Friday, February 27, 2015

5 Steps to Driving More Calls From Mobile Search

According to research from Cisco, the number of mobile-connected devices exceeded the world’s population in 2014. Last year was also the first year that mobile app traffic outpaced PC Internet usage. People around the world are becoming increasingly reliant on their smartphones for information, and as a result, mobile has become an extremely important topic for digital media.
It’s no surprise that marketers are adding click-to-call functionality to their mobile campaigns. Analysis from Convince and Convert and iAcquire points out that mobile conversion rates, at 70 percent, are three times higher than they are on desktops and laptops. The trend makes sense — mobile users are often looking for something "in the moment" with a very specific search intent.
What’s even more powerful about this trend is what this data isn’t telling you — the fact that mobile audiences are doing more than just requesting additional information or filling out forms online. They’re actually dialing directly to learn more about and transact with the businesses they’re researching. In late 2013, Google reported that 70 percent of mobile searchers have used click-to-call directly from search results.
It goes without saying that click-to-call is critical to the growing mobile marketing ecosystem. Here are five ways to make the most out of the opportunity and forge stronger customer connections.

1. Identify Your Highest Converting Keywords and Conversions

When people learn about your brand through a mobile search ad, they are likely looking to address a very specific need. For that reason, some keywords, ad groups, or campaigns may drive higher conversions than others.
These conversion events are measurable through call tracking and conversation analytics. Call tracking enables marketers to see the online and mobile interactions that are prompting people to pick up the phone, while call intelligence technologies can tell marketers exactly what's happening on the phone — for instance, marketers can track key phrases like "let’s get started," "credit card number," or "order confirmation number."

2. Target Ad Messaging to Very Specific Stages of the Conversion Funnel

Audiences who are looking to learn more about a product or service may not respond well to aggressive messaging to "buy now." For that reason, they may be hesitant to tap the click-to-call button — for fear that they’ll face an aggressive sales pitch.
For early-funnel keywords, incorporate messaging that the "call" button is an opportunity to ask questions and learn more. For late-funnel keywords, encourage audiences to call in and transact.

3. Experiment With Bid Modifiers

You can modify your search campaigns around time of day, location, and device to target audiences who are most likely to call. You can start by looking at Google AdWords call analytics and your company’s call tracking software to identify correlations between time of day and conversion events. Then, adjust your campaign settings to optimize campaigns to drive calls during these times.
Most importantly, make sure that you only allow calls during your business hours. Don’t waste your valuable advertising dollars by optimizing calls for times that you’re not open.

4. Create Screeners to Qualify Calls

More calls aren’t always better. With increased call volume comes quality challenges, so you’ll need to do more than put a phone number on your mobile landing page and in your ads — you may need to filter your calls before they reach a sales rep.
Marketers should identify parameters that indicate quality calls and use call tracking technologies to put those parameters in place. Examples include customer location, income, or age for B2C brands as well as company size and type for B2B brands. You can even set filters to sort new and repeat calls so that you don’t waste your sales agent’s time on customer service questions. Put filtering options in place to make sure that you’re working with top-notch leads.

5. A/B Test Your Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

To drive conversions, your marketing messages need to reach the right audiences at the right times in their buying journeys. For that reason, it is important to test layout and messaging options for your mobile CTAs, including your click-to-call buttons. This experimentation process will be as important to your mobile landing strategy as it is to your desktop campaigns. Here are some example A/B tests worth trying:
  • Try including a phone icon on the bottom of your page
  • Experiment messaging around your click-to-call button such as "call to speak to a live agent" vs. "call to get a free quote."
  • Test putting your call center or business hours next to the phone number
There are a few important ways that you can test click-to-call features on campaigns. Google AdWords, through call extensions on ads, provides a number of features to connect online audiences with information faster — directly from the search results page. Call buttons on landing pages are another channel that can help mobile audiences reach you after clicking on an ad and arriving on your site.
The more you learn about your customers’ needs and Web traffic patterns, the better positioned you’ll be to improve calls and conversions. Focus on questions that your audience is likely to ask "in the moment." This perspective will help you connect them to the information that they need, faster.

Final Thoughts

The best way to drive more calls is to develop a thorough understanding of your company’s unique conversion funnel. Pay attention to the paths that audiences are taking to become buyers — respond to their exact in-the-moment needs to learn more or to make a direct purchase. This direct alignment will be your ultimate conversion driver.