Local Search Call Tracking Sees Triple-Digit Growth

Click-to-call or calls made from online ads continue to increase. One company said its millions of clients drove up growth by 160% in the past year for the programs it monitors. Telmetrics President Bill Dinan points to a shift in online search from a click-to-call model, and companies changing to local phone numbers rather than toll free.

The advertising industry has increased adoption of calls as a performance metric across mobile, desktop and vertical directory search ads. "Most consumers want to call a local number to a business that feels close to them," Dinan said. "It's not about changing or optimizing the creative, but rather switching the phone number to increase leads."

Calls have become a universal metric linking traditional and digital consumer response, as well as a strong conversion indicator for many categories. Dinan said Telmetrics clients tell him the local phone number can drive three to four times more calls.

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One trend that is beginning to emerge points to tracking conversions with different phone numbers per screen. A brand running a search campaign across mobile and desktop will use two different phone numbers to track conversions on specific screens.

Dinan would not provide the total number of calls it connects and counts, but did say the company blocks about 22 million calls monthly -- a fraction of what the company actually delivers -- through its spam-blocking feature. It turns out that nearly 40% of all calls placed to ads originate from telemarketers.

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