CHICAGO – By now most of you should be familiar with Google’s latest effort to provide additional privacy to its users by switching 100 percent of Google searches to secure search. While many marketers may find this traumatic, the sky isn’t falling.
First, these changes only impact leads that visit your site from Google organic search results. You can still view keyword-level referring data from Google paid search ads, as well as organic searches from all the other search engines, including Bing and Yahoo.
And second, despite these changes from Google, there are still three tools you can use to gather insight from Google organic search leads without seeing the specific referral keyword data they used to find you.
Marketing Automation Tools
Conventional marketing automation tools like Marketo, Eloqua, and Silverpop can do an excellent job generating online leads using email campaigns, web registration forms and website usage monitoring. Even without being able to see Google referral keyword data, you can still use a marketing automation tool to see the web pages a lead first visited from Google and their path through your site that lead to them filling out one of your web form registrations and becoming a lead.
This information is helpful because you can infer the keywords used to drive visitors to your website. You can also see which pages are best at converting visitors into web leads, and which pages aren’t performing as well.
But what’s missing with conventional marketing automation tools is voice. That’s why many marketing teams are now using a call tracking tool to track what happens when someone visits their website from Google and, instead of becoming a lead by filling out your form, decides to pick up the phone and call.
Marketers can use call tracking to track calls back to any marketing source, including Google SEO and PPC, offline ads, social media sites, direct mail, email and more. Call tracking software gives you unique trackable
phone numbers (local, toll-free or vanity) that can be displayed in your marketing material and the web pages of your site.
When someone calls those numbers, the technology knows exactly what source they’re calling from and captures that source information with the lead information. Even if the visitor browses around on your site for a while before calling, call tracking can still attribute them as a phone lead from the correct originating source.
Call tracking tools used to be able to tell you the Google keywords that drove a person to visit your site before calling you, but unfortunately Google encrypted search no longer passes that keyword-level referral data from Google organic searches. However, call tracking tools can still tell you which web pages drive the most phone calls to your business from Google organic searches.
You can even track each call individually through your sales cycle to see which web pages are generating opportunities and revenue – enabling you to understand which pages and content work best at converting calls that turn into customers. So while you may not have access to keyword-level referral data for Google organic, you can still see some extremely insightful information you can use to improve your marketing.
Integrate Call Tracking with Google Universal Analytics
What’s more, call tracking tools can integrate with Google Universal Analytics to give you additional insight into each visitor’s behavior and interaction on your website. If the goal is insight about the visitor, Universal Analytics will give you plenty.
For Google organic visitors, marketers are still able to see in Universal Analytics which web page a lead first landed on. Since most web pages are only optimized for a small number of keywords, you can infer which ones are working to drive web traffic from Google (and that’s valuable info to have). You can then follow that visitor’s path through your site, and, if they called you, you can see exactly what page they called from. Again, very valuable information for marketers trying to optimize their site for lead conversion.
So don’t panic about Google’s encrypted search. Using marketing automation tools paired with call tracking and Universal Analytics, you’ll still be able to gain valuable and actionable insight into the behavior of your web visitors, leads, and customers that came from a Google organic search. And again, you can also still see keyword-level referral data from Google paid search ads and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo. That hasn’t changed.
If you wish to learn more about how marketers are using call tracking, you can download the white paper, “Tracking Phone Leads: The Missing Piece of Marketing Automation.”
About the Author: Jane Intrieri is currently a Marketing Content Specialist at Ifbyphone. She crafts compelling, educational content in the form of white papers, blog posts, eBooks, articles, press releases and more. She covers topics such as B2B marketing, content marketing, and marketing automation.