Yesterday, Google announced the launch of its latest AdWords tool, Website Call Conversion. This latest addition joins a number of new products that allows advertisers to link ads and phone calls that has launched over the last year including click-to-call ads, call metrics, and calls as conversion. The way Website Call Conversion works is that every time a user clicks on the ads and is directed to a merchant’s website, they will see a dynamically generated phone number that is linked to those ads. When potential customers click on or call the number, the call itself will be automatically linked to the ad the customer had seen. This allows brands to more easily track which ads has led to phone calls. The important thing to remember here is that Google AdWords only measures approximately 25% of traffic on most brand websites. The remainder of the traffic comes from other channels which is why tracking phone calls to individual ads and users are of utmost importance in order to generate high data accuracy. By providing our clients with Freespee software we are able to allow them to track conversions based on the whole customer journey, not just those that are the result of Google AdWords. Nonetheless, this marks an exciting time for us, as it shows that people are becoming increasingly aware of the need to connect their data in order to see the bigger picture.
- Definition and delimitation of “B2B online marketing”: online sales vs. lead generation
- Challenges for web analysts in B2B online marketing
- Use lead management tools to track conversion from lead to customer
We know you’ve been anticipating the second part of this great blog post, so without any further ado, here it is! This week Eoghan is leading us on a journey into the last four stages of the B2B Marketing circle:
- Tracking of inbound phone calls: an important factor in the online path-to-purchase for B2B companies
- Trilateral exchange of data between Google Analytics, call data and lead management
- Analysis of the collected data: multi-channel ROI reporting with Google Analytics
- Web analytics for B2B companies: conclusion and outlook
Please don’t forget that both Eoghan and ourselves would love to hear your thoughts – do not hesitate to leave your comments in the form below!
Universal Analytics in B2B Online Marketing, Pt. II by Eoghan Henn
Tracking of inbound phone calls: an important factor in the online path-to-purchase for B2B companies
Many B2B companies display phone numbers very prominently on their websites alongside their yard-long contact forms. Their online marketing activities often give very poor results according to their reporting. Marketers’ gut feeling is that many of the inbound phone calls the business is receiving come from the online marketing efforts, but lack of measurability makes it total guesswork.
Historically, the obvious solution for metrics-driven marketers has been to remove the inbound call opportunity from the website, to ensure maximum measurability. Hence, by removing one line in your HTML code, you close the preferred call-to-action among many of your online visitors. Should that really be an option here? The online path-to-purchase is not linear, customers more and more often jump from online to offline. Many of your visitors want to talk to you to make their decision, and they want to do this when it suits them, not when it suits you. Others find it more convenient that you choose when to talk to them, so they complete the call back form. Online chat with a sales representative is also popular, but should only be used if you have staffed it properly.
That being said, it’s smarter to make how to contact you a choice for the visitor, not your choice. Inbound phone calls used to create a huge headache for anyone doing web analytics, since these events weren’t captured by our favourite tools like Google Analytics and its peers. Visitors who chose to talk to companies as part of the path-to-purchase were treated as drop offs by these standard analytics tools. Therefore even if you document this sale in your lead management tool, you will not be able to connect it with the online visitor journey that was behind that sale. Hence, there is no way to attribute the sale back to your online marketing efforts. But happily enough, there is technology available to capture all contact events today, not just the completed online forms.
Call tracking providers such as Freespee, that are able to serve each visitor with a unique phone number, have the remedy for this pain. From the visitor perspective, there is no difference in the user experience. They simply see a phone number being displayed that they can choose to call in case they want a consultation. In the background, however, things happen that are amazingly interesting from a web analytics perspective. If the visitor chooses to call you, it will be possible to associate the inbound phone call with a visitor and his path-to-purchase.
If you work with a call tracking technology that already supports Universal Analytics, you will have the possibility to associate the inbound phone call with Google’s visitor protocols, meaning that inbound phone calls can be treated on an equal basis with completed contact forms.
