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3 Insights from Phone Conversations That Will Improve Your Google Ads ROI

Blair Symes Senior Director of Product Marketing, Invoca

The customer journey is calling. When consumers use their smartphones to search for products and services on Google and engage with search ads, they often convert in the most convenient and natural way: by calling.

Calls to businesses from search ads are expected to reach 61 billion in 2019, a 113% increase from 2014. For many industries, calls are the most popular and valuable conversion from search, with inbound callers converting to customers at the highest rates—on average 30% faster than online conversions.

Phone conversations have become an important step in many buyer journeys, and even the most sophisticated Google Ads campaigns risk failure if they ignore calls and the intelligence available from those conversations. It’s why innovative brands and agencies are using insights from analytics on what happens on calls to better optimize their Google Ads campaign performance and generate more conversions at a lower CPL. 

Here are three examples of what marketers can learn from phone conversations that they can leverage to make tangible improvements in their Google Ads ROI.

1. Was the Call Answered?

Many brands, franchises, and multi-location businesses rely on inbound calls to drive revenue. From insurance and home services to automotive and healthcare, marketers in many industries invest heavily in Google Ads to drive calls to call centers, branches, offices, shops, and dealerships. How each location handles those calls can be the difference between winning or losing a customer—and your marketing ROI hangs in the balance, since each call from Google Ads comes at a cost. 

It’s simple: you can’t drive business from calls that aren’t answered. Marketers should understand what percentage of calls from Google Ads are being answered by each location or call center, what percentage goes to voicemail, and what percentage hangs up without leaving a message. These are valuable insights for you to uncover issues that could be harming their ROI.

Here’s a real-world example to illustrate the problem. A chain of auto service centers with over 1,000 locations in the US generates a high percentage of customers from paid search. And many of those come initially in over the phone, with callers asking questions on pricing and booking service appointments. 

When their marketing team used the DialogTech conversation intelligence platform to analyze the calls they were generating from Google Ads, they found:

  • 12% of paid search callers convert to customers
  • Average revenue per customer from paid search calls is $250
  • But 11% of paid search callers abandon the call due to delays in answering 

The marketing team had no idea that such a high percentage of calls they send to locations during business hours were abandoned. Doing the math, they found that on average every 100 calls they send to locations from paid search could bring in $3,000 in revenue, but in reality were only bringing in $2,670 because the locations weren’t answering calls quickly enough. They used this insight to work with locations to emphasize the importance of answering calls, and their revenue from Google Ads increased.

Report - CX issues by location

Sample report from DialogTech showing % of calls with CX issues for each location

2. Was the Call a Quality Sales Lead?

A fundamental question that search marketers should be able to answer is whether or not each caller is a quality sales lead. You invest significant resources and budget in Google Ads to acquire more customers and grow revenue for your business. But not every phone call is a quality sales lead. Some might be customer support calls. Some might be job-seekers. Some might be spam.

It’s critical to know not only how many calls from each campaign, ad, keyword, and webpage you generate from Google Ads, but how many are quality sales calls. That way you can make the right marketing optimizations to drive more of the calls that drive appointments, opportunities, and revenue, while eliminating spend on the keywords and ads that aren’t impacting your business. It’s a proven way to acquire more customers while reducing cost per lead.

Sample report from DialogTech on lead quality and call outcomes for search keywords

Agency Roger West is having great success doing this for Roy’s, an upscale restaurant chain with over 20 locations in the US. By using DialogTech to analyze not only the volume of the calls they send to each Roy’s restaurant from paid search and display ads — but which calls result in dining reservations — Roger West has optimized for the channels, ads, search keywords, days/times, and devices driving the most customers. And the results speak for themselves: a 434% increase in reservations and a 38% decrease in cost per reservations in the first seven months.

3. Did the Conversation Result in a Conversion?

For marketers under pressure to drive revenue, creating Google Ads campaigns that drive high-intent callers isn’t enough. You need the locations and agents to provide the right experience to win that customer. But is that really happening?

For example, one insurance agency determined they were paying $50 per inbound call on average across all marketing channels. By analyzing those conversations, however, they learned that many agents were mishandling calls by not asking the right things or answering callers’ questions the right way, leading to squandered sales opportunities and wasted marketing spend. 

In a different industry, studies on how agents at auto dealerships handle calls uncovered errors that were costing them business: 

  • 72% of auto dealership agents don’t ask the caller for an appointment 
  • 35% did not suggest an alternative if the caller’s vehicle of choice was already sold 

It’s no longer enough for marketers to cross their fingers and hope locations and agents handle calls correctly. You should know how well each location or agent is converting calls to appointments and customers. Uncovering and correcting issues helps ensure you aren’t throwing away your Google Ads budget on mishandled calls. And using call recordings and transcriptions to go deeper into conversations to identify best practices of high-performing locations and agents and sharing them with others across your business is a great way to increase your paid search ROI.

Sample report for DialogTech that uses AI to analyze conversations for actionable insights

Sylvan Learning is the leading supplemental education provider for children in grades K-12, with more than 750 locations in the US. Sylvan’s marketing team uses DialogTech to monitor what is happening on the inbound calls they send to their locations. According to Seth Lueck, Director of Digital Acquisition & Optimization at Sylvan Learning at Sylvan: “If there is a certain brick-and-mortar location whose numbers aren’t measuring up to the rest of the system, we will dig into the conversation insights to look if they are seeing more calls than normal going to voicemail, if they are promoting a national offer… and that allows us to proactively reach out to them and provide those recommendations.” 

Sylvan’s marketing team is able to tell if underperforming locations are getting the right phone leads and following the right scripts on calls. And those insights enable them to work with those locations to convert more callers to customers. 

Sample of a call recording and transcription in DialogTech

What Insights from Conversations Are You Missing?

If phone calls are important to your business, having the right data on calls you generate from every channel — including Google Ads — is critical to marketing success. Download our ebook, The 10 Call Analytics Reports That Will Change Your Marketing, to see examples of reports you can use to significantly increase the impact of your Google Ads campaigns and other marketing. From KPI reports to call handling dashboards, this ebook is a real eye-opener for what marketers can do with deep insights on calls.

Download our ebook, The 10 Call Analytics Reports That Will Change Your Marketing, to see examples of reports you can use to significantly increase the impact of your Google Ads campaigns and other marketing.

Download the eBook