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8 Questions to Consider to Maximize Paid Search ROI With Conversation Intelligence

Derek Andersen Senior Content & SEO Specialist, DialogTech

Phone calls are one of the most common and valuable conversions from paid search. According to Google, an average of 80 million calls were driven directly from Google search ads each month in 2019. And that number doesn’t even include consumers who called a business from their website after clicking their Google search ad.

For most industries, consumers running mobile searches are more likely to call, since they can do so seamlessly, with the quick tap of a button. Since mobile search ad spend is projected to increase by 98% from 2019 to 2024, businesses should expect a continued increase in calls driven by their Google Ads campaigns.

In addition, phone calls are often the most valuable marketing conversions — 84% of marketers say phone calls result in higher conversion rates and larger order values than other engagements.

With the importance of phone-based conversions to the success of most paid search campaigns, marketers need to take a data-driven strategy to calls. So it’s no surprise that 86% of marketers say they are planning on increasing their investment in conversation intelligence solutions that can help them do it.

To Drive More Revenue from the Call Channel, Search Marketers Use Conversation Intelligence

Conversation intelligence solutions like DialogTech capture call tracking data and AI-powered conversation analytics data from the calls driven by your search marketing campaigns at scale. They also enable you to connect that data to downstream revenue via revenue matchback. As a result, you can understand the search campaigns, ads, and keywords driving not only the most phone calls — but the most sales calls, conversions, and revenue. That data can then be activated in both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads and other tools like Google Analytics, Search Ads 360, and Salesforce that you use to measure and optimize paid search spend.

With conversation intelligence data, search marketers can improve paid search ROI by:

  • Optimizing bid strategies to drive more high-value calls at a lower CPL
  • Enabling smart bidding algorithms to drive more conversions and better ROAS
  • Segmenting callers into the right audiences for retargeting or suppression based on the content of their conversations
  • Detecting and correcting call handling issues at call centers and locations

But before you hit the ground running with a conversation intelligence solution, there are several key questions you need to think through. Below, we cover eight things to consider to help you get the most value from conversation intelligence for your paid search strategy.

1. What Does a Phone-Based Conversion Mean to Your Business?

The definition of a “conversion” differs across businesses and industries. But, in essence, it boils down to this: as a marketer, what is your performance measured by? What are you trying to drive more of? The answer will determine what you need the conversation intelligence solution to measure for you.

For some marketers, a phone-based conversion may be any call they generate from their search ads. But is that really what you want to spend your budget to drive? Most marketers don’t want to pay to drive support calls — they are only interested in driving calls with sales intent that are interested in booking an appointment or making a purchase. If it’s the latter, be sure the conversation intelligence solution you choose can measure it.

But you can take this a step further — for some marketers a conversion is only when the caller books an appointment or places an order on the call. And even further still — some marketers like those in healthcare only want to spend budget to drive appointments from new patients (more on this one later).

Regardless of what a conversion means to you, solutions like DialogTech can analyze phone conversations to detect them by applying AI and machine learning models trained for your unique industry and conversion type.

You can then pass your true conversion data — whatever it means for your business — into tools like Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and Search Ads 360 and use it to optimize your bidding strategy or inform the smart bidding algorithm to make better bids on your behalf.

To illustrate the importance of this data, let’s say you’re running two different search campaigns: Campaign A and Campaign B. When you count all calls as conversions, it appears Campaign A drove 40 phone-based conversions while Campaign B drove 30. Based on this data, you would allocate more spend to Campaign A.

However, when you push DialogTech conversation intelligence data into your martech stack, you see that Campaign B is actually the top-performer. In 25 of its 30 calls, the callers were sales leads and an appointment was scheduled during the call, whereas only 10 out of the 40 calls driven by Campaign A were sales leads, with only 3 scheduling an appointment.

With insights from those phone conversations, you may discover a myriad of other reasons why Campaign B is the better campaign:

  • Campaign B is driving more appointments for your most expensive services, generating more revenue than Campaign A as a result
  • Campaign B is driving more appointments from first-time callers than Campaign A, increasing your customer base
  • Campaign A is driving more callers looking to reschedule or cancel existing appointments

With conversation intelligence data, you can allocate your spend more efficiently to drive more of your desired conversion type — while eliminating spend that’s driving the calls you don’t want to pay for.

Sample of sales opportunity and sales conversion call data passed into Google Ads

2. Do You Treat Conversions From All Products and Services Equally or Are There Ones That Are of Higher Value That You Would Rather Generate More Of?