Trilateral exchange of data between Google Analytics, call data and lead management.
Now that you are capturing inbound phone calls on an equal basis with completed contact forms, the inbound phone calls data is pushed into Google Analytics making sure all contact events are captured and attributed to the correct visitor. But to close the cycle, the call tracking tool also needs to push data into your lead management tool, and have a lead record created that is associated with a Google visitor protocol.
When you receive an inbound call, the call tracking software captures the information that Google Analytics needs to recognise the visitor when it receives a sales data feed. This information also has to be pushed into the lead management tool where the lead can be taken through the entire sales cycle until it ends with a successful sale. After successful completion, your lead management tool can now, as described in part 1 of this article, send an event with a sales value to Google Analytics, which in turn can be associated with the call and the previous site visits of the user.
Analysis of the collected data: multi-channel sales reporting with Google Analytics
In the closed loop described above, the important questions an online B2B marketer should be asking himself can be answered. The discovery and research process in the B2B sector often results in a potential customer visiting your web site several times through various channels, before the first personal contact is made. Now you can centralise your collection of web data, contacts and sales in Google Analytics. You get a holistic view and meaningful multi-channel reports available for you in Google Universal Analytics. The data that you possess can, for example, provide answers to the following questions:
- How is our corporate blog contributing to our sales?
- What are the results of our tireless activities on Linkedin?
- Did our April newsletter in which we announced our newest product lead to more sales?
- What’s the ROI on our AdWords spend? Can we make more sales with more AdWords budget?
- Is our SEO budget carrying its part of the total online revenue?
- What areas of my website play an important role in the purchase decision and could be further optimised or better advertised to drive more sales?
These and many other questions can now be answered with the help of the data collected in Google Analytics. Thus, past campaigns can be better evaluated and future actions and budgets can be planned in a more data-driven way.
Web analytics for B2B companies: conclusion and outlook
The new technical possibilities that Universal Analytics offers provide relatively simple and affordable solutions for B2B companies to take a huge step forward in their online marketing activities. Using Google Analytics, call tracking and data automation with a lead management tool will provide the important insights you have lacked. Maybe you will learn that your online marketing is generating far more sales than you currently see in your reports. By acting on these new insights, you will be able to grow your business.
At Freespee, we’ve always been looking for ways to empower our customers. Whether it’s by giving them the right set of data that they need to make better ad placement and optimisation decisions, or helping them understand what their reports say, our aim has been to support them and work with them to polish Freespee, so it serves their business even better. That’s why it’s amazing to see our customers perform exceptionally well and, most importantly, become thought leaders. We are very proud to introduce our first guest blog post by one of those customers, Bob Moree. Bob is the Marketing Manager over at Propeller Internet Marketing, a Dutch IM agency, based in Schiedam. Propeller is a little boutique agency that happens to be behind the success of one of our clients, Leobellen.
Bob is, without any doubt, a marketer of the future: he’s on top of the Mad Men vs. Math Men game, knowing both the essence of traditional marketing, and the importance of granular data. He’s written an article on his blog about the benefits of Freespee with regards to understanding the complete customer path-to-purchase, that we would really like to share with you.
Read the full text below, and please, do let us know your thoughts
Should we make inbound phone calls part of the path-to-purchase data when making decisions about our ad spend and placements?
Have you heard that before?
If you have, chances are that you’ve also asked yourself if you’re only credited for half of the work and value you create.
A whopping 76 % of all online visitors choose to complete their purchase over the phone, but because most advertisers have no way to collect this data and associate it with the online Ads, they have no idea what their marketing spend is generating in terms of value. They can just guess.
If we don’t take call data into account, it is extremely difficult to assess which marketing efforts are worth our time. A keyword may not have had a single conversion online, but what if it generated five calls? I guess you will regret pausing it if you’ve already done that. There are probably several efforts that you’re making to optimise your website that are not generating the value you’d expect they would.
