Tracking Phone Calls Alongside Other Data with Google’s Universal Analytics

Recently, Google announced the public availability of Universal Analytics, the successor to its popular Google Analytics platform. If you aren’t familiar with Universal Analytics, it’s like Google Analytics on steroids. Where Google Analytics lets you analyze activity on your web site, Universal Analytics can include and display data from any source and device, like mobile, desktop, gaming devices, brick-and-mortar stores, and the telephone – all in a single platform.

Google built Universal Analytics to be the one-stop shop for businesses to analyze all their prospect and consumer data in a single interface. And the potential of what you can learn by analyzing all these different types of data together is tremendous.

Imagine a retailer, for example, being able to track how mobile ads helped drive not only visits to their web site, but also purchases made in their actual stores and phone calls to their 800 number. Or a realtor being able to understand how ads in a mobile app drove calls to their office and lead to attendance at an open house. These are the types of insights made possible with Universal Analytics, but only if you have the ability to push all these different types of data into the platform.

How to Include Phone Call Data in Universal Analytics
Universal Analytics doesn’t track phone calls; it simply provides the interface for displaying call data in meaningful ways alongside all your other online and offline sources. To include your business’s call data in Universal Analytics, first you have to capture it. And that requires a voice-based marketing automation solution like Ifbyphone.

Among other things, voice-based marketing automation solutions have technology for tracking inbound phone calls. They can tell you exactly what ad, keyword search, direct mail piece, social media site, or other marketing source a caller viewed before calling you. They can then track and measure those phone leads through to a sale, so you know which marketing activity is leading to revenue.

All this and other call-related data can be pushed into Universal Analytics to be sliced and diced with your other data. If you use Ifbyphone, this integration with Universal Analytics is built-in and easy to set up.

Why Include Call Data in Universal Analytics?
Including phone call data alongside your web and offline data can be an invaluable source of insight into customer behavior and trends. With call data, the amount of information that can now be mined about your customers’ activities in Universal Analytics—not to mention the connections being made within your marketing strategy—is much broader, more accurate, and more meaningful.

For example, wouldn’t it be valuable to know:

• What keywords a person searched in Google to find your site before calling?
• The actual web page a customer was on when they picked up the phone and called?
• If a caller made an online purchase before or after calling you?
• If a person who watched a video or downloaded a white paper after clicking your banner ad went on to call you and make a purchase?
• Which version of a landing page you are A/B testing generates the most phone calls?

Can you see the possibilities? Let’s say a visitor to your site clicks on a PPC ad, downloads some content, and then calls the number on a web page. By integrating call data in Universal Analytics, you can tie all of those actions together. Even if the visitor called your business after visiting from a PPC ad, and then a few days later came back to your site directly and called again, you can still see how those visits and calls are connected. You can even tell where in the country they called from.

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2 Responses to Tracking Phone Calls Alongside Other Data with Google’s Universal Analytics

  1. EssaysWriters October 15, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    I hear a lot about the fact Google Universal lets you set your own user id but from what I understand, unlike other analytics services (like mixpanel and kissmetrics), you do not have “identify” or “alias” methods you can use, instead you just store your user id in one of the custom variables (or custom dimension) – which is also available in the current version of Google Analytics, right?

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