Are you one of the many, hard-working, lead generating marketers who would rather generate 100 phone leads than 100 form leads?
If so, it’s probably because it’s easier for you to seal the deal over phone than it is over email.
Preaching to the choir, right? The good thing is that it’s been scientifically proven that phone leads close at higher rates compared to any other type of lead. Almost ten-fold actually.
With form leads, you run into the problem of getting real visitors that leave fake contact info or have low intent, and maybe that’s because they’re not ready for you.
Due to the fact that more people are using their phones to search for things online and the explosion of call analytics companies, it’s now easier than ever to track and learn from your phone calls.
So how do you go about generating more phone calls with the same marketing budgets? It’s simple.
Your goal is to convince the visitor that they will get more value from a phone call compared to the form that’s on your landing page or site.
Get ready to learn the first 13 effective ways to get more phone leads through Google AdWords and landing page testing, starting today.
1. Area code specific phone numbers
Having an 800 number was once all the hype (1967 to be exact) since people could save money by calling you toll-free. Today, 800 numbers have lost some of their fizz.
Yet advertisers around the US still think they’re great to use. But did you know that an 800 number can actually lower the amount of phone leads you’re getting?
Engine Ready ran a test with toll-free numbers and local area code numbers to see the change in phone call conversion rates. The results were pretty remarkable. (An 800 number is a great idea, but not the best one. Image source) Conversion rates more than doubled and the volume of phone leads increased by 112.5% when using phone numbers specific to the area being advertised to.
The idea here is to use multiple local area code phone numbers if you’re advertising across a larger metropolitan area, or even nationally, to target individual area code areas and use those local phone numbers as your ad call extensions and phone numbers on landing page or site.
To make this happen, you’ll want to use a call analytics service (like CallRail, Call Tracking Metrics, etc) to buy local area code phone numbers and route them to your receiving number(s).
Then, within your AdWords account, make sure that you’ve created geographically split campaigns that all correspond to local area code phone numbers with your call extensions and that your landing page for each campaign has a matching phone number.
2. Up the offer
If you do have a form on your site or landing page for lead generating purposes, then you’ll love this strategy.
Once you’ve gotten a person to convert through your form, you can increase your likelihood of getting them on the phone by offering an additional incentive or an even better offer if they call in.
It’s not often you see this, but when people use this post-conversion strategy, you’ll notice that people often play off the initial offer in a greater way or offer something that’s a cross-sell that the visitor would also find valuable.
But your goal is not to have them subscribe to a newsletter or like you on Facebook, your goal is to get them to call you.
A perfect example of this could be if your initial form call-to-action is “Get Your Free Quote!”, the “Up The Offer” tactic for your confirmation page would then be: Call 415-201-9923
Within the next 5 minutes and get $250 off your quote! Unbounce used a similar post-conversion tactic that grew blog subscribers by 60% through just two webinar landing pages.
So if that’s true, is it hard to believe you can do something similar to increase your phone leads?
I think not.
3. AdWords call extensions and the click-to-call setting
If you’re already using AdWords, there’s a good chance you’re already using call extensions. If you are, awesome. Keep using them and keep testing them.
Call extensions are simply phone numbers you get to showcase alongside your text ads on the Google search engine results page (SERP). They look like this: To use them with your ads, you’d want to go into your Ad extensions tab within your Google AdWords account and click on View: Call extensions in the drop down.
Once there, you can add a new call extension and decide whether or not you want to give the mobile searcher the option to click on the headline or call you, or only the option to call you.
I recommend testing out the latter to see how it affects the volume of your phone leads. But don’t take my word for it. A study by Google back in 2013 found that ads with call extensions saw an 8% higher click through rate as well.
This is what your AdWords ads will look like on mobile devices when you only allow the “Just the phone number” option.
Both the headline and the call button become click-to-call features where the visitor can’t go to your landing page or site. The only option for them is to call you directly.
4. The call-to-action of calling
When it comes to using AdWords as the main driver of new business, it’s super vital that your call to action in the ad matches the call to action on your landing page.
What you tell the person in the ad is what their attention will focus on while on your site or landing page.
Are you being vague about the action you want them to take? If so, you might as well send me the $15 you just paid for that click (or $100 if you’re in the personal injury law space).