Complete data sets when looking into Conversion Optimisation
Apart from measuring the effectiveness of different keywords, messages and reallocating resources, having the full set of data also helps you optimise your overall conversion rate, and much quicker if you are using A/B testing tools or similar. The tool has much more data to act on.
Perhaps an example will help to explain this:
Imagine you have a page that you are A/B testing. Test A gets 50% of the visitors, and Test B, the other half.
MarketingSherpa, one of the largest research programs in marketing, has recently posted a study with the following results: After a company started taking into account phone calls made to the business, they found out that the marketing cost per acquisition was significantly lower than expected. Half lower than expected. This allowed them to refocus on keywords and ads that seemed rather unprofitable. The result? After one year there were nearly two times as many highly valuable sales opportunies for the business (98 % increase!).
So are you …? Tired of the eternal debate over ‘ free visitors ‘ via SEO versus paid visitors with AdWords? – Make sure you posses the full set of data. Eager to show your boss that your marketing efforts are really working? Make sure you posses the full set of data. Need to save money on AdWords ? Make sure you posses the full set of data by including phone call data into your customers online path-to-purchase!
No, we’re not crazy. We’re just trying to help you make more informed decisions.
The focus of online marketing is pretty straight forward: it’s all about creating new opportunities and continuously improving the results of all of our ad placement and online efforts. In fact, if we want to make it to the top we must think about getting the most out of what we spend in order to succeed which is to increase our percentages when it comes to converting online visitors to a qualified leads.
In this article, we want to share 5 tips & tricks we have learnt from our brilliant users. They have many different approaches to their online marketing, but we’ve noticed there are some that work remarkably well. Here’s a list of five great tips on how to increase the overall engagement of your online visitors without having to increase your ad spend by a penny.
1. Make sure all your website’s numbers are trackable.
If you are receiving inbound phone calls today, make sure these are part of your online path-to-purchase insights. Stop treating visitors who call you as drop-offs. It’s pretty simple – drop a script on your web pages that serves every visitor with a unique phone number. If you provide different numbers for different offices, make sure they’re all being replaced with unique phone numbers for every visitor, to avoid leakage in your data.
2. Responsive Website – Click to call
Responsive websites are no longer optional. If your goal is to compete with the players on top of your industry, you need to make sure your website is responsive today. A study made by Nielsen in late 2013 showed that 74% of people search on mobile using a search engine in the process of purchase. Adding this to the fact that a study made by Ipsos showed that 61% of the people valued click to call as extremely important when it comes to the actual purchase, it’s needless to say that if you haven’t already, you need to make sure your website’s design is resposive as soon as possible. Not only will the information on your website be accessible in a more user friendly format, but in combination with a provided click to call option, it will also make it easier for your customer to complete their path-to-purchase by talking to you.
3. Floating menu with provided number
Taking the responsive website user experience one step further, we’d recommend adding a floating menu to your website. Floating menus have proven to be very UX friendly for site navigation. Many of our top performing customers with highest overall conversion rate use floating menus.
4. Phone number placement
You have surely heard about the proven concepts of the Z- and F-design patterns which are based on scientific studies on how we read information, presented on a website. We covered these specifics in a recent blog post and this is highly relevant to you if you’re thinking of re-designing your website and thinking of where to place your call-to-action button to make it easy for the visitor to complete a purchase.
5. Inbound phone calls are part of the user journey
Some of your visitors prefer the DIY way, others want your assistance and consultation to complete their purchase. Make sure you embrace both these customers by making these two conversion methods equally simple.
