah, especially people, and we spoke about this what a week ago, if you’re an arborist, for example’s sake and you’re out in your back yard and you’re looking at a tree that looks somewhat dangerous it might be impeding on power lines or it’s on a bit of a lean or something chances are you’re going to be performing a quick search on your phone to look for tree lobber or something in the area.

So, yeah, I think there are certain — there are definitely industries where people are more likely to search on their mobile and make that call then there are those sitting at say, in the office, performing a search on a regular desktop but you’re exactly right. If you’re not tracking phone calls, and like you said this was such an eye opener for me because I just couldn’t believe I hadn’t done this earlier to be honest. Now that I’m seeing the data come through it makes me realize just how much data I was missing out on and seeing the phone calls now are actually outperforming email inquiries on some of my client’s sites. Without having that data, yeah, like you said, you might be likely to make a change to a site thinking, it’s only converting at 0.8% we really need to get conversions up to 5% or 6% and if you don’t have that data, you could be making the wrong decision.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, 100%, 100% and I think what I’ve also seen is the big difference between, you know, like if clients are running an AdWords campaign and they’re also doing an organic SEO campaign and all of the sudden like I’m seeing a large spike in conversions from phone calls organically more so than through AdWords, I mean, obviously this is dependent on the type of client industry, a whole range of different things but from that perspective and the clients perspective they can start seeing that, okay, there is a much better return here. I’m getting much better conversion rates through organic than what I thought.

So maybe I can reassign my budget and look into doing more things with my SEO agency or you’re just looking at the data there and it just gives you so much more to play with.

John Romaine: Well, yeah, having the correct data like I’ve always said, you make decisions in line with what the data is telling you.

Byron Trzeciak: Definitely, yeah.

John Romaine: But, yeah, it’s actually exciting and looking at clients conversions coming through and seeing phone calls, not just email inquiries and it’s funny, I had — going back say 12 months or so I had a lot of clients that would ask about call tracking and I would always say, look, it’s not something — it’s not a service that we provide there are plenty of services around and I would sort of just point them in another direction, sort of make a recommendation and leave it at that.

I mean, this way of doing it through Google Analytics it isn’t perfect but it does give some sort of idea of how many calls you might be getting, you know, say per month or however often you want to track it and that’s definitely something worth doing, absolutely.

Byron Trzeciak: Oh, absolutely and I think if anybody’s out there in they’re looking at implementing this one thing that, you know, you got it working on one of your sites John and then I was playing around with one of mine and I was having a bit of trouble with it going, oh, why is this not working for me? And you need to be very careful with the way that you embed your analytics code. There’s basically two different ways; ones called universal which is the new way of embedding that code and I’m not sure exactly what they call the old one maybe it’s the standard one, I can’t quite remember but depending on which code you’re using, which code you’re embedding, the way that you send events to your Google Analytics is a little bit different as well so something just to look out for and make sure that you’re using the right events for the right type of code.

John Romaine: Yeah, I kind of get lost with that because I know Analytics was updated at some point.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah.

John Romaine: I don’t know, it’s so damn confusing. They make one simple change you’ve got to go through 100 Web sites and update everything.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah.

John Romaine: But yeah, I might need to — maybe you could send me a snidbit of code or something showing the difference.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, definitely. It’s very mono.

John Romaine: Okay, I’ll include a snidbit of tracking code within the transcription of this Podcast, I’ll put it up at the top so our listeners can just copy and paste it but it’s kind of hard to explain how to make it all work over a Podcast, it would be much easier in a traditional article but essentially if you copy the snidbit of code that’s below this player, copy that, and you wrap that around your phone numbers on your Web site and for those that don’t have HTML editing skills you might want to get some help. If you’re using WordPress it’s pretty simple but you simply wrap the tracking code around the phone numbers on your Web site and there are three, what would you call them, three labels within that tracking code.

Byron Trzeciak: Parameters, probably parameters.

John Romaine: Yeah, parameters is probably a better word. One is — not — Do you remember what they are? One’s category.

Byron Trzeciak: That’s right. One’s label and the other one’s —

John Romaine: Event?

Byron Trzeciak: Probably, yeah, event and action I think it was.

John Romaine: Action, that’s right. So category would be something like phone call.

Byron Trzeciak: Yep.

John Romaine: Oh gee, I don’t have — I wish I — See, this is — we should be prepared shouldn’t we.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, exactly.

John Romaine: I don’t have the notes right in front of me but it’s the — I think it’s the event label that you’ve got to take note of and then you just create a goal as you would normally under admin, this is within Google Analytics, you create a goal and you use that — I think it’s label. I’ll post some notes below but —

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, definitely.

