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Google Research Reveals the Need for Integrated Call Tracking

3 min readNovember 14, 2013

A phone call is almost always an important moment. I call my friends and family when texting or posting on Facebook just won’t do, and I call businesses when I’m serious about making purchases.

Phone_Calls_Valuable_According_to_GoogleWorking in business communications, I’ve had more than one person ask me if people even call businesses anymore as consumers. “Don’t people just buy and communicate digitally?”

They sure do, and as research shows, especially for higher-end items. People are not only calling businesses regularly, but the very act of picking up a phone to call a business is a powerful sign that someone is interested in your products and services.

The Importance of Click-to-Call

New research form Google and Ipsos reveals just how important phone calls are to many companies’ bottom line. They recently conducted a survey of 3,000 mobile searchers who had made purchases across seven key industry verticals including Travel, Restaurant, Automotive, Local Services, Retail, Finance and Technology). The survey found that 70% of the mobile searchers clicked to call businesses directly from Google’s search results. And across all seven verticals, customers stated that the ability to click to call (from both organic and paid search results) was an important feature. And the numbers speak for themselves since adding a phone number to mobile search pages increases click-through rate by 8%. The business phone call is not only alive-and-well, it is growing more prominent with increased mobile adoption and usage. It’s no wonder that inside sales teams are expanding to keep pace with the growing volume of  inbound calls.

Think about it, when was the last time you called a business as a consumer? The last time I called a business was to book a hotel room. I had already decided where I wanted to stay, but I called to negotiate a price. I found that hotel online, and called directly from my mobile phone search results. But if that hotel wasn’t using a call tracking solution, they would have never known which effort generated the call. Phone calls shouldn’t be feared. In fact, we regularly recommend that our customers employ click to call buttons in order to drive as many qualified leads as possible.

When do Customers Call?

So when are mobile users clicking to call businesses? Of the searchers surveyed, 52% stated that they call when they’re researching and 61% stated that they call when they’re ready to buy. In other words, a statistically significant portion of customers surveyed only call businesses when they are in the process of making a purchase decision or have already made one.

Why Marketers Need Integrated Phone Call Tracking

Whether your business falls into one of the seven verticals discussed by Google, or if you simply close business over the telephone, this survey clearly demonstrates that if you’re not already tracking phone calls, it’s time to seriously consider doing so. If your business is using any inbound marketing tactics (including SEO, paid search, social media, blogging, etc.) you’re going to lose 100% of your visibility into your marketing efforts the moment that customers call your business. But our call tracking tool seamlessly integrates with Salesforce.com to give marketers a quick view of how efforts influence outcomes. You’ll always know how which inbound marketing efforts generate the most valuable calls. Our solution also goes beyond traditional call tracking, enabling marketers to actually impact lead-to-close rates by routing calls to the most qualified reps based on meta data like marketing channels, campaigns and Google AdWords keywords.

Next week at Dreamforce, our CEO Howard Brown will reveal how an integrated call tracking solution with Salesforce can be used to accelerate ROI in real time.