Having a clear call to action for your phone number on your website could massively boost your sales. Think of yourself when you enter into a store and you want personal assistance to buy a pair of jeans. If no one is showing up to help, you will leave. You will not start to look for your model, your size, your colour by yourself. Not today, because you only have 5 minutes. It’s the same for your online audience. Depending on their mood, time of day, etc. they choose either to talk to you or take the DIY route. Think about what you are offering, what you want your visitor to do and then write an inviting line along with your number as clearly as you can. Example, if you run an automotive service center and you want your website visitors to book an appointment – invite them to do so by providing the sentence, “Book an appointment” along with your phone number. This tiny little change could in fact make a huge difference.
Remember – Keep it simple, stupid (KISS)!
Online Marketing is sometimes similar to a big buffé – there’s so much choice that most of the times we don’t know where to start from and what to put in our plates to get the most out of it. As we only have so much space in our stomach, we need to choose what we can allow in, and what needs to be left out. I guess we’re all very familiar with this scenario – asking ourselves what is good and what is not, and always sticking to а familiar choice. But what if we knew that some other dish on the table that we haven’t tried out, would satisfy us a lot more gastronomically than a familiar one that we always choose? Would we still go for all the familiar choices or would we switch a dish for a new one?
In order to do a comparison, in both online marketing and gastronomic experiences, we’d have to either try out new online marketing channels or new dishes. As everything around us is relative, we need to know what we have and what it costs, in order to be able to distinguish a new experience. That’s why, at Freespee, we believe that the key to stellar optimisation is understanding the big picture of all our online efforts through continuous evaluation.
By continually evaluating not only our online marketing channels and campaigns, but all our online efforts, it’s easier to keep track and calculate our ROI. In a world of clicks, it’s easy to sometimes fall into blindness and leave out so called “free” channels which we don’t pay for, but which we still put a lot of time and effort into. Just because we don’t spend money on them, does it really mean that our time and effort is totally free? What if two hours of business promoting activities on social media/week ended up in five great leads and our weekly budget of €1000 on AdWords ended up in twice as many? Wouldn’t it be great to know that the two hours we spent on social media activities had a return on investment that’s more than twice as high as the one we got from our weekly AdWords budget?
The conclusion of all this is that in order to be efficient and successful with our online marketing efforts we need to find out which ones are our best performing channels and what our return on investment for each of them is. This way, we are one step closer to understanding what the big picture holds. What’s the rest? – Our recommendation is to track every channel and all of its conversion possibilities, everything from phone calls to contact forms and the referral traffic each one of them generates. Only by having the big picture in front of us, we can improve our strategies, make better decisions in our online marketing strategy and increase our ROI.
At Freespee, we are devoted to helping our customers understand the importance of measuring both online and offline conversions in order to get better results from their marketing efforts. Believing that only when having the right amount of data, an advertiser can make an adequate decision about their ad spend and placement, we are constantly on the hunt for new ways to improve our software, and our customers’ experience plays a crucial role in this process. Still, what makes us happiest isn’t only the new plugins we’ve integrated, or the improvement of call analytics or features, it’s our customers’ success stories, whether their business is a local physical therapy practice, or a giant tyre company. Every story has its magic!
Today we are looking at Freespee from an SEM agency’s perspective. Kenzaku is an Uppsala based agency on a quest to drive more sales to their clients’ site, and it’s doing it pretty well:
“Thanks to Freespee’s call analytics, we didn’t only increase calls based on the optimisation of keywords, but also understood which keywords are more successful, and also, which are the most successful calls for our customers. ’’ said Liam Sadeghi, Kenzaku’s Sales Manager.
Read more about Kenzaku’s experience on our shiny new Stories page.
For some time now we’ve been offering mobile advertisers in other markets the first 100 minutes of call tracking per month free of charge. And starting today, the same goes for mobile advertisers in Germany.
From our interaction with Freespee users – basically mobile advertisers whose target customers want to talk to someone before they buy or sign-up for a product or service – it’s become clear that tuning their click bids and ad placement was total guesswork until they started using our call tracking analytics.
