Call Tracking

Local is the New Global

by Jessica Michaels

It’s funny how things often go full circle.

When the internet began to impact business seriously there was so much talk of the Global Village. How all our customers were just a click away and how even the smallest bricks and mortar outlet could serve the world.

Fast forward.

Google is now telling us that the key to success is in hyper-local targeting and activity. We need to keep our Google My Business page up to date and if we are running AdWords campaigns we should look to drill down with our geo-targeting as much as we can so as to be as relevant to a local searcher as possible.

With one of our Australian clients we have been using CallTrackingMetrics for some time, and we have also been drilling down by region for their AdWords campaigns. We have campaigns for each state. But the nature of their business doesn’t really allow us to build landing pages by geography. If we could, this would be ideal. For example, if they had regional offices each offering similar services it would be a relatively simple exercise to have pages for each regional office with their contact details and locally relevant content.

But this client dismantles wrecked four wheel drive vehicles. There is nothing regional we can hang our hat on. A gearbox for a Toyota Landcruiser simply doesn’t lend itself to geography. But we still want to be perceived as being able to serve a local market.

CallTrackingMetrics is able to offer regional numbers. Like most countries in the world a telephone number betrays a location, so running a west coast number for an east coast campaign introduces a dose of distrust. Perhaps it shouldn’t, but it does.

We looked at how to run regional numbers within Google AdWords and the solution is quite elegant – even if we say so ourselves.

With CallTrackingMetrics we can select a traffic source, so Google AdWords gets its own number. But we also set up a new tracking source for the South Australia campaigns:

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 2.10.43 PMThe South Australia AdWords tracking source has a regular expression on the url. In this case it is geo=sa.

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The other configuration to adjust is the position – this we set to 1. This means that this is the first things that the CTM will look for to swap out the number. Since the source is still AdWords, without this setting the generic AdWords number would be swapped. So as a priority, the system looks for the geo=sa tag. If it’s there the number is swapped. If it’s not, then the AdWords number will be swapped since the visitor is still an AdWords visitor.

The generic AdWords number’s position  is set to 2…

… and there is one last step… the destination urls for the South Australia campaigns need the tag adding:

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This doesn’t interfere with the auto-tagging which tracks the campaigns in AdWords – the only impact it has is on the CallTrackingMetrics numbers.

By duplicating the campaigns and adjusting the tag for each of the regions we can now develop campaigns with local telephone numbers across the country, and we can drill down as much as Google’s geo targeting will allow without having to build new landing pages for each.


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Steve Cameron, Advent Communication, @adventcom