Intelligent Marketing with SwitchboardFREE Call Tracking for Google Analytics

January 20th, 2014

For most businesses marketing is a an absolute must. With so many routes to market and with ever more diverse marketing methods we don’t need the constant torrent of incoming statistics to tell us that it’s getting continually harder to market to our target customers. The problem is that people today are over saturated huge amounts of incoming information and it’s nearly impossible to keep your message from being lost amongst the noise.

There are plenty of answers to this problem which include trying bolder marketing strategies, throwing more money at the problem or spending more time refining your message to make it more relatable to a targeted market. The question is, “How do you know which type of these techniques is working best for you?” and more than that, “Where exactly are your  good old fashioned phone calls coming from?”

John Wanamaker, a man considered by many to be the father of modern advertising, was famously quoted as saying, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

We think that this perfectly sums up the problem with most advertising models and led us to a helpful solution a long time ago, using Call Tracking to work smarter when it comes to marketing.


What is Call Tracking?

Call tracking is an advanced feature of SwitchboardFREE and is best suited to SEO companies, web designers or web masters with a good understanding of Google Analytics. For this feature to be of benefit you will need an active Google Analytics account and the web site your looking to track calls from must already be using Google Analytics and be associated with an analytics UA code.

The way it works is by setting up different phone numbers for different web pages, adverts, keywords or even two different numbers for paid Google searches v organic Google searches. Each number would route thought to your office but with the benefit of a call whisper telling you where the call is from before you speak to the caller. At the end of the call our system posts the call data to your Google Analytics account in real time. This allows you to see all your stats from your web sites in one place and use them collectively to see how your web site is performing and if your on line marketing is effective.


How can I use Call Tracking?

Before you start using call tracking it’s important to get used to using Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a service offered by Google that generates detailed statistics about a website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. It is an incredibly powerful tool that we recommend all businesses use to stay on top of the web side of their business.

If you are familiar with Google Analytics then follow the below steps to get started with call tracking.


Step 1 – Plan exactly what you want to track
As with all things planning is key and the most important thing you need to remember about call tracking is that it’s about tracking specifics. If you aren’t clear what it is you need to track then call tracking isn’t going to work for you. You need to decide up front whether you want to be tracking different adverts, keywords, referrers, loyalty or pay per click adverts before you begin anything else.

Step 2 – Set up a different SwitchboardFREE number for each element that you’re tracking
In order for call tracking to work, a unique SwitchboardFREE number needs to be assigned to each element that you are tracking. These might include individuals web pages, individual key words that you advertise on Google (some people use hundreds of keywords, so we would suggest tracking only the top 10 keywords in any batch larger than 10) or calls from paid search v organic search (see our comparisons page for a range of multi number deals). For example, if you are tracking advertising mediums then your print ads would call one number, your web ads would call another and your radio based ads would call a third. Each of these numbers need to be configured for call tracking by:

  1. Logging into SwitchboardFREE and going to the ‘My Numbers’ page
  2. Click on the number you want to configure which will take you to the ‘Number Settings’ page
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Show Advanced Settings’
  4. Continue scrolling down until you reach the  ‘Google Analytics’ section
  5. Here you enter the following information information needed to track your numbers (for more information on this part of the process please click here)
  6. Press save changes

Once all of your numbers have been set up ensuring they all share the same category name (this is to make it easier to find and analyse your data later) it is time to move on to the next step.

Step 3 – Include tracking codes in your website (if tracking digital marketing/events)
If you are tracking digital marketing/events, e.g. your online referrers or pay per click advertising, then now is the time to include the relevant codes in your website to ensure that the right number has been displayed to enable tracking of that event. All tracking codes can be found on our call tracking pages and all you need to do is copy and paste them into your website and swap out the placeholder numbers for the numbers you set up in Step 3.

Step 4 – Include the correct numbers in your ads (if tracking directly from marketing)
In order to track your calls then you need to include the numbers you set up in the relevant adverts. This means that the unique identifying numbers will tracked when they are called.

Step 5 – Make your campaign live and wait for it to finish
The next step is to make your campaign live and give it enough time to generate the appropriate amount of results. Campaign lengths will vary but it is important to let them run their course in order to receive an accurate set of results.

Step 6 – Go to Google Analytics for your results
The next step is to go to Google Analytics and then navigate to Event Tracking. There you will see any events you are currently tracking as well as a new group that has been named after whatever category you created when you set up your numbers. Click on this to see a break down of your campaign and detailed results on the calls that were tracked via this process.

Step 7 – Start again
Call Tracking is an incredibly powerful tool to increase your ability to make your marketing more effective. However, just doing it once is only going to scratch the surface. We recommend using call tracking with every campaign and as much as possible because the more you use it, the more you learn about your business and the more effective you can be in the future.


Start using Call Tracking today

Call Tracking is the only way of tracking the success of your marketing by measuring your incoming calls and Google Analytics alone isn’t enough to make that happen. Therefore, even if you are using Analytics you are still missing out by not using call tracking.

The best way to learn is by doing so why not get started today? All SwitchboardFREE accounts come with a two 084 numbers completely free of charge so there is no downside to trying call tracking today and see what you can learn.

As always if you have any other questions or need any more help with any aspect call tracking then please don’t hesitate to call on 0844 884 3010. Our support staff can not only help make things easier to understand but they can also help you set up new numbers on your account so that you can start using Call Tracking more effectively.

We would also love to hear from you about your experiences with Call Tracking. We are always looking for case studies of how customers have put our services to use so that we can use them on our website to help other businesses. But we’re also looking for anything that might help us improve this service in the future so if you have any suggestions then please let us know at