Car Dealer Call Tracking FAQ’s
With so much buzz in the automotive world about what marketing tools are now at your disposal, I feel I owe it to the DealerRefresh community to share some of the insights on the tool I know best – call tracking.
DealerRefresh readers are entrepreneurs. We don’t get out bed for general trends, but rather for insights that allow us to take action right now to improve our sales and marketing performance. As such, I put together this list of “what’s going on right now” topics in call tracking that may be just the nugget to help you make a more informed decision on how to implement a new measurement tool.
1. Can I put a tracking number in my Google Places (Maps, Local Listings, 7-pack, whatever your name for it is) entry?
You absolutely can. SEO bloggers publish theories to the contrary, but I’ve never seen a local merchant displeased with using a tracking number in Google Places. Let’s think about the big picture; if a meaningful amount of calls are coming from a particular listing site, you need to know about it. And it’s not just Google. Cars.com, AutoTrader, EveryCarListed etc are all asking for a greater percentage of your budget. Some of these are, in fact, worthy of upgrading to the premium package. Know which ones you should be serious about.
2. What’s the deal with keyword-level tracking? Wait, organic too?
Yes, you can see search queries from callers from your website who clicked on an organic link as well. The “keyword-level call tracking” service most commonly offered by call tracking vendors shows a unique phone number just for paid click visits. While this is useful, the preferred way to track calls from your website is to capture every referring source (PPC, organic, listing site referral, email and display). Intellectually, it’s more honest to take a holistic approach to call tracking rather than isolate and over- spotlight one particular lead source.
3. Can I get my own numbers?
I’m tired of people who are trying to sell me stuff owning the numbers. All things being equal, the publisher (directory site, website company, newspaper etc.) will own the numbers and use it as a churn reduction tool. Hey, they introduced you to the idea of call tracking, right? While this is part of doing business, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have access to your own inventory of tracking lines, to add / cancel as you wish. It’s just a matter of opening your own account with a car dealer call tracking service provider.
4. Can I get call data to integrate with Application X?
I saved the most commonly asked question for last, “Do you integrate with Google Analytics?” For better or worse, Google doesn’t have an inbound API, so the integration is crude and less than ideal. Call counts are the extent of it, which is why I would suggest you choose the call tracking provider with a robust analytics package. Get the most out of what call tracking specialists can offer first, and then decide if a third-party integration will provide the missing piece (if there even is a missing piece). There are providers who can break out phone calls from web sessions in a compelling fashion. However, if you are set on an AdWords integration, your best bet will be via a PPC management platform like Marin, Clickable or Acquisio, each of whom integrates call data.
My goal each day is to help dealers fit technology into their own unique set of operations. I’m on the front lines of receiving feedback from dealers while simultaneously pushing and testing development realities in-house to find the optimal balance. Point being, there’s lots of innovation and compromise I live and die by everyday. Enough, at least, to have perspective on what will move the needle versus what’s yet another meaningless feature.