Better attribution reporting with Google Analytics and CallRail

Approximately 342,000 billboards dot American roads and highways, according to Statista, with nearly 9,000 of those being video billboards that cycle through ads every several seconds.

About 15% of Americans own cellular phones that aren’t smartphones, according to Pew Research Center. That means in a room of 20 people, three are likely using flip phones — and not the emerging foldable smartphones, but old-school devices that were once the rage 15 years ago.

One more stat: Radio — the AM/FM channel you listen to in your car or maybe even now stream — reaches 92% of Americans every week, per Nielsen.

If you feel like you’ve time-warped back a couple of decades, we understand: These are communication channels that have a pre-smartphone, pre-internet, or pre-microchip quality to them. Yet here, in the new decade, these technologies remain viable, strong marketing avenues to reach potential customers. Heck, even the newspaper industry that’s sinking fast still has a cumulative Sunday circulation of 30 million, according to Pew Research Center.

Today’s marketers may be hyper-focused on digital channels, and rightly so — but the old-school marketing methods are still quite effective all these years later. Such classic channels seemingly suffer from a lack of advanced analytics capabilities, because when someone calls a phone number they see or hear, not only was knowing what channel they consumed difficult, but also further tracking the buying journey could be complex.

Google Analytics, which is so helpful in measuring online interactions, had no means of doing the same for offline connections — or for connections that mix online and offline events — until now. By integrating Google Analytics with CallRail’s call tracking technology, marketers can realize better attribution reporting and take advantage of all the metrics both platforms offer. And pairing the two solutions is easier than you might think.

Gaga for Google Analytics

With its debut in 2005, Google Analytics forever changed how marketers measure and report website traffic. With Google Analytics, businesses and agencies could:

  • Set and track manageable, measurable goals
  • Generate traffic and lead reports for performance, growth, and conversion rates
  • Track behavior flow — how website visitors navigate their way through the website, from page to page or event to event

Engage in deep attribution reporting — a free feature in Google Analytics — to get a complete picture of the journey leads are following with your website and your brand

You’re likely familiar with these benefits of Google Analytics and how they drive an advanced marketing strategy and allow you to keep close tabs on everything prospects are doing and consuming on your website. There’s just one problem — these benefits are difficult to apply to channels that don’t organically bring visitors to the website. Ultimately, Google Analytics loses some of its mojo because it can’t thoroughly track leads who arrived from “traditional” sources.

No lead left behind

Although prospects may come from a myriad of sources, and conversion rates from those sources may vary, every lead matters. Connecting with someone who found a business via an internet search is just as important as the lead who made a simple phone call after seeing a billboard.

If anything, measuring the journey of leads from traditional sources is more urgent because of uncertainty over how they reached you. A prospect who finds you by reading your blog post or seeing a Yelp review brings a clearly defined touchpoint to the table. Ones who called you — and might not even remember what led them to your business — can easily get lost because they aren’t instantly linked to your customer relationship management system and to Google Analytics. You aren’t just missing out on valuable marketing insight: You might be missing out on business.

Therefore, multi-channel attribution reporting is necessary to track all leads, no matter what channel they are coming from. Just because a prospect is calling instead of clicking doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable to your marketing strategy and metrics. Google Analytics can track these unique leads — with some help from another marketing solution. That’s where CallRail comes into the picture.

Why pair CallRail with Google Analytics?

Comparing online and offline leads may feel like an apples-and-oranges proposition — digital prospects reach you one way, phone callers are doing so another way, so how can you effectively measure them side by side? CallRail gives you the means to track the offline interactions and touchpoints, and through a painless integration, you can mesh that data with the advanced metrics Google Analytics is accumulating from the internet.

Through this integration, marketers are better able to:

  • Understand what’s working and not working
  • Track ROI
  • Inform and optimize their marketing strategy
  • Compare the efficacy of offline and online channels and determine how well the two approaches are working in tandem

The last item in this list is especially important because, more than ever, leads are not limiting their interactions with you to one channel or device. Someone may see an ad for a business, call for more information, visit your website, download an e-book, subscribe to your Facebook page, call again to speak with a sales rep, email you with questions, share an interesting tweet from your feed, and so on. Every interaction in this multi-channel experience must be not only tracked, but also measured on its own and as part of the overall journey. When integrated, CallRail and Google Analytics deliver a total view of your leads’ behavior, no matter how they are engaging with the brand.

Making the integration happen

About half of CallRail users integrate with Google Analytics and enjoy a similarly high level of reporting from incoming phone calls as they would from a lead originating from online sources. The integration achieves this by moving any tracked calls into Google Analytics as an event-based goal. When a potential lead calls from a single tracking number from your or your client’s website, Google Analytics notes this action as a single, unique goal completion.

Moreover, if someone calls a tracking number more than once, CallRail counts each instance even if it originates from the same session. The integration lets users track all callers or just segments, which is useful for businesses with support or success departments managed apart from their sales teams. Also, you may choose to track only first-time callers, thus giving you a clearer idea on the percentage of leads who are truly new to the relationship.

What’s also nice about the CallRail/Google Analytics pairing is that it’s one of the easiest integrations marketers can use in Google Analytics. All you need to do is supply a domain — no unique identifier is required. Once activated in CallRail, you can immediately set up goals and begin taking full advantage of the attribution reporting data.

To set it up, there are five easy steps:

  1. Click Analytics in the navigation bar on the left.
  2. Click Settings at the top of the page.
  3. Choose the company you’d like to integrate with Google Analytics.
  4. Select Google Analytics from the list of integrations.
  5. Enter your website’s URL, and then click Create.

After this, you will also want to set up call, text, and form goal tracking in Google Analytics so CallRail can report events. Learn more here.

Other innovative integrations

CallRail’s integration with Google Analytics is just one example of the potential our platform offers when combined with other marketing tools. Other integration possibilities include:

  • Search and social analytics: Amp, Facebook, Google Ads, Instagram, Bing Ads, Data Studio
  • Bid management: Acquisio, Kenshoo, Marin
  • CRM: Salesforce, Pipeline
  • Marketing automation: HubSpot, Marketo
  • Website optimization: Mixpanel, Kissmetrics, Optimizely, Unbounce, Visual Website Optimizer
  • Chat and notifications: Slack
  • Other integrations: WordPress, Stripe, Zapier

The multi-channel attribution CallRail’s integrations help build maximizes campaigns and casts the widest marketing net without adding more time, expenses, or resources to your operation. Your marketing comes out stronger, and, ultimately, the potential for more customers grows.