For many companies, the ability to track customers over their lifetime and successfully link their online spending with offline conversions is pure marketing gold. That's because this marketing intelligence provides a way for companies to improve service and boost the number of website visitors who are actually buying on an e-commerce website. Maximizing this conversion rate is about increasing the percentage of website visitors who become customers through strategic use of research, campaigns and testing.

When it comes to Web traffic to an e-commerce site, it's not always about quantity, but quality. That's because in some cases, increasing the conversion rate by just a few percent could equal thousands of dollars worth of additional business. Here we'll look at how call tracking can contribute to a company's efforts in this area.

What is call tracking?

Call tracking is the process of collecting information from phone calls made to a website. Using
a unique phone number, it's possible to track how many calls are sourced from the website, while recording these phone calls can help companies analyze customers' needs and buying patterns.

Why call tracking?

Why bother adding a phone number and call tracking to a website? Aren’t keywords what really matter?

Well, yes. Keywords do matter, but we must remember that a huge chunk of those who shop online may be new to the experience or may be wary of fraudulent sites. A phone number can help provide assurance that there are real people behind the business. That in itself can benefit a company's sales.

Websites are also capable of collecting data about their visitors thanks to cookies and analytics but generally, a website is dedicated to output from a company and not receiving input. A call-tracking strategy, however, gives customers a voice in regards to their consumer experience. In doing so, it also provides companies with some essential insights about their customers.

Turning Data Into a Higher Conversion Rate

But knowing where call tracking can best be put to use is important, and industry plays a big
part in the strategy used here. Research by the Direct Marketing Association determined that the home services industry had a higher conversion rate from calls than areas such as transportation
or health care. This is estimated to be because of home emergencies. If your furnace stops
working, an email to your provider is simply not urgent enough. In this instance, customers
are more likely to want an immediate response and solution over the phone.

Currently, Google Analytics can give companies a good understanding of the volume of page views and unique visitors. However, call tracking can provide an even bigger picture of where leads and sales are coming from. This offline perspective can help tighten targeting.

Call tracking also means that potential customers are given the opportunity to seek further information via a phone call. This gives a company the opportunity to ask questions that will help make the website a more relevant and useful resource for its users. This trust should also convert into sales, echoing the value of recorded calls.

Call tracking can also be used with split testing to compare two sites and determine which one is receiving better conversion rates. Phone calls can use location and common questions to see what long-tail keywords are appropriate as well as location-based enquiries, if applicable to the product. This can help tighten up keyword strategy and PPC campaigns, which means less time wasted on trial and error.

What E-Commerce Companies Can Do

Companies can start the process by finding out where their visitors are in the buyer’s cycle. The truth is, visitors aren’t always coming to a website to buy something. Let’s say that a site receives the same number of visitors in January as it did in December. It’s reasonable to assume that more people are at the "purchase" stage prior to Christmas, whereas in January, they are more likely to be window shopping. Call tracking at this stage can reveal a lot about what users want to see on the website, and what can make them part with their money - even when they’re not actually looking to buy.

These are just a few examples of how call tracking can yield key insights into potential
customers’ agendas. Really, it’s all about looking at what a site's visitors want to hear before they make a purchase. If companies listen to these visitors, they'll get all the answers you'll need.