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Pro PPC Tip: How Listening to Phone Recordings Can Increase Your PPC Conversion Rate

-When people talk, listen completely.

Search engine marketers should take this Ernest Hemingway quote to heart. There’s so much attention to detail in analyzing the data of a pay-per-click campaign, yet most PPC experts never listen to what potential customers have to say.

If you have a trackable phone number with call recording features tied into your PPC campaign, you can drastically improve your conversion rate by just listening.

Whether you are a B2B company trying to generate new clients or a B2C business looking to obtain new customers, listening completely can be the differentiator between improving and truly converting new business through your pay-per-click campaign.

Here’s an Example…

Let’s say your client owns Mario’s, a pizza restaurant in the 43201 zip code, which happens to be where our agency is located in Columbus, Ohio.

You’re excited to present your client with an amazing click-to-call conversion rate percentage from this past month’s PPC campaign. After you have this conversation with Mario, you’re heartbroken when he mentions that the majority of calls were not very good. Based on the PPC spend, the campaign actually resulted in very little business for his pizza shop.

Fix the Problem by Listening

When you’re running a PPC campaign, the location you’re targeting and the keywords you’re going after are critical. Regardless of how proficient you are within the AdWords platform, you’re not necessarily going to be an expert in the 43201 zip code.

If you knew the area, you would know that although the zip code is technically located in downtown Columbus, Mario’s is actually closer to Ohio State University. Not to mention, Mario’s doesn’t deliver to the opposite end of downtown.

If you were to listen actively to the phone conversations, you’d hear that Mario is turning down business on the opposite end of the city, which makes it a no-brainer to allocate more of the budget towards OSU-related keywords. When one of the phone calls you listened to came from a fraternity house ordering 10 large pizzas, you learn that Ohio State related keywords are the secret sauce to Mario’s campaign.

If you didn’t listen to the phone conversation, you’d be clueless as to whether or not new business was truly taking place.

Your Responsibility

If you were a PPC guru and did your due diligence in researching the location and asking the business owner all of the necessary questions prior to campaign launch, you might have been able to solve this issue earlier. Still, the business owner is often unaware of keywords that will generate the highest conversion rate for his shop.

There’s still so much crucial information that can be absorbed simply by listening to call data. By doing so, Mario’s (theoretically) would able to determine the following:

  • When Sandra answered the phone, the conversion rate was twice as high versus when Mark answered the phone.
  • When the “$5 off delivery” copy was included in the PPC body text, the conversion rate for phone calls tripled.
  • The quality of phone calls after 2:00 AM was extremely low, so there’s no sense in running the ad campaign after midnight.
  • During Saturdays in the fall semester, the click-to-conversion rate quadrupled because of Ohio State football parties at on-campus homes.

Take This Information to Go

Even though Mario’s is a made-up pizza shop, I can’t tell you how many times my agency has listened to the phone call recordings and made a page-long list of marketing and sales discoveries, similar to what I listed out for Mario’s. This has been one of the biggest improvements to our PPC conversion rate percentage in 2015.

Based on our experience, I highly recommend that you start listening to phone conversations to enhance your PPC campaigns. Your business or your client’s company will begin to reap the benefits, which will certainly deserve a pizza party celebration.

NOTE: Before you start, make sure to get the necessary legal approval from the client to listen to the call recordings. All industries are different and some are a lot more regulated than a pizza shop, which means you want to do the necessary due diligence so you can follow all of the necessary industry regulations!


Jason ParksJason Parks is the owner of Jason Parks is the owner of The Media Captain, a digital marketing company based in Columbus, Ohio.