One of the hardest things for “brick and mortar” companies that advertise online is tracking “offline” sales that are made through phone calls. Through google analytics, or other analytics services, you can see how many people are looking at your contact page, you can figure how many people are sending you emails through forms. But, unless you want to pay a monthly fee for a tracking phone number, there has been no way to monitor calls that came from your website.
For many small businesses, this a been a big problem. When times get tough, the advertising budget is usually the first thing to go in the small business world, and a lot of companies have cut funding to update, and advertise, their website simply because they don’t know if it is an effective advertising tool.
Being in the local internet marketing field, I spend a vast amount of my time dealing with Google on a daily basis. It might sound crazy, but to me, Google is no longer a website. But a person who I have an extreme love-hate relationship with. Don’t judge. And one product that they have brought about very recently leaned the scale more to the love side.
Here is a short video explaining Google Voice.
With Google voice, you get a new local phone number that will ring whatever phone line you would like (depending on who calls). But, that is only a small amount of the features that Google voice brings to the table. Any time someone calls you can set which number displays on your caller id. If you display your own Google voice number when people call, then you can track who is calling your Google Voice number compared to your normal phone lines. You can also…
Receive phone messages in text format
Keep a list of all calls on Google Voice’s interface
Receive texts of voice mail messages missed
The best part of this service is that it is completely free. Your new number and the whole shebang.You do have to be invited to use the service, but everyone who has requested has gotten an invite to my knowledge.
How To Use Google Voice To Track Calls
This is the simple part. To start,set up your Google Voice account by going here. Once you get your invite back, you are guided through the process of setting up your account and choosing your own local number. Once you are set up and have your local number, look through the settings tab (located in the top right corner) and make sure your account is configured the way you would like.
Now, simply get your phone number on your website changed to your google phone number, If you want to use it all over the web, then change your Google, Yahoo, and Bing Local Business Listing, and directory listings to display your new, free, track-able number.They also have a widget that you can put on your blog, or website, that people can click and call you with.
For a Deeper Look
Though Google Voice is a great way to track phone call made from your website. It is a free service and free services come with some limitations (you get what you pay for). For those of you who want to be able to track from the searched keyword or referring website to the call made on your website, their are very affordable solutions that will be writing about soon. So, check back often!