If I told you that there is a way to factually determine which advertising efforts are working and which ones need help, you would say, “Sign me up!,” right? If I told you there was a way to determine which keywords are generating calls and at what the times of day, you would say, “Sign me up!,” right? We hope so, because there is a way and it’s a simple feature called inbound call tracking. These are five gems of information that call tracking provides you, which will help you improve your marketing campaigns. \t Ad Placements No, call tracking is not just for digital campaigns. If you use traditional media such as radio, television, or even old school Yellow Pages (yes, some people still use those), you can track your ads by using trackable phone numbers. In the past few years, as technology and tracking abilities have improved, you can make use of one phone number for television, a different one for directory ads, and possibly a different one for radio. The use of these numbers will then tell you which medium is working. If you have a vanity phone number, I recommend using that number for all advertising because its use is too important. The recall of a great number is too important to use in only one medium. In the case of digital campaigns, using different phone numbers is a no-brainer. You can assign a different phone number (in most cases, you can get these from your PBX provider) to each campaign you run. The call tracking data will then tell you which campaigns are working and which are not. So, once you determine that, your next choice is whether or not to tweak the ones that aren’t working or to throw them out altogether. \t Time of Day You must determine the time of day that makes your phones ring or your websites click, regardless of what medium you are advertising on. In fact, understanding how your target markets live their lives will guide you to start your campaigns, but the call data will show you if your assumptions were correct. \t Creatives In addition, call data can help you determine what creative is working too. If you’re running PPC, you probably ran some A/B testing. So, let’s just say call data is like C/D testing, if that were a real thing. If your time of day and keywords are on track, the call data will go a long way in helping you determine if the creative is on target. If you’re in the digital space, revising creative is pretty easy. The pieces to concentrate on are your call to action, the meta tags and descriptions, and if you’re doing digital display, the images in the ads. \t Keywords The proper use of keywords is imperative to success in the digital advertising space. You could describe them as the gears that run the internet. In fact, each click of your keywords, or each action, brings you closer to your desired goal. Your inbound call data will help you with keywords, but you have to dig a bit to uncover the real truths. You might be using a long-tail keyword, for instance, with a low bid price that is bringing in a lower CPC than your most clicked keyword. Your long-tail keywords may be generating better than expected clicks, and maybe even a higher conversion rate, for SEO. If you study the data, you will likely find a gem or two you didn’t expect to find. \t Real-Time Analytics What’s working right now? In short, inbound call tracking can tell you. Your data could be in the form of a graph or line listings or both, depending on your interface. You’ll see what’s selling, and what phone numbers and keywords are driving those calls and clicks – all as it happens! This is powerful information, just be careful not to make snap judgements, from day one or day two of real-time data. The full story will become apparent in time. If the phone is important to your business, then inbound call tracking and data is too. It’s imperative that you do your research and choose the firm that provides you the best analytics presented in most user-friendly interface.