By taking the guesswork away and being clear from your ad to your landing page, you stand a greater chance of achieving a phone lead instead of a form lead.
Let’s say that I have a nasty wasp problem and I need a pest control company to come help me as soon as possible. I did a quick Google search and read the Orkin ad asking me to call them (nice branding on description line two by the way).
Take the Orkin ad below as an example: (Notice all the sitelinks being used as the call to action of “calling”)
I clicked on the ad (sorry Orkin), and was transported to this “beauty” of a landing page: (Get your visitors to call by having an obnoxiously long form. Image source)
I noticed the phone number four times throughout the entire page, and prominently placed three times in the header area.
In the back of my mind, I knew Orkin wanted me to call from when I read the AdWords ad and it had already peaked my interest since I clicked on the ad.
I then notice the length of the form and almost throw up in my mouth a little as it would probably be easier for me to just give them a ring.
By trying this approach, you stand a great chance of not alienating a visitor if they actually do want to fill out the form (heaven forbid) instead of calling you.
Did you notice how the Orkin ad didn’t have a call extension? Maybe the company found better results without using one, or maybe it just forgot it?
5. Retargeting ads with phone numbers
If you didn’t already know, retargeting can produce dramatic conversions for your business. Sometimes retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert compared to non-retargeted visitors.
You’ll almost always have more visitors who don’t convert compared to people who do convert (I say so because I’ve seen conversion rates higher than 50%, but it’s rare).
That means your audience for retargeting people who didn’t convert can be enormously big. Which gives plenty of opportunity to up your phone conversions through phone number retargeting.
What exactly is retargeting? It’s the practice of having your image and/or text ads follow visitors around after they’ve left your site through a cookie you place in their browser.
With retargeting, you’re allowed to use image ads that can’t be scanned by Google or other retargeting vendors who are trying to prevent having your number in image ads.
This means that you could literally designate a specific phone number for your retargeting ads and measure the phone calls directly from them.
6. Phone numbers in display URLs
This idea plays off of spelling out the number in your PPC description line one. If you use AdWords and/or Bing Ads, you can also showcase your phone number in the display URL, along with your call extension.
It looks like this: (Don’t make the mistake of having two different phone numbers, however) Be aware that all ad space is critical to use to convey value. Using phone numbers in your ad copy steals away character space for other value promoting sentences.
If you find that your CTR drops because of using a phone number in the display URL, be quick to switch back to specific keywords.
Giving up good CTR can negatively impact your quality scores and drive your cost per clicks up.
7. Phone call tracking
Pretty straightforward, right? Yet many people forgo this.
Did you know that the average small and medium business spends 46% of its marketing budget on digital channels? That leaves 54% for other more traditional marketing avenues.
In a sense, the average SMB could be using seven different marketing channels to drum up business. But how do they track which channels are the most effective?
Do you know how many phone leads your PPC is generating? How about your SEO or that sweet billboard you put up last month?
If you’re using the same phone number for all your marketing activities, then you’re just trying to grow your company through intuition and gut feelings. You’re not tracking anything or being scientific. “My sales people seemed busier when we launched that YouTube campaign” can be a deadly sentence to speak. You might as well be a HiPPO. (“Don’t worry about ‘science’, just go with it.” Image source)
Phone call tracking allows you to assign unique phone numbers to the different marketing channels you’re using to then record, track, and measure the ROI from them.
By using a phone call tracking system, you’re able to quickly launch new marketing initiatives with dedicated phone numbers that allow you to track the performance.
8. Use mobile specific ads
Mobile specific AdWords text ads have proven to achieve higher CTR than their catch-all counterparts. And you know what that means.
Higher CTR means more clicks, and more clicks mean more potential phone calls.
Even though selecting a mobile preferred ad doesn’t guarantee that the ad will only show up on mobile searches, it helps you isolate and gives you the opportunity to fine tune and improve your mobile messaging.
Another thing to know is that Google has slowly started removing certain lines of description line two from mobile ads as it has found ads with ad extensions perform better when taking over. Just look at the Godiva ad below: Notice how the ad’s description line has been cut off. Because of that, make sure that you say the most important things early in your ad, so text doesn’t get cut off.
So how do you go about creating mobile preferred ads? It’s actually very simple. Inside your ad creator within the AdWords interface, all you have to do is click inside the checkbox called “Device preference”.
