The day Web marketing was born, so too was optimizing for it. The recent trend from desktop search to mobile search has driven a rise in phone calls, and with that increase in calls has come the attention to offline conversions — specifically appointments set on phone calls created by paid search campaigns. Leading dealer groups like Asbury are shifting their attention within Google Analytics from clicks to calls.
“The data contained in the call recording tells us why the customer searched on the keyword phrase they submitted. Previous to harnessing this data, we were limited to only what they were searching,” said Miran Maric, vice president and chief marketing officer for the Asbury Auto Group. Dealers need to shift their digital strategy away from what car owners are searching for to why car owners are searching. This shift is changing search strategy, and the timing could not make this shift more relevant.
Shift to Mobile
In the past few months, Google has announced two new updates. The first is that mobile search will now be driven by a separate algorithm than desktop searches, with page load speed being a major component of this algorithm. This means your DNI (dynamic number insertion) widget must not hinder your mobile page load speed. If you haven’t audited your mobile load speed recently, do so now with https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/.
Secondly, Google has added text extensions to its mobile ads with promising results. Dealers who opt-in for text extensions will, in effect, be training their customers to text them. The more users use text extensions, the more users will text the numbers posted on dealers’ Websites. Whether using local numbers or toll-free numbers, make sure your phone numbers are text-enabled.
Shift to Conversion
When it comes to conversion tracking, don’t settle for tying a call to its ad source, such as Facebook; rather, tie your calls to specific keyword phrases. By combining dynamic numbers and call monitoring, you can track how the call started, what the call was about and how the call ended.
For sales campaigns, it is also important to have the ability to benchmark what your sales conversion percentage is prior to investing in a larger campaign. More money will lead to more calls, but the goal is to increase the percentage of sales conversions, not just the number of calls. Insist that your agency and digital marketing team make the move to determining why your customers are searching. Is it sales related? Service? Other? Capture it all, tie it to keyword phrases and optimize your paid search to get more of the calls you want.
Shift to “The Why”
Google, Bing and keyword-buying solutions have easy-to-use ways to pass along conversion metrics, such as the department the caller requested and whether the call converted to an in-store appointment. This data is driving paid search strategy in 2017.
Updating these data points in near-real time with Google’s off-the-shelf APIs can create opportunities that might not have existed otherwise. Agencies using these systems can view more than 40,000 optimized keywords phrases, along with phone- and text-conversion metrics to take advantage of fluctuations in the price of keywords and improve ROI.
If you and your agency are not using Google Analytics offline conversion functionality, including appointment setting, then you are not utilizing the tool’s full potential. Phone calls to dealers are up considerably and texting is on the rise. We are in a dynamic era where we can no longer use a straight-line correlation between clicks and calls to measure our search effectiveness. It is time to shift to “Why” DNI.
DNI is readily available, affordable and easy to implement. It’s time to rethink offline conversions with DNI.