Google just announced that they will be enabling “local number call forwarding” for advertisers starting in early November 2014. This is great news, and puts Adwords one step closer to my call extensions dream.
Let me quickly tell you what the new update means for call extensions and then go into what I think the Future holds for call extensions.
Google’s call forwarding is great because advertisers can get data like: call duration, call start/end time, caller area code, and whether the call was connected. The downside has been that we give up displaying our local number when Adwords replaces it with a random Google number for call tracking. Now, Adwords will bestow upon us a tracking number that will match the area code of the phone number we are forwarding to. The upside, higher PTRs (Phone through rates), because as Google puts it, “people are more likely to call a number with a recognizable area code”.
Basically, advertisers won’t need to do anything to take advantage of this new update. If you are using a local number, Adwords will automatically show a local number matching the area code where available (or an area code for that geographic region, if not a matching area code). If you are using a toll-free number for your call extensions, Adwords will also use a toll-free number for tracking.
Now, to the good stuff, the “Dream Call Extension”
I’ve put together 3 features I dream (and halfway expect) Google Adwords to add for us in the future. Basically making the ULTIMATE CALL EXTENSION!
Dynamic Local Numbers
I’ll start with an example. Lets say you have a 50-mile service area for your chimney sweep company. You have one office in San Francisco and your business area code is 415. The problem: you’d like to take advantage of Google’s local number call forwarding, but your service area includes 9 area codes (see image). This means people in the other 8 area codes will still see 415 area codes, not the end of the world right? But wouldn’t it be much better if Google used the visitor’s current location to serve a tracking number that is “more recognizable” to that visitor?
That’s my idea for a Dynamic Local Number. It’s using the location of the searcher to serve an area code number that is always ‘local’, regardless of the business having phone numbers for every area code in their service area. So if they call from Palo Alto they’ll see 650, but if they call from Napa they’ll see 707.
This one is pretty straightforward. I think all call tracking services provide this, Google voice does this, and it’s only a matter of time before Google Adwords has this feature as well.
Automated Call Grading (Conversion Analytics)
This is a cool new feature. The only call tracking company that I know of that does this is LogMyCalls. The short version of what I’m talking about is a service that listens and transcribes the call, then uses several algos to evaluate/grade the content of the call. Some things you could measure from the calls:
- Conversions (Sale was made, appointment set, reservation… whatever)
- Quality of the Lead (How qualified was that caller)
- Analyze Call Purpose (Wrong number, sales call, customer service call)
- Assess Phone Agent Skills (Did your rep ask the right questions, get the caller’s info…) This isn’t as important in adwords, but great data to analyze your call center reps.
And Since I can’t Blog without a shoutout to Star Wars…
I leave you with this gem. I noticed a fun similarity between two of my heroes, so I put these two pics together. Its Han Solo Frozen in carbonite, and the MLK Memorial in D.C. but it kinda looks like Martin Luther King had an unpaid debt with Jabba the Hutt.