Call Tracking and SEO: The Perfect Combination
If you are a local business, you depend on traffic to your website to generate leads. You want your website to be found in search engines, and you’re up against a lot of competition in search results. This article will teach you a few search engine optimization (SEO) basics and how you can use call tracking software to generate even more leads from your website traffic. Let’s dig in.
How call tracking and SEO can help you generate more leads
Your website is the hub of your company’s online presence. It’s where you share who you are, what you offer, and why your customers should choose to buy from you instead of the competition. If you don’t have a website yet, check out our review of the best website builders.
There’s more to setting up your online presence and praying for your leads to come. Your website needs to have an obvious conversion path. You need to encourage people to take action, like submitting a contact form or getting in touch via chat. If you’re like most small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), you need your leads to pick up the phone and give you a call. After all, SMBs continue to say that their best leads are inbound calls.
Why? Well, think about it. If a prospect conducted a Google search to solve a specific problem and found your business, it’s safe to say that they’re a qualified lead — even more so if they call you right away because you now have the opportunity to win a new customer.
As a local business, your digital marketing efforts depend on driving more phone calls. Response time is one of the biggest factors in making the sale. In fact, 82% of consumers rate an “immediate response” as important when they have a question. And there’s no faster response than a phone call. So how can we use call tracking and SEO together to improve traffic and phone calls?
Call tracking gives you an additional layer of data which helps you:
- Identify where your best leads are coming from
- See the customer journey all in one place
- Understand what your customers are talking about, in their words
Connecting your inbound calls to their marketing source is going to show you which marketing efforts are driving the most leads. Call Tracking with Conversation Intelligence takes this a step further by transcribing phone calls so you can quickly review what’s being said on the phone through Call Highlights.
Call Highlights surfaces commonly used phrases and words via automation and artificial intelligence (AI) that can be used to fine-tune your lead scoring models and keyword strategy. You can also use this information to inform your keyword bidding strategy for pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and more.
More importantly, that data pulled from your calls can give you a better picture of customer needs, pain points, and behavior. Understanding your customer better is going to set you up for some quick SEO wins. Here’s why.
SEO is the foundation of your marketing strategy
SEO is not as complex as you might think. It’s about being the best resource for something that people are searching for. It starts with the basics. Build a website that contains all the business information customers need to make a decision: Contact info, hours, and services are all obvious needs for your site.
But the secret to winning at SEO is to be specific when describing your services. Dedicate separate pages to each service, and educate people on why they need your service and how the solution works.
Taking it a step further can be more challenging. Here are a few guiding questions you need to answer when creating more content:
- What are your customers searching for?
- What are the biggest questions your customers have?
- What are their biggest pain points?
- How can you help them solve their problems?
- How can you help educate them?
Search engines have become quite sophisticated over the years. Spam tricks and link schemes are penalized. Low-quality content doesn’t stand a chance. Competition for search result rankings is high. And ranking on SERPs requires producing content that provides value.
That’s because Google discerns the intent behind a query to return more refined results, not just an exact keyword match.
For instance, a search for “cobra” returns mostly results about the healthcare law and not about that type of snake. Compare this with the search results for “cobras” and you’ll see mostly results about the snake. This may seem like a small distinction, but it shows the search engine can understand the intent behind a query.
So what does it mean for you? It means that you have to tailor your approach to fit what people are searching for. Study the search results that Google returns for queries you want to rank for and look for opportunities to create something better.
As a local business, you will generally be competing with other local businesses in the search results. There could still be some large players, but you’re going to have better opportunities at the local level. Here are a couple of best practices to follow that will result in more visibility in search results:
Be present in the core local business directories
(Google My Business, Facebook, Apple Maps, and Bing Places). Spend the time to fill out your profile completely. Use all the features available to the best of your ability. The more comprehensive profile you have, the more opportunities you’ll have to be relevant to someone’s search query.
Create content pages on your site that solve your core audience’s needs.
Study your audience, discover their needs, and be a resource for solving them. People often want to solve problems on their own. Give away knowledge. It builds trust if you can demonstrate expertise in self-guided how-to content. People will choose to hire an expert once they understand the solution better.
Create ways for customers to engage and remove friction from conversion points.
Whether it’s filling out a form, engaging with live chat, registering for a webinar, downloading a whitepaper, requesting a quote, or placing a phone call, you want to make these things easy to do. Understand objections and be proactive by putting the customer at ease. Create a delightful experience for customers using your website. Make it easy for people to call you. Set up click-to-call actions on your phone numbers so people can easily tap and place a call directly from your website.
How call tracking data strengthens your marketing strategy
Where are your customers coming from? How are they finding you? Call tracking data answers these questions and more. When you know the paid keyword they clicked on or which pages on your website they’ve viewed before they call, it gives you powerful insights into what’s working well and how you can serve each unique customer.