John Romaine: Yeah, you just match up the label as the event type and then, yeah, if anyone clicks on the phone numbers it gets flagged within Google Analytics. You can do all sorts of fancy stuff, I mean, you can monitor under conversions or if you work with myself and poor Byron we set up reporting to show exactly how your site is performing and we put that reporting together so that it actually makes sense.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, exactly.

John Romaine: And it’s easy to understand.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah and I think the thing that I love about that is that now that we’ve got so much data we’re tracking a lot more conversions and all of the sudden I think the big picture starts to show for clients or Web site owners going, okay, so I’m really just focused on conversions here so really it’s just a matter of my site being in as many places and ranking as highly for as many relevant terms applicable to the type of customers I’m trying to engage with.

And I think then really since I started tracking, you know, doing this call tracking, seeing a lot more conversions I really saw that wow, I just need clients Web sites to be in as many places as possible and if that’s a relevant term to what they’re selling then you’ve got every chance of converting that traffic and it really takes some of the pressure off like, okay, I need to be ranked Number 1 for this high turn. I mean, again, it just doesn’t make sense to put all of your eggs in one basket.

John Romaine: Well, no, the mentality of clients needs to change. Really interesting, I mean, we’ve been banging out drum about this for ages Byron. Clients have got to stop thinking about, I want to rank for this term and I want to rank by next Thursday and start thinking about I want my site to be profitable. And this is where — once you start tracking conversions, whether they’re phone calls or they’re email inquiries, you know, take a monetary value and apply it to that conversion.

With my clients I say, look, let’s be conservative and set the lifetime value of a customer if they’re a plumber and they say each job is worth, to make it easy, $1000 then I set each conversion at $250 because, you know, not every phone call will result in a sale. It’s not, oh hi, I’ll be there in five minutes and I just made $1000. Some calls they might get follow-up calls, they might get calls from friends and family, some calls may not close. So I set it at 25% but my point is here, when you start tracking data like this and tracking conversions and gathering the right data at the end of the month you’ve got a report that actually makes, it means, something to you as a business owner. You’re not getting some silly spreadsheet that says you’re now on Page 2 for pregnant elephants.

As a business owner if you’re putting money in whether it’s $1500 a month or $2000 a month you’re going to know that you’re putting money in, you’re actually getting a positive return on investment. That’s the whole point not last month we ranked for this term but Google changed the rules and now we don’t. That just doesn’t make any sense. You want the site to be profitable. And, you know, I’ve got it plastered all over my homepage, we focus on the metrics that matter; sales, leads, conversions. That’s the way clients need to start thinking.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, 100%. And I think you make a great point there, you know, in terms of like as an SEO agency John, we want to show our return on investment for our services as soon as possible because if we do that the clients are literally like, okay, well if I can flip one dollar into two then it doesn’t make any sense for me to stop this, you know?

John Romaine: That’s right.

Byron Trzeciak: But if the focus is on these high competition keywords that even if John and I spent all day, all week, all month, all year focusing on say the term SEO for example, there’s a lot of big name plays in that industry, a lot of techniques are going on so that’s going to take us quite a while to get there and quite a lot of investment of our time to get there.

John Romaine: Yeah, and even if you do, it doesn’t make any sense if you’re getting one customer inquiry out of each 500 visits. So, you know, tracking phone calls and email inquiries and tying in a monetary value against that, you know, that’s the difference between, dare I say it, paying $1500 or $2000 a month for SEO services as opposed to $99 a month or some of that cheap garbage where you don’t know what the company is doing. I don’t want to go down — I don’t want to get up on my soap box here but my point is start tracking conversions and if you’re working with an SEO agency that actually gives a shit, they’ll be sending you a report that shows a return on investment.

Byron Trzeciak: Yep.

John Romaine: And phone call tracking, man, I’m so glad that you put in the effort there. It took a little bit of persuasion but I get it and it makes so much sense.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, well I think even in regards to event tracking as well. So previously John we’ve spoken about using landing pages to set up as goals to basically track what’s happening so for example someone contacts you. They press the submit button on your contact form and it sends you to a thank you page and that thank you page is set up as the goal and we’ve recently starting switching to an event-focused mind and one thing I was mentioning to you John the other day was that if you’re using events rather than a landing page you can get a clearer picture of the pages that are —

John Romaine: Converting.

Byron Trzeciak: — converting.

John Romaine: That’s right.

Byron Trzeciak: And I recon that is really worthwhile setting that up on your contact form especially if you use sidebar contact forms or things like that or mobile numbers across all of your pages which it should be then also you can start looking at these pages going, okay, so Page Number 1 here that converts at 7% but then Page Number 2 over here it’s getting a lot of visitors but it’s only converting at 2% so you could start cracking into individual pages as well to get a better idea on maybe something, content or prices or whatever that you need to adjust.