Many marketers have no visibility into not only the quantity of call conversions they’re driving from paid search, but also the value of those conversions. For most businesses, not all of your products or services are valued equally — some are more expensive and generate more revenue for your brand.

Conversation intelligence can help you make smarter optimizations to sell more higher-priced items from paid search and ultimately drive more revenue. The first step is understanding the types of call conversions you’re driving from each campaign, ad group, and keyword. DialogTech’s AI can automatically tag the product each person called about and if a conversion occurred. You can also identify what keywords are driving the most downstream revenue from calls through revenue matchback, which ties calls to both the keyword and the revenue it generated from your CRM and activates that data in Google Ads or Microsoft Advertising.

Once you’ve identified the value of the conversions you’re driving, you can make updates to your keyword groups, ad copy, and landing pages to drive more of your desired conversion type. Conversation intelligence can help inform these updates — DialogTech’s AI automatically detects key data points from each call, like if the caller was price-sensitive, if they expressed urgency, what their sentiment was, and much more.

For example, let’s say you’re a landscaping company running a search campaign promoting your “Lawn Care” services. Your goal is to drive more conversions for your comprehensive “Total Care” yearlong plan versus a one-time “Basic Care” treatment. With conversation intelligence, you can understand which plan consumers are purchasing when they call from your “Lawn Care” search ad and the on-call conversion rates for each and optimize your paid search campaigns to drive more.

If your conversation intelligence solution’s AI detects that price is an issue for many of your callers, you could include messaging offering an exclusive discount or limited-time offer in your ad copy and on the landing page to make the “Total Care” package more appealing. You could also try changing the keywords you’re targeting — perhaps you’re bidding on a set of keywords that appeals to a more price-sensitive audience. You could try targeting keywords like “Comprehensive Lawn Care,” “Yearlong Lawn Care,” or “Total Lawn Maintenance.”

3. Are You Only Interested in Driving New Customers or Patients From Your Paid Media or Are You Willing to Spend Budget to Drive Sales Opportunities or Appointments From Past Customers?

Many marketers only want to spend their paid search budget to drive leads, appointments, and orders from new customers. They would prefer existing customers found and engaged with them for free via GMB or organic search links.

Conversation intelligence solutions automatically capture incoming phone numbers and use them to determine who is a new or repeat caller. In addition, they analyze the content of conversations to track the products and services consumers purchase over the phone. With this data, you can understand if your search campaigns are driving calls from new or existing customers, and you can adjust your strategy accordingly.

For example, let’s say you’re a dental provider running a “Chicago Dentist Office” campaign designed to attract new patients. At first glance, you’re driving a high volume of calls from your ads, but when you look closer with conversation intelligence, you see that most of the calls are from existing patients looking to schedule a routine cleaning — or worse yet, cancel an appointment. You could then tweak your keywords and content until you achieved your desired result and drove more appointment calls from new patients. You could also exclude previous callers who booked an appointment from seeing your search campaign — instead, you could target them on Facebook with a new campaign that offers a discount for each friend or family member they refer to your practice.

4. How Do You Determine Your Audiences for Paid Search?

Do you use a consumer’s activity on your website to segment them into retargeting, lookalike, or suppression audiences for your paid search campaigns? Many marketers do. You can also use conversation intelligence solutions to do the same for calls to your business. For example, you can pay more to ensure your search ads show to past callers who are valid sales leads but didn’t convert on the call.

You can also retarget callers who did convert with ads for companion purchases or services. For example, if a consumer called and purchased an auto insurance policy from you, you can add them to your “home/auto bundle” campaign. Or if a caller bought from you and there are no companion purchases to promote, you can exclude them from receiving future ads to avoid wasting spend and add them to your lookalike lists to target new audiences resembling your most valuable callers.

Create audiences in Google Ads to retarget callers who didn’t convert with the right ads

5. Are There Other Non-Sales Conversions That You Are Trying to Generate From Paid Search Ads?

Some businesses run paid search campaigns to drive non-sales conversions. For example, your goal might be to generate job applicants or charity donations.

Conversation intelligence solutions like DialogTech are powered by AI that can detect these different use cases. It can tell why the caller is calling and if they “converted” on the call. You can then use that data to optimize your bidding, content, and targeting strategies to drive more of these types of conversions.

For example, Comfort Keepers, a leading senior care provider, wanted to track not only sales calls from those interested in their in-home care services, but also job applicant calls from people interested in becoming caregivers. Comfort Keepers and its agency Search Discovery used DialogTech’s conversation intelligence to identify calls from caregiver job applicants, build audiences from those callers, and activate insights on call outcomes in Google Ads. Within the first two months of using DialogTech, Comfort Keepers and Search Discovery saw a 14% increase in conversion rates from job applicant calls YoY.

