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Consumer Services Shoppers Are Calling from Search—Here’s What Marketers Can Do About It

Derek Andersen Copywriter, DialogTech

Consumer Services Shoppers Often Start Their Journey with Search

In most major consumer services verticals, over 50% of shoppers begin their journey with an online search. This option has become more attractive because of the prevalence of smartphones. According to Google, 75% of smartphone owners turn to mobile searches first to address their immediate needs.

Percent of shoppers that ran a search before buying

This trend is projected to continue—Google reported high year-over-year growth in “near me” mobile searches for several consumer services verticals, including auto repair, beauty salons, lawn care, and travel agencies.

Year-over-year growth in consumer services mobile searches

The Next Step is Often a Phone Call

After consumer services shoppers perform searches and study different providers, they often proceed by placing a call. This is an especially prevalent option because of the high number of searches placed via smartphones. Additionally, the click-to-call option on search ads creates a seamless link from the search to the call channel.

Percent of consumers who call a business after a search

40% of Consumers Call a Business from Search to Make a Purchase

Consumers who call businesses from search are often the most valuable leads. A large quantity of them call to perform high-buying-intent actions like scheduling an appointment, checking store hours, and inquiring about pricing. And, 40% make a purchase over the phone.

Why consumers call businesses from search

So, What Should Marketers Do About It?

Tip 1: Make it easy for consumers to call you. To maximize the effectiveness of the call channel, consumer services marketers can start by adding call buttons to important touch points like Google “My Business” Listings, Bing “Places for Business” Listings, Google Ads, landing pages, and store locator pages. This creates a seamless link from mobile browsing to the call channel, helping drive more calls to your locations.

Tip 2: Track and analyze your inbound calls. By tracking calls to their marketing source, you can determine which of your digital ads are driving the most inbound calls to your business. And by using AI to analyzing conversations on these calls, you can determine not only call volume, but also how many quality sales calls you received—and how well agents handled them. With this data, you can make smarter marketing optimizations and give better coaching to your sales team.

Tip 3: Use call analytics to route callers more efficiently. Driving calls is only half the battle—you must also provide a frictionless call experience that converts callers to customers. By using call analytics to gather key data points about each caller, including their name, geographic location, and the ad or keyword they called from, you can tailor their experience accordingly. For example, if Erica from Sioux City called your lawn care franchise from a “tree trimming” ad, you could automatically route her to your Sioux City location and have an agent answer with a personalized greeting: “Hi Erica, thank you for calling—can I tell you about a limited-time offer on tree trimming services?”

Tip 4: Integrate call data with your CRM and advertising tools. Once you’re capturing the right call data, put it to use to drive better business results. To accomplish this, you can integrate call data into your marketing stack—including search, CRM, bid management, web analytics, and other tools—to get a holistic view of the consumer journey and know exactly how to allocate budget and optimize campaigns to generate the greatest return for your locations.

Tip 5: Target past callers and lookalikes with the right ads. After someone calls one of your locations, marketers need to know what the next best action is for that caller. If you don’t know if the caller is a potential customer and whether or not they converted, you risk wasting budget retargeting consumers with ads they’re not interested in. You also  risk missing out on new customers by failing to target callers who are ready to set an appointment or make a purchase. By capturing calls from each marketing source—and their outcomes—marketers can precisely determine the next best actions.

How Sylvan Learning Increased Search Leads by 33% with Call Analytics

Sylvan spends most of its national media budget on digital ads, particularly search engine marketing. But potential customers who follow its search ads to its site have increasingly made a phone call the next step instead of completing a web form.

“When I can’t account for over 75% of my calls and what keywords or categories they were coming from, it’s a serious problem,” said Seth Lueck, Senior Online and SEM Manager at Sylvan.

Sylvan and its digital marketing agency, DAC Group, began using dynamic number insertion technology from DialogTech to connect calls to the channel, ad, search keyword, and website interaction that drove it. “That allows us to connect the dots between the ultimate call and the keyword that the user searched,” said Lueck.

Call data from the DialogTech platform is also passed directly to Google Analytics, DoubleClick, and Optimizely platforms for a holistic view of the customer journey, online and over the phone. 

“The results have been amazing: This year with DialogTech, Sylvan has increased leads by over 33% from search marketing—all while keeping cost per lead flat,” said Lueck.

“DialogTech enabled DAC to measure Sylvan’s true cost per lead for paid search keywords and optimize the program to achieve the best results and lowest CPL,” said Kyle Harris, Digital Account Manager at DAC Group.

To learn more Consumer Services Marketing best practices, download our ebook: “4 Consumer Services Marketing Strategies for Consumer Calls.”

To learn more Consumer Services Marketing best practices, download our ebook: “4 Consumer Services Marketing Strategies for Consumer Calls.”

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