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Gauging Conversions

     
3:21 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Is it uncommon or poor practice to gauge time spent on site and pages viewed as conversions? I'm just looking for some guidance or feedback as to how the pros are tracking conversions.

Here's how I'm doing it:
My company is B2B and most sales predominately take place over the phone. I currently don't have a good way to track phone calls yet, so I track time spent (over 4 min) and pageviews (over 4 pages) as conversions. I also track contact page views (has our phone number) and forms submitted. I also track sales from our online store.
3:44 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It's not how I would do it.

I would use a dedicated phone number for this specific campaign. That way, you can track how many leads or sales are generated because of it.

It may take a month or two of "flying blind" before you have useful metrics, but when you do, then you can return to AdWords and adjust your efforts based on your ROI.

If your client or team can't supply you with this information, then there's little you can do about it and it will cost them.
3:53 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I would love to have some kind of service that offers dynamic phone numbers on the landing page to track calls. I can't seem to get them on board with this idea though. I haven't tried it yet but Google has some method of call tracking but it's only in the ad not landing page.
4:27 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@rwilson

Agree with areyougellin. Just get a toll free number and place it in ads/landing page. It's a quick fix and it won't cost you a bunch.
5:14 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Quick and dirty but, not sure how I'd find out if a call came through that number, sales wouldn't report it back to me.

I love this idea [freshegg.com ] it uses the GA API, serves up a dynamic phone number based on how the person arrived (direct, cpc, search).

Both of these ideas are a no go for now (not up to me)
5:44 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Then there's little you can do.

Express that without proper tracking, you can't optimize the campaign to the degree that you believe it should be.

I've had clients with similar issues. You hired me, I'm not going to chase you to help me do a better job for you. It's their money, not yours, that is being wasted on an inefficient campaign.
5:53 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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You could ask every customer that calls how they found you but that's not a great solution either because it's a)not good user experience and b) it's not time-efficient.

Sounds like an organizational issue to me. Head of call center shouldn't have ANY issue reporting how many calls were made to a given number. If that's the case, you need to hire a more competent person for the job. You need to convince your superiors the importance of tracking, how it affects everything from budgets to strategy. Get to work! :)
6:47 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I'll see what I can do! Say I should get call tracking would there be any benefit to tracking time/pageviews? as a way to gauge user interest and to help drive more calls
7:13 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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No, I wouldn't make a business decision based on page views alone. Page views can be a way of showing user engagement but it could also be a sign that your site is confusing and hard to navigate. You should already have time on page and page views available in your Analytics program though. Bounce rate to me is a better indicator of if your visitors are finding what they're looking for and/or that your ad campaigns are relevant.
7:31 pm on Aug 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Agreed.

I don't see any useful metric that can be substituted for actually having some form of conversion data.

Until they decide to help themselves by providing conversion reporting for you, go with your gut and experience.
8:54 pm on Aug 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I agree with all the other good post but actually there is a way with just a toll free number that isn't trackable. It will be a month behind though but better than nothing. Set up a new number then when the monthly bill comes in all you need to do is see how many calls came in, get the average time a salesman is on the phone with a sale, and you can get pretty close.

You still in the dark on some important data but this will at least give you something to go by on conversions. The conversion page URL can be were you put the new number only available through an adwords ad.
12:37 pm on Aug 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if you could do it with Google Voice...
3:14 pm on Aug 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think you can but it's only from the number generated in the ad
6:38 am on Aug 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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If you're not able to track via telephone numbers with enough granularity and if you're willing to reduce your conversion rate for a while, you could replace the (presumably) site-wide telephone number with a 'contact us now' link. The correlation between visitor to contact page and visitor to lead is often high, when you're looking at keywords.

If you're willing to go a step further, you could optimise the lead form for online leads and then track visitor to sale. This may mean losing a few sales for a while, but the intelligence could be worth more in the longer term if you believe your keywords and bids leave a lot of room for improvement.
6:53 am on Aug 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I see a lot of websites that offer to "call back" instead of customers calling them. The customer types in his phone number and as soon as someone is free the number of the customer is dialed and a connection established automatically.

It is a great way to track conversions and the customer can preselect the issue he is calling about and gets called back by the right person instead of being passed on from one departement to another.
7:44 pm on Aug 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

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ciml and jecasc, we have too many inbound calls and not all of them sales related, I'm not sure this would work for this particular instance. However, I do think that could be a good solution for someone handling all inbound sales calls or is selling a very basic product or service.
10:21 pm on Aug 29, 2011 (gmt 0)

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option 1.

get a cheap vonage (or other) toll-free number.

forward it to any of the regular numbers

observe the telephone bill to count calls.

option 2

devise a real "conversion" type page - ideally with a special offer "fill out this form for your free consultation" or whatever.

set up thank you page as a conversion goal

track in Google Analytics and or Adwords.

Pls let us know how it works out.