Call tracking software also helps you see where your real leads, your phone calls, are coming from. Are people calling from Google My Business? Are they finding your website from Angie’s List?
When you set up dynamic number insertion (DNI) on your website, the unique virtual tracking numbers tie together where your leads came from, which pages they’ve visited, how many phone calls, and which forms they have submitted on your site.
When you know what pages drive phone calls and leads, you know where to focus your efforts for maximum results. Improving and optimizing known conversion paths is going to pay off. What can you do better? How can you make it easier? How can you remove barriers or objections that might be holding back some prospects?
Then take it a step further by reviewing your phone calls. Why? Because you can learn a lot by listening to your customers! Use commonly asked questions as inspiration to create helpful content you can point them to. Solving common problems with an in-depth guide or Q&A is a great way to build content that can be successful in search.
Conversation Intelligence can process and search all your phone conversations for specific keywords. You get insight into what your customers are talking about the most. With a little creativity, you can use these insights to add useful content to your website. You’ll find it’s much faster to read your phone calls than listen to them when they are transcribed and have relevant keywords highlighted!
It should be easy for your business website to rank in Google for your brand name. The challenge is attracting inbound customers from search who may not know your company yet. You need to create resources for your ideal customer. Answer questions and solve problems. It can be as small as “How does power-washing work?” or “Which type of paint should I use in a bathroom?”
Mining your Google Analytics and Search Console data (an SEO must)
In addition to call tracking data, you can find more insights in Google Analytics (or whichever web analytics solution you use) and Google Search Console (GSC).
In GSC, the “Search Results” report tells you which queries people are using to find your pages. You can filter by query, page, country, or device. You might want to filter to a specific country if you have a target audience in mind. Look at all the queries that generate clicks for your website. Look for opportunities that you expect your ideal customer is searching for and try to better meet the needs of that query.
There are many other useful reports in GSC that can show you errors on your site, speed of your pages, mobile device usability, and which sites are linking to yours. All of which can be used to optimize your website and increases your domain authority — an SEO win!
Take it even further by using Google Analytics to analyze traffic trends. You’ll want to focus on organic traffic to track your SEO efforts. The Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels report is recommended to see your different traffic channels. Here are definitions of each traffic source for context:
- Organic Search is traffic from search engines.
- Direct is traffic that doesn’t have a source attached, meaning someone typed the URL directly in the browser, or the source was blocked or not tracked.
- Paid Search is from paid ads you might be running in Google or other search engines.
- Referral is traffic from other websites. You can even see which sites refer traffic to you.
The most important source you want to hone in on is your organic traffic. Click on “Organic Search” and choose a time range. If you choose “Landing Page” as your Primary Dimension you can see which pages are performing the best in search engines. You might benefit from looking at a longer timeline or comparing performance to a previous time period.
There are natural, seasonal shifts in organic traffic over the year that tend to line up every year. For example, in late December, you might see a lot less traffic because people are not searching for your service that time of year, OR you might see the most traffic of the entire year if you sell custom Christmas trees!
Compare organic traffic this year to the same period last year to check for seasonality. Click the date range dropdown and click the “compare to” box, and choose the same range of days for the previous year. You’ll be able to see year-over-year (YoY) performance and see which pages have the best growth.
Prioritize keeping your best pages competitive, improve pages that may be declining, and take note of the type of page working best for you. If you see something working great, try to replicate that strategy and create even more successful pages.
For instance, you might notice one of your top pages is about the difference between two different types of light bulbs. You might be able to create more comparison type content that helps people choose which light bulb works best for them, and hopefully, they’re buying their next light bulb from you while they are there! This is the power of content marketing and SEO. Use keyword research to refine your ideas and target what people are searching for.
Make sure you set up Goals in Google Analytics so you can see what website pages are driving the most conversions, purchases, or service requests. This essential tracking step ties together your website traffic to leads, and ultimately, to revenue.
Call tracking is another layer of analytics you can use to identify what’s working well. Which pages are generating the most phone calls? What are your customers and leads talking about the most? These insights will give you the confidence to know which efforts are working best and where you have gaps to fill. You can integrate call tracking into Google Analytics to unlock even more powerful insights.
Bottom line: Call tracking and SEO improves ROI
Content marketing strategies are more impactful when you understand your customer needs. Call tracking gives you this insight. There’s a lot to SEO, but at its core, the goal is to attract an audience that may not know about your brand yet. You can pay for ads or push out emails to people, but you need valuable content if you want to attract new customers to your website.
When you create helpful content that answers your customers’ questions or solves their problems, you’ll see the results of your efforts in high conversion rates on your marketing campaigns and website.
Make sure you have a solid “call to action” on your page to encourage readers to become customers or at least join your list. Promote your content on other channels like social media, forums, and email. Get the word out everywhere. Keep up a steady stream of publishing quality. And as your library of content grows, you’ll find it’s easier to win search traffic to keep that phone ringing!