John Romaine: Absolutely. The clearer — the data is to understand, the less likely you are to be sitting around guessing. This is all about eliminating guesswork. There’s nothing more painful then sitting with a client and saying, well, do you know what pages are converting or do you know is this — no, we don’t know what’s converting or we’re not using Webmaster tools or we don’t even use Google Analytics at all but we know where we ranked for this term, we’re Page 6. That’s so silly.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah.

John Romaine: So, yeah. The more accurate — you’ve got to be really careful too because you can just bury yourself in so much data. You’ve got to stop and ask yourself as a business owner what questions do I want answered? I want to know how many calls I’m getting every month. How many email inquiries I’m getting each month, what my Web site is generating in revenue each month.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah.

John Romaine: What pages are performing the best. Is my site converting at a reasonable percentage, can it be improved, are we wasting a lot of traffic? If you start asking the big questions like that and working towards answering each one of those questions really well and just spending your efforts towards doing that then everything will start falling in place.

Byron Trzeciak: Yep, absolutely. Yeah.

John Romaine: But phone call tracking, I absolutely love it! And it was so easy to set up and I told you, like it was a good thing I thought about it.

Byron Trzeciak: Oh man, yeah, it was. I think, God — well, we’ve never actually been in the same location you and I John but I swear if we had been you would have seen two grown men fully hugging each other in the street I recon on the account of the mini breakthrough that we had had.

John Romaine: Yeah, well, you know, I saw my first phone call come through and I was like, this is outstanding. This is exciting.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, it’s —

John Romaine: You know, you go to a client and you say, listen, this month you’ve got — last month you had 25 calls. We’ve made these changes to your site, we’ve made the call to action bigger and we put the inquiry form at the top above the fold and we’ve added a big clear call to action on the homepage and your phone number is prominent, you can’t miss it, it’s in the footer. Last month you got 35 calls, this month you’ve had 87. Man! That comes back to the whole, you know, put a dollar in, pull the lever and get $2.00 out. You’re going to make the clients day, you’re not sending them some meaningless report saying, okay, here’s the keyword positioning report for the 800 keywords that you’re currently tracking, who cares.

Byron Trzeciak: 100% and I saw this — I’ve got a client that’s doing some advertising and they’re a local business, a dentist, and they basically only take phone calls, they don’t take emails they just — it’s not part of their business at this point whether that’s a good thing or not and there’s absolutely no way of tracking the success of your AdWords campaign unless you can actually track what’s working and what’s not working.

And so this has now given us much clearer information on which keywords are turning into inquiries, you know.

John Romaine: Yeah, that’s right.

Byron Trzeciak: All sorts of things and now you can actually track this, it just really opens up your world to all sorts of improvements that you can make.

John Romaine: Business owners, especially local businesses, saw operators or small businesses, plumbers, electricians, fences, anyone that’s operating in that space that generates leads for their Web site should be doing this and especially if they’re spending money on marketing whether it’s SEO or it’s AdWords or something like that, otherwise they’re just throwing money into the air and hoping that it lands where it should.

Byron Trzeciak: Yeah, even like — I mean, I see that a lot across old forms of paid advertising whether it’s Facebook, Google AdWords, it’s just a client will come to you and say, oh Byron, it’s so good, I’m spending $500 a week on Facebook advertising, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done and as soon as you just ask, okay, and how much is that returning for you, I mean, what’s your cost per conversion and there’s no tracking in place there so track it, get your goals set up and make sure that you understand exactly what’s happening.

John Romaine: All right dude, let’s wrap it up we’re at 26 minutes.

Byron Trzeciak: Yep, perfect.

John Romaine: But, yeah, call tracking, hats off Byron 1, John 0.

Byron Trzeciak: That’s it. I think John’s still 20 goals in front so —

John Romaine: I’ll have to come up with some sort of ingenious idea or breakthrough next month.

Byron Trzeciak: I recon this call tracking, that’s probably worth at least maybe ten goals. That’s up there.

John Romaine: It’s definitely a goal starter, high-five on that one. All right dude, let’s get out of here.

Byron Trzeciak: No worries. Thanks John, thanks for your time.

John Romaine: See you Byron.

Byron Trzeciak: See you.

John Romaine: Bye.

Byron Trzeciak: Bye.

Got something to say?

If you have something to say, we want to hear it. Perhaps you’d like to add something? Perhaps you know of another tool or resource that’s useful to track phone calls? If so, post up your thoughts or comments below.

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The post Ep27 – How to Setup Call Tracking Using Google Analytics appeared first on SEO Point.

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