optimization | BlitzLocal

In a perfect world we would be able to ask our visitors and prospects where they heard about us, and they would say something like this:
“After performing a Google search for ‘local blue widgets’, I found your sponsored ad toward the bottom of the first page. Your ad looked more professional and appealing than the others even though it wasn’t at the top. I clicked on the ad and it brought me to a page that had great information on blue widgets. It was exactly what I was looking for, as if you somehow knew what I wanted…”
In the past when print media was the primary marketing channel, asking your prospects was a much more viable way to track your leads. You would get answers like “The billboard near my house”, “Your ad in the local newspaper”, “The Yellowpages”, or “The flier I got in the mail”. These things are easy for a viewer to remember. Online Marketing is different: when you browse through 20 different pages in ten minutes, it’s difficult to remember how you stumbled upon a website.
Unfortunately, with Online Marketing your typical answers like “The Internet”, or “A Google search”, simply aren’t enough information. You have no way of knowing if it was an organic result or a sponsored ad that they clicked on, and you can’t tell which page on your website they first landed on, or what keywords they searched. The fact of matter is that you can’t depend on prospects to tell you how they heard about you. We’ve seen folks say they searched Yahoo! for “Denver liposuction”, when we don’t even advertise on Yahoo! for that client. They’re not lying– they just don’t remember.
Here are 5 ways to track your online leads, the first being least effective and last being most effective:
Ask them how they heard about you: Even if the client had proper recall, the folks at the front desk aren’t always consistent. Do it anyway, but don’t rely on this data alone.
Use a “click to call” technology: For example, Google Voice allows you to embed a widget that will connect both parties. However, folks over 30 (the ones with money to spend on professional services), prefer seeing a phone number and dialing it. Plus, not seeing the phone number on the website will hurt your SEO– the search engines won’t see it as necessarily being local. If you’re in NYC, use a NYC area code; if in San Francisco, use a San Fransisco are code etc. This method is great for tracking leads, but you’re going to miss out on some sales or conversions. People want to see a phone number.
Use rotating extensions: So maybe you want to buy only one phone number. To track the source, you can have each page be a different extension– Press “1″ for “Denver Hair Removal”, press “2″ for “Denver Smart Lipo”, and so fourth. This does have its drawbacks; putting clients through another step is going to cause some portion of the leads to drop out.
Use multiple phone numbers: Buying a web-only phone number guarantees that if they called that number, then they were on the site. You can forward that web-only number to your regular number, so it’s no extra work for your office. There are a bunch of vendors that provide call tracking, charging from $10 per line per month to $35 per line per month. If you have 10 numbers, one to track each type of traffic, it becomes a large expense for a small business. However, if you have just ONE phone number on the site, how are you going to track what keyword they came in on? Though it may be expensive, this is an extremely accurate and easy way to track your leads. You also wont have to worry about prospects dropping calls out of confusion or frustration like you do with multiple extensions.
Use a coupon code: For example, when visitors are on a Botox landing page, tell them to mention “BOTOXDOCTOR” to get $50 off their next procedure. Have a different code for each of your different landing pages. Good old fashioned coupon codes that provide an incentive for customers don’t cost you a thing, and is a simple way to effectively track your leads.
I find it surprising that more people don’t use coupon codes. Google Local Business Center and MerchantCircle as well as a few other directories have begun integrating coupons into their advertisements, making it easy for business owners to determine whether a new lead came from Google Maps, MerchantCircle, or some other source.

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