Call Tracking – Should You Use It and Why?

call-trackingCall tracking isn’t new. It’s been around for a while and I’m amazed at how many site owners refuse to use it. Call tracking is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to measuring your ROI. If you’re a business that receives a modest amount of calls, you should consider implementing call tracking.

Why is call tracking so important?

Imagine all the traffic your site brings in from all its sources. Traffic from social, paid search, organic search and site referrals all should be tracked. Local businesses especially need to track calls. If you’re a local restaurant how do you know how well your site is functioning if you can’t tell if your organic traffic is driving reservation cheaper than your paid search campaigns? You can’t!

There is no way to tell how many reservations were called in from each marketing channel.

Can call tracking hurt your SEO efforts?

Call tracking numbers are usually in java which the engines can’t read so that isn’t an issue. We do however want to ensure Google finds the same number on other sites such as Yelp, Google Plus and other sites. On your “contact us” page and footer use schema markup code to help Google and other major search engines identify your actual phone number. You can learn more about the tag here on W3C  This also helps with users who have java turned off on their browser.

There is also a great article on Search Engine Journal that gives a great break down on how to correctly use call tracking and avoid any adverse SEO issues.

Call tracking should be measured the same way you measure your site’s analytics. Being able to account for every lead and dollar isn’t truly being done if you’re not tracking calls.

Here is a list of call tracking companies worth looking into to:

At the end of the day you have to ask yourself – “Can I afford to now now how many calls are coming from which sources?” Which keywords? You could be potentially pause terms on adwords that produce calls, but no click-through conversions or sales. I don’t know of any business owner that would want to willing cut off their money making terms, yet business do it every day. On the other hand plenty of accounts do the complete opposite – leaving every term running wasting dollars because they just don’t know what’s working for them. Are you in the same situation. It’s time for a change.

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Joe Balestrino September 17, 2013 0 Comments

Is It Time To Change Your PPC Management Company?

ppc-management-PPC management is more than just looking at numbers; it’s also about the strategy. All too many times agencies work hard to get the clients and once they do, put the campaigns and clients on autopilot.

I’ve worked with enough clients to know why they left their old PPC management company to work with me. I created a list of 5 things you should look out for when working with a paid search company. You may not be sure just how much your paid search company should do for you. After reading this article you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. (more…)

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Joe Balestrino September 4, 2013 0 Comments

How To Improve Your Adwords Quality Score

Google Quality ScoreWe all want a high quality score in Adwords, but how does one go about improving their Adwords quality score?  Most of what I’ve been reading has been missing some of the more basic issues that can push down your quality score. You’ll find some tips and ideas that are easy enough to implement and can have an almost instant result.

I would suggest doing each one of these tips one at a time to see which one of these has a bigger impact on your quality score. Feel free to leave your tips in the comments below.

How To Improve Your Quality Score

I’m going to assume you’ve structured your campaigns and adgroups as tightly as possible – while sending users to the most relevant pages. All of these go towards your quality score. This is the foundation of your Adwords success and should be carefully thought out. In many cases a poorly laid out adgroup can’t be improved without being restructured, so keep that in mind.

Broad Terms

  • Using broad terms opens the flood gates to irrelevant traffic, which in turn drives up your CPA. Using Adword’s search query report weekly, will help you identify terms that aren’t relevant as well as helping you find additional terms that will help you convert for less.

Negative Terms

  • When running broad terms it’s very important to stay on top of your negative terms. Irrelivant traffic will drive up your CPA and lwer yout CTR. Stay on top of the negative terms and you’ll bring in more targted traffic.

Mobile DevicesMobile

  • If you are utilizing mobile campaigns then your site should be mobile friendly. Poor user experience in mobile will just waste your money. Opt out of mobile and focus on desktop and tablets only if the user experience is less than ideal for mobile users.

Content Network

  • It’s important to keep your content campaigns separate from your search campaigns. Reason is, Google’s content network will give you a high number of impressions and more than likely a lower CTR. You don’t want the content network to drag down your search campaigns quality score.

images (3)Get a Google Rep

  • Google reps are great.. they will help you out, not as much as a consultant or agency, but there are some benefits. New features, beta launches etc … can only be granted through a rep. Beta features such as an email sign up box in search results can be provided by your rep. Most agencies and consultants have their own rep as well, in case you don’t have one. Many small accounts aren’t provided with a dedicated rep.

Stop Checking Your Ad Positioning on Google

  • One thing you don’t want to do is go into Google several times a day and Google yourself to see where your ads are positioned. You’ll be driving up impressions on your ads which will drive down your CTR and hurt your quality score.


  • One way we increase CTR (Click Through Rate) on our ads is to add site links. Site links take up more ad space and provide users with additional links to click. If you are looking to bring your quality score up quickly this would be it.

Bid On Your Brand

  • Every PPC pro knows that brand terms convert the cheapest. However, I’m not just talking your own brand. If you sell a product that has strong brand, advertising on it will yield cheaper conversions and improve your quality score. Typically, branded terms have a high CTR and a lower CPA..

Calls to action!

  • Calls to action or CTA’s lack in many ads. CTR drives a big part of the quality score and having ads with a strong “call to action” will help do that. You need to tell users what to do. Click Now!, Call Now!, Buy Now!, should be in your ad. Don’t forget the exclamation point!

Hire a  consultant or agency

What do to if your quality score is very poor or has become poor over time?

The one thing you don’t want to do is create a new account. Believe it or not Google prefers an account with history and so should you. Revamping your campaign and landing pages is the best way to get your account back on track.

If you are still having trouble improving your quality score you can always contact me.


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Joe Balestrino August 22, 2013 0 Comments

How And Why You Should Evaluate Your Online Marketing

EvaluateWhen’s the last time you evaluated your online marketing campaigns?When’s the last time you evaluated your online marketing campaigns? Online marketing initiatives are launched all the time, but are rarely evaluated for effectiveness.

Yes, we all know when we see a poor or great campaign, but how often do we take that data and learn from it? In many cases it’s having a fresh pair of eyes looking at your online efforts can help.
I’ve out lined some of the things you need to take a look at and analyze. It can sometimes be small improvements that really improve your bottom-line, but you need to know what to look at. (more…)

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Joe Balestrino August 19, 2013 0 Comments

Why Paid Search Doesn’t Work For You

no-saleGoogle Ads can be a tough beast to tame. Especially, when you are first starting out – as you will spend money just to discover not only what works for you, but also what doesn’t. It can be a stressful and expensive process. What do you do if you have a product or service that no matter what you do, you can’t make a profit on paid search?


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Joe Balestrino July 17, 2013 0 Comments