Most had been trying to use tools like Google Analytics to do the job for mobile ads. The problem is that those old tools were created for the web – not phones – and can’t return the call metrics you need. As a result, those advertisers were only seeing about 30% of their conversions. From our perspective, that’s a huge blind spot that’s easily resolved. With Freespee Analytics you can see 100% of your conversions and instantly identify which paid clicks are generating the most qualified phone calls.
If 100 minutes per month isn’t enough, you can always sign-up for our premium analytics starting at €19 per month, which includes online audience tracking for comparing desktop traffic to mobile traffic. And, the premium packages allow you to track keywords used in SEM, SEO, as well as organic traffic.
Check it out. It only takes a few minutes to install the script.
For the last couple of weeks our CTO Tobias (the main brain behind this beauty) has been working on making it happen. Our pioneering partner, media agency Forefront have also been of a huge help, testing it with their customers and giving us their invaluable feedback. Thanks to those collaborative efforts, today we’re ready to offer this feature to all our customers FOR FREE.
So, in a nutshell, from now on you can see all your Freespee call data directly in your Google Analytics Report under the category Events. All the call info from your Freespee Dashboard is also pushed there, including the media type of the source, keywords, status (whether the call was answered or missed) and the duration of each call. Click on the image below to see what it looks like in Google Analytics Report:
The implementation process itself is truly a no-brainer, all you need is your Google Analytics ID to be entered into your Settings in the Plugins section. That’s it. Please note that Freespee do not get access to your Google Analytics account data!
As one of our customers, measuring expert Johannes Zetterström from Marginalen bank, has put it, “This gives us extraordinary measurability, and we love that!” We love that too and are excited to see this integration of Freespee and Google Analytics opening up new possibilities for you to measure, analyze and optimize your online campaign.
So go ahead and give it a try. If you have any questions about the functions, implementation or general wonderings, please make sure to get in touch with us or simply leave a comment below.
We’re excited to introduce you to the first of our very own heroes – the smart and suave Mr Freeman, who with Freespee’s help experienced the magic of accurate data and thereby reaped the rewards of his mobile campaign. Enjoy this video and learn his story:
What makes this video so special for us is that it is actually based on the real story of one of our most devoted customers. The Swedish car rental company MABI Hyrbilar had gone through the same pain as Mr Freeman did, before they came across Freespee who helped them to embrace their mobile marketing efforts and achieve success:
‘In the car rental business a lot of potential customers prefer to call before making up their mind, so analyzing those conversions is of crucial importance for us,’ says Ronnie Brodin, MABI’s marketing director. ‘We’d been looking for a smart way to do it and discovered Freespee. It has become a real eye-opener for us, demonstrating, loud and clear, which marketing channels are driving us calls and, in the long run, sales. Armed with Freespee data, we concentrated more heavily on specific channels, such as Google Adwords, Facebook, hitta.se, mabi.se and as a result our customer acquisition costs has lowered significantly. We’re thrilled by the results and will in the future rely on Freespee in our ad spending.’
Stay tuned for more Freespee stories and videos as well as other great things which we have lined up for the next couple of months!
We have reached a major milestone: Over 10 million calls - realtime conversations between buyers and sellers – have gone through Freespee and added value to our advertisers, publisher and partner networks.
It’s time to celebrate!!
Out of the 15 countries we are live in, advertisers in the UK, Sweden, Denmark and Netherlands can now sign-up for Freespee Analytics directly at www.freespee.com – we are working hard to add more countries very soon! If you are a publisher, ad network or large advertiser that receives hundreds or thousands of calls per day, you can contact us to get started right away.
Why Freespee Analytics? We enable advertisers to analyze calls from any advertising source – especially now with the exponential growth of mobile advertising, click-to-call can be the most cost efficient way of getting more sales leads and driving revenue growth. Without call tracking and analytics, your marketing efforts are like a black hole, whenever the customer prefers contacting by phone.
Try it yourself! We also offer a completely free version to track calls from smartphone browsers. Getting started takes 5 minutes, just register and add the tracking code to your site!