6. Where Should Different Callers From Paid Search Be Routed to Drive the Best Experience and Outcome?

First, think about the different reasons consumers call you and the different destinations your business has where you can send those calls. Ideally, where should each type of call go?

Conversation intelligence solutions not only provide search marketers with the data you need to make bidding, targeting, and copy optimizations to drive more sales calls — they also help to create smoother experiences over the phone that are more likely to result in conversions.

When you drive a call from one of your paid search ads, there are a variety of different call routing options you can set up that will send the caller to the best agent or location to assist and convert them based on real-time data on the call and caller. For example, you can:

  • Route by time of call: Have calls forwarded to specific agents, call centers, locations, or IVRs based on your location hours.
  • Route by geographic location: Send callers to the best call center agents or locations based on where they’re calling from.
  • Route by product or service they’re interested in: Send callers to specific call center agents or locations based on the product or service featured in the search ad they called from.
  • Route by where they are in the customer journey: Send callers to a particular call center or location based on where they are in the funnel. For instance, you can route someone who called from a search ad promoting a free trial differently than someone who called from a search ad promoting a bundle offer for existing customers.
  • Prioritize high-intent callers: For example, send people who call from your highest-converting search ads to the top of the queue so an agent assists them right away.
  • Prioritize high-performing agents and locations: Send callers to your highest-performing locations and agents first so that you have the best possible chance of winning the sale.

Set up rules in DialogTech to route more calls to your highest-performing locations

7. What Insights Into Experiences With Your Locations or Call Centers Do You Want to Capture From Phone Conversations?

Driving phone leads from paid search is only half the battle. Your ROI also depends on your call centers and locations answering the calls and saying the right things to convert them to revenue. If your locations and call centers are dropping the ball, your spend will go to waste.

Conversation intelligence solutions can automatically detect call handling and customer experience issues that are impacting your call conversion rates. By diagnosing and correcting these issues, you can increase sales conversions from your paid search ads.

With insights from conversation intelligence solutions, you can answer
questions like:

  • How many phone leads am I sending each location?
  • Are certain locations repeatedly failing to convert good phone leads?
  • Which locations are the best and worst at answering calls?
  • What days and times do calls most commonly go unanswered?
  • Which marketing channels drive the most valuable — and most unanswered — calls?

Sample DialogTech report showing sales calls, sales call conversions, and unanswered calls by location

In addition to receiving this top-level data about call handling and agent performance, you can also drill into each call recording and transcription to understand why callers aren’t converting. Are your agents not following approved scripts or mentioning promos? Are they forgetting to ask the caller to schedule an appointment or request a quote? Are they not expressing empathy? Once you pinpoint the issue, you can use the recordings and transcriptions as coaching tools to improve performance.

You can also view transcriptions of calls from high-performing locations to identify best practices. Are they using certain key phrases or language? You can then democratize these best practices across your organization to increase conversion rates everywhere.

Sample DialogTech phone call transcription

8. What Insights Into Your Consumers, Products/Services, or Website Do You Want to Learn From Phone Conversations?

You can also use call recording and transcriptions from conversation intelligence solutions to identify the reasons why consumers are calling from search and the common questions they ask. This can help you understand why they aren’t just converting online.

If you answer common caller questions on your search ad landing pages, you might prevent the consumer from calling you in the first place and reduce call volumes at your locations. As you tweak your landing pages to clear up caller hesitations, you can use conversation intelligence and transcriptions to assess your performance as you go. Did your changes increase the rate of call conversions? Or are you seeing more customer experience issues on calls? If a certain landing page is driving more call conversions than the others, you can direct additional search ads to that page to give you the best chance of winning business.

In addition, you can use recordings and transcriptions to identify common phrases callers use to refer to your product or service offerings. If your consumers are speaking those phrases aloud, chances are they’re typing them into search engines, too. By working these phrases into your keyword groups, you can show up in all the places your customers are searching for your products or services. You can also work these phrases into your search ad copy to stay consistent with how consumers talk about your brand.

To learn more tips for driving conversions from paid search, check out our on-demand webinar, Paid Search Masterclass: Boost SEM Revenue Now With Conversation Intelligence.

Want to learn more strategies to drive call conversions from paid search? Download the Online-to-Offline Search Marketing Playbook we created with Marin.

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