9. Have your phone number below the CTA form
It’s easy to understand why you’d want your visitors to focus on the conversion goal with colors that contrast to the rest of your landing page.
As you have people’s eyes on your conversion goal, it’s now time to give them the option to also call through in case they don’t want to fill out or start the form. (The green button stands out and the phone number is right beneath it. Image source) (Quicken Loans has a 3x phone number appearance. Image source) (Injecting a little humor never hurt anyone. Image source) Here you see that Merchant Fund Source, Quicken Loans, and Vitamin T understand the power of a phone call, and the great thing is, simply having your phone number prominent has been shown to increase trust for your visitors as well.
When running the test of having a phone number underneath your form button call-to-action, make sure you know exactly what your conversion rates are before you start.
You’ll want to see if your overall conversion rate (form leads and phone calls combined) increases or if adding the phone number damages the conversion rate.
10. Make your mobile CTA button a tap-to-call
This tactic works by removing all forms you have and replacing your CTA button with your phone number (of course, make it clickable on a mobile device).
By using the common best practices of landing page testing, you’ll want to make your button color a contrasting color compared to your overall landing page or site.
This will help make your CTA stand out, and by making your button look like an actual button (3D effect), you’ll get more clicks that then result to phone calls.
A great example of how you can be successful with this tactic is to look at the mobile landing page for WeBuyCars.com (almost a little too redundant, but it works. Image source)
11. Use responsive design. Yes, I said it.
With more and more people being on their mobile devices, it’s crucial you use responsive design on your landing pages or site, especially if your goal is generate more phone leads.
If you didn’t already know, responsive design gives your mobile visitors a cleaner and less cluttered look when browsing your pages, making it easier for them to convert.
And depending on your design, you could see a doubling in phone leads sooner than you think.
The people over at Electric Pulp were able to increase iPhone conversion rates by 65% and Android conversion rates by a mighty 407% for O’Neill Clothing.
Think of the impact this could have on your phone call volume.
By going responsive, you’ll only need to manage one site, instead of three (desktop, mobile, and tablet), which definitely makes things easier. So what are you waiting for?
12. The post conversion phone number
Did the visitor convert on your form instead of giving you a call? Dang it!
Fortunately for you, there’s a quick way to get them on the phone, and it has to do with something called post conversion psychology. What you do after a visitor performs a lead form conversion is almost just as critical as what you did to get them to convert.
You know your deed isn’t done until you got the visitor to pay, so why do so many marketers forget to tell the visitor what will happen after they convert?
A great way to lift your phone conversions is to let the visitor know their quote or offer is ready, and that they should call (800) XXX-XXXX to get it directly from your confirmation/thank you page.
Take a look at the example below: (Give people the incentive to call in, even if they’ve already converted on your form) Notice the clear bonus of a “faster response” that you can use by calling that number. Some other ideas to increase phone conversions from the thank you/confirmation page would be: Your quote is ready!
Please call (888) 888-8888 to get it! We’re almost out of stock! Please call (888) 888-8888 to claim yours! These rates won’t last forever! Please call (888) 888-8888 to lock them in! Not only does this help with increasing phone calls, but it also prevents your visitors from leaving your landing page to go to a competitors page and do the same thing.
You can now get them on the phone and keep them there.
13. Ad schedule around your availability
This may sound like the biggest no brainer of all time, but it shouldn’t be. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called a business in which their main call to action was to generate a phone call, and then land on their voicemail.
If you invest your hard earned advertising dollars to then showcase your ads around hours you’re not available, then please consider not advertising 24/7.
I will call your competitors before leaving you a voicemail. Because like every other pre-pubescent teen in our society, I want what I want, now.
As you already know, a lead that isn’t talked to right away, may as well be dead. And the fact that you have your call go straight to voicemail isn’t that impressive.
Instead, go into your individual AdWords campaign settings and scroll all the way to the bottom until you hit the Advance settings portion.
Open that sucker up, and then tell Google what times during the day you want your ads to show under the Ad scheduling part. It looks like this:
So with all these new ideas (and thirteen more to come in part two), where do you start?
Most of your conversion rate improvements for phone leads and form leads will come from your landing page testing, not as much from your AdWords tweaking.
Have any other ideas that could help you generate more phone leads through AdWords and landing page testing? Then please share in the comments!
Part two coming soon!