Your website is the face of your business. Oftentimes, it’s the first stop on a lead’s journey before they decide to convert.

Some business websites give visitors the option to fill out online forms to schedule appointments or request more information. Others, like ecommerce sites, allow visitors to make purchases online. Digital tools like Google Analytics make it easy to track and report on these actions to evaluate your website’s effectiveness at driving conversions.

But what happens when someone calls you instead of filling out an online form or making a purchase online? Shouldn’t that count as a conversion? How do you track that?

Call tracking is essential for any business that wants to get a clear picture of their conversion data. If you’re not tracking calls that come from your website, you’re most likely missing out on some pretty important information. Without phone call tracking, it can seem like your website is underperforming and not delivering you the results you want.

Call tracking is a loose term that can mean different things to different people. Here are just a few of the methods you can use to track call conversions from your website.

Manual call tracking

The most obvious way to learn how your customers find your business? Ask them!

Simply asking your callers what led them to pick up the phone is the easiest way to find out where your calls are coming from. It’s also more personable technique since you’re able to directly interact with your customers. This can be a good option for very small, local businesses who typically experience a low volume of calls. It’s also a good option for larger businesses who want to periodically check that they are getting aligning information from the caller and the call tracking technology they are using.

Manually attempting to track calls isn’t ideal for everyone, though. It can be difficult to keep track of calls on your own if you receive a lot of phone calls. Most likely, you’ll need to manually enter the data into some sort of database for reference. If this sounds like too much work for you, you may want to explore some other options.

Best for: Small, local businesses with low call volumes.

Simple call tracking

If you simply want to track your call volume and see which callers make your phone ring, a simple solution like Google call extensions or a click-to-call counter may be your best bet.

Google reporting

Google call extensions allow you to add a phone number to your Google AdWords ads. When a user clicks on your ad, they’ll have the option to either visit your website or instantly dial your business, making these types of ads ideal for those who are trying to boost phone calls.

To track calls that come from Google call extensions, you’ll need to add a Google forwarding number (a Google call tracking number) to your ad. The data from your incoming calls will then feed into your AdWords account for you to track website call conversions.

Adding a tracking number to your Google ads allows you to:

  • Designate a specific call duration as a conversion. For some people, it only takes a three-minute long call to count as a conversion. For others, that call should last 5 minutes or more. Make conversion tracking your own by specifying what counts as a conversion for your business.
  • See which campaigns and ads are driving calls. If you’re trying to optimize your AdWords campaigns, Google’s call reporting feature may be a great option for you.

The downside? This call tracking method only works with Google Search Network ads. It’s good if you’re trying to optimize your Google ad campaigns but may not be ideal if you want to gather more information about conversions coming from other online sources.

Best for: Businesses who only rely on AdWords for website call conversions.

Click-to-call counters

Click-to-call is growing in popularity thanks to its ease of use and ability to boost conversion rates. With this feature, users can instantly dial a business just by clicking a button or link without ever punching in numbers.

If you simply want to track how many users reach you via a click-to-call link, this is a great option for you. Once the user clicks the link, there is usually a landing page that they are redirected to in between the click and the dial. This landing page is tracked and the visits are what counts towards conversions. However, there are definitely some drawbacks with this type of call tracking:

  • A click doesn’t necessarily mean a call was completed, meaning your data could be skewed.
  • Click-to-call tracking is pretty basic. This type of call tracking only counts the number of clicks you receive on a click-to-call button or link.

Best for: Small businesses who are just getting their feet wet in the world of call tracking.

Call tracking software

A full-fledged call tracking platform is the most reliable way to gather robust caller information to accurately track website call conversions.

Unlike other call tracking methods, call tracking platforms give you in-depth information to ensure you get the whole picture of your conversions.

Some benefits of using call tracking software include:

  • The ability to track the entire customer journey. Call tracking allows you to see every touchpoint that led to a call instead of just the first or last source. This means you can see where your customer decided to convert, and what lead them to that point. This gives you more information to work with for effective conversion optimization. You’re also not just limited to one type of campaign or platform — with call tracking software, you can track calls coming from organic and paid sources and even offline campaigns for in-depth analysis and reporting.
  • The ability to record phone calls. Call recording is a must-have feature for any business that wants to improve customer service and better train their staff.
  • Analysis of lead quality with conversation analytics. For marketers that don’t have time to listen to every call to determine the lead quality of every website call conversion, features like CallScore and CallRail’s conversation analytics suite do the analysis for you.
  • Integration with other platforms. Whether you use HubSpot, Salesforce, Google Analytics or AdWords, a third-party call tracking solution will integrate with the programs you rely on to give you robust conversion data.

Best for: Any business that relies on multiple online campaigns to drive call conversions.

Tracking website call conversions is essential for any business that wants to accurately measure conversions. To take your conversion tracking skills to the next level, learn how call tracking can help you calculate your ROI.

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