There are a few absolutes in this world when it comes to telephones:
- Stevie Wonder just called to say he loves you.
- Tommy Tutone’s got Jenny’s number.
- Some business owners straight up lose their $#!&% when they check their home page and see a call tracking code displayed instead of their office line.
That last one is a big one. And before anxiety over those seven precious digits causes a huge disconnect, hang on the line. We’re here to tell you: it’s going to be OK.
What is Call Tracking Anyway?
Call tracking is kind of like having a savvy assistant who takes notes every time someone calls your business. This assistant doesn’t just tell you who called, but also how they found your phone number — was it via an advertisement, your website, a social media post, or another source entirely? This information is invaluable for businesses that run different marketing campaigns across various channels and want to know which one is drawing the most calls.
Third-party software tools like CallTrackingMetrics or Call Rail assign virtual phone numbers to your different marketing campaigns or sources (i.e. Google ads, Facebook, etc.)
How Call Tracking Works
When call tracking is active, if a prospect sees your ad and decides to act, they don’t dial your day-to-day number – but the virtual number assigned to that specific ad or post. The call is then redirected to your main office line – always.
By implementing a unique code snippet, call tracking tools keep a record of the virtual number called, informing you of the exact source. Better yet, tracking tools can also record calls for quality and training purposes, or provide detailed reports on actionable data such as duration, time of day, a caller’s location, and whether they used a mobile device.
So, What’s the Problem?
Call tracking continues to be a bit misunderstood by businesses, particularly when it comes to their phone numbers.
With call tracking in place, the phone number displayed on a website dynamically changes when a user lands on the page based on the traffic source they hail from. Frequently, new clients who perhaps clicked on an ad to navigate to their site see this call tracking code instead of their legacy number, and the worry begins. Everything is working as promised, but panic nevertheless ensues.
We all tend to freak out a bit when we don’t understand the details. But we want to reassure all clients that if we’re at the helm of your website, everything is going according to plan.
When call tracking tools are implemented, your main number will appear differently on your website and other sources. This is as it should be. That means it’s working. And here are three big reasons not to worry:
- Status Quo: Your legacy, correct phone number is still a part of your website’s core programming. Nothing of substance has changed. While tracking is active, a different phone number will show for certain situations, but keep in mind: this intermediate step allows our marketing team to gather actionable information that enhances your campaigns, generates new leads, and fuels conversions. At IMPACT, we almost never track direct traffic. That means customers who visit your site by directly typing in your web address or after having bookmarked it and clicked their bookmark link, will still see your correct phone number. If you want to check for yourself, you can always open an incognito window, type your URL directly into the browser, and see your actual number still intact.
- Customer Intent: It stands to reason that if a potential customer is truly engaged and interested in what you have to say or offer, they will follow through with a call regardless of the phone number listed. Remember: calls still get routed to your main line, regardless of the number dialed. Often, clients worry that prospects may jot down and save the call tracking phone number. While in our experience, this is unlikely – it’s also irrelevant. Most tracking tools provide a grace period in which calls continue to be routed even after the service is stopped or paused. And a quick Google search of your business will provide up-to-date contact information.
- Call tracking is safe and secure. But not only that, it’s thorough. Unlike the native tracker in Google Ads, which only keeps tabs on mobile calls, using a third-party call tracking service allows your marketing company to track ALL CALLS regardless of the device the user is using. This paves the way for more comprehensive coverage and attribution, allowing you to make more informed decisions.
The most important numbers – not phone numbers, but success rates – don’t lie. IMPACT has initiated call-tracking campaigns for hundreds of clients, and we have never encountered issues of any kind.
So, don’t worry. We’re here to help. If you’re still wondering how call tracking works, we’re always happy to chat. We’ve not only got your number – make that, numbers – but we’ve also got your back.