Methods to improve web analytics

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When implementing a comprehensive web analytics system, the ultimate goal is to figure out which of your online marketing campaigns are providing the best ROI, notes Scott Buresh, CEO of search marketing firm Medium Blue. But what happens when the website visitor calls to get into your sales pipeline instead?

Existing web analytics, when used in a lead generation application, are based entirely upon on-site behavior. This means that it is easy to track where any particular lead came from – whether from organic search, banner ad, PPC or the referring site, but is only accurate if the entire lead generation cycle is completed online, notes Buresh.

Dynamic Telephone Number Insertion offers an extremely valuable complement to web analytics reporting, and effectively tracks lead sources through calls instead of clicks, he says. DTNI accurately and completely tracks online lead sources by associating different phone numbers with specific referral channels and serving up those specialized numbers to the web user based upon how they arrived at the site. An organic search visitor, for example, will see one phone number throughout the site. A visitor coming from a pay-per-click ad will see another, and so on, says Buresh.

Simple, cheap, and effective, these series of unlimited, unique numbers can route back to your primary business number or a direct line for maximized efficiency, he says.

By associating individual numbers with corresponding referral sources or campaigns and including the phone call data in your “traditional” analytics reports, you can get a much more accurate picture of your overall website performance, explains Buresh. This becomes especially true if the number of phone calls that your business fields is significant.

DTNI is a growing technology, with rapidly increasing advances in analytics capability. Already, the technology has matured to the point where it is now possible to track phone calls that originated from people using different search engines or even clicking on any number of different banner ads. If you are into extreme granularity, you can even track phone calls derived from organic search at the individual search phrase level, says Buresh.

Prior to this service, measuring the performance of your online lead generation campaigns by phone sales was highly unwieldy and generally unreliable - and the technology is catching on. One prominent player in the field recently told me that he is starting to see major web analytics vendors, PPC platforms and CRM providers integrate DTNI into their existing systems, says Buresh. At long last, marketers are finally starting to realize that phone calls are at least as important as clicks.

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