I work with a number of local businesses in the North West. Many are family-run, with fewer than 10 employees. They all want to grow, and they’re all interested in getting a good return for the time I spend with them.
And so they should.
Some of the stereotypes of the small business owner are true – too busy, too much to do, not enough time to spend on things that don’t have a direct effect on business growth.
With some tasks, there’s a friction between thinking about the bigger picture, and trying to get on with the job at hand.
Where did you hear about our business?
For example, asking a potential customer who called “where did you hear about our business”?
This question is a distraction – the customer has called to ask about services, and the business owner is in the process of explaining features and benefits of their services, trying to help the customer and make a booking or sale.
“Where did you hear about our business?” is quite cold, impersonal and off-topic. It doesn’t make the potential customer feel cared for.
Why ask at all?
If they’re investing £X, they want to know that £>X is being generated in return. Attributing a sale to a PPC campaign without asking or knowing exactly where the sale came from is bad for business.
Without knowing, these two scenarios arise:
It’s a Waste of Money – campaigns may not be effective and investment isn’t having bringing in new business
It’s a Waste of Opportunity – campaigns may be effective but can’t grow without more investment, which isn’t available because the effectiveness of the campaign is not known
How To Track Local Business Website Phone Enquiries/Sales Automatically
The best way to do this is to combine data gathered automatically, but still ask the question “how did you hear about our business?” (warmer language is available).
Google Analytics can track phone calls, so long as they come from clicks/taps from someone on a mobile phone.
This also works for a wifi-based or VOIP call setup like Skype, FaceTime for Mac.
This doesn’t include landlines – to track those then a ‘dynamic number’ may be the best approach using something like calltracks.com or responsetap.com.
To track a phone call, we need to setup a new ‘Event’ in Google Analytics.
You don’t setup events in Analytics itself, but in the code attached to your phone number.
The full code will look like this:
<a href="tel:01244457298" onclick="__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'phone', '01244457298');">01244 457298</a>
To build this, we need a standard telephone number link
<a href="tel:01244457298">01244 457298</a>
In this case, we have
Event Category – phone
Event Action – 01244457298
Event Label – not used
It’s simple to give more detail in event tracking markup, e.g. to track phone clicks at the top of the page:
Event Category – phone-call
Event Action – 01244457298
Event Label – header-phone-number
It’s important that the entire code is used following the format
<a href="tel:PHONENUMBER" onclick="__gaTracker('send', 'event', 'category', 'action', 'label');">PHONENUMBER</a>
You’ll get a nice little report in Google Analytics, detailing the number of calls.
It’s easy to slice and dice this data into a report that tells you where calls came from, and which marketing channels are providing worthwhile return on investment.