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5 Ways To Track Phone Calls Generated From PPC Clicks

7:31 am in PPC Marketing Blog, PPCall by brad

My latest Search Engine Column is out, titled: “5 Ways To Track Phone Calls Generated From PPC Clicks”.

Understanding how many phone calls are generated from your PPC accounts is essential to making good marketing decisions. There are 5 main ways (6 if you could dynamic number writing as a method, see the article comments) to track phone numbers:

  • Unique phone numbers
  • Phone extensions
  • Code identifiers
  • Search engine tracking script
  • Confidence factors

The article looks at the pros and cons of each method, and adds some tips for buying call tracking numbers.

Enjoy. 5 Ways To Track Phone Calls Generated From PPC Clicks

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Click to Call & Pay Per Call – What's the difference?

7:43 am in PPC Marketing Blog, PPCall by brad

Click to Call (CTCall) and Pay Per Call (PPCall) are often used interchangeably when they are in fact, quite different.

Pay Per Call (often called PPCall) is similar to PPC (Pay Per Click) except that instead of bidding for clicks to your website, one is bidding for calls. This is a fairly generic term that is used to describe the entire industry of buying phone calls.

The most common form of pay per call is displaying a trackable phone number on a webpage (or search result) and then when a searcher calls the number, the advertiser pays the inventory provider. Often the inventory provider is showing phone calls based upon an open bidding environment – the same way PPClick works.

Click to call is a technology that is used within PPCall. Basically, when one comes across a click to call ad, the searcher will see an open text box for their phone number. When one inputs their phone number into the box and hits ‘connect’ the technology starts to work. Behind the scenes is some telco tech that calls the searcher, calls the advertiser, and then connects the two lines together so they can speak with each other.

Similar to the old geometry adage ‘A rectangle is a square, but a square is not a rectangle’; so is ‘Click to call is PPCall but PPCall isn’t click to call’.

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Verizon Offers Pay Per Call Solution

7:12 am in Local Advertising News, PPC Marketing Blog, PPCall by brad

Verizon has launched a PPCall solution, however, it is a bit different than the other offerings on the market.

Verizon is building static ads with static phone numbers. However, those wishing phone calls are still bidding in an auction style for those leads. Sound confusing? It’s really not, it’s just a different model.

Basically, Verizon is going to build ads that they determine have high call rates.
Those wishing the phone calls will bid (like PPC) for those calls.
Depending on who is the highest bidder at the time of the call, Verizon will route the call to that bidder.

What this does is take the complexity of building ads, testing call rates, etc out of the hands of the advertisers. The only complexity left for the advertiser is the actual budget and bidding.

Verizon will take on the responsibility of optimizing the ads, showing them in various appropriate locations, and just pass the phone call to the highest bidder.

Simple model for the advertiser. Some complex call routing behind the scenes by Verizon. Ad optimization without the customer service of talking to advertises about creatives.

It is an interesting model, and on the surface, it seems like a fairly easy one to implement. It will be interesting to watch the adoption rate for this product.

More information from MSNBC.

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Skype Toolbar allows Local Searching

9:54 am in Local Advertising News, PPC Marketing Blog, PPCall by brad

Skype (owned by eBay) has partnered with several local directories to allow localized search through their toolbar.

The countries available are:

  • Brazil
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • U.K.
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Sweden

While this is mostly European, it does have some very interesting applications in the future of Pay Per Call:

Have you tried the toolbar on our local search partners� websites? If you do, you�ll notice that the telephone numbers on their sites aren�t just highlighted � they�re transformed into call buttons.

Source is now offline and non-linkable.

Is Skype and eBay testing out the possibilities of pay per call?
Are they just trying to give additional features to users?
Are they ‘enhancing’ the user experience with eBay and Skype products to maintain loyalty?
Does the toolbar collect other information about users (maybe for more targeted eBay ads)?

All of these questions are just speculation at present, however, eBay paid 2.6 billion for Skype and stockholders will want to see a return on those dollars.

With rumors surrounding Google Talk and Google PPCall; rumors of Yahoo testing PPCall; rumors of more instant messengers becoming VOIP friendly; and of course, Google Base as a possible competitor – eBay must stay on top of the constantly changing internet climate with new offers.

I suspect this is just the first of several announcements eBay and Skype will make towards the local marketing arena. Local auctions, local shopping, local phone numbers, call capability, and local search – it seems eBay is looking to test its foray into the local marketing arena – which will only grow over time.

If this is a success (even very moderately), expect USA and Canada to be added in the short term.

The longer term vision I can see eBay and Skype having is a more seamless user experience. Local search with the toolbar (i.e. replace phone books). Call with Skype (i.e. replace telephones). Bring a seamless local search user experience to the web. This may very well be the wave of the future, and it’s being brought to us by eBay.

Who will eBay compete with? It’s difficult to say. It could be they aren’t seeing it as competition and just leading the web in new features.

The VOIP arena is heating up between Vonage, Skype, and local cable providers such as RCN. Skype’s new local search addition makes them a clear leader in this area – for now.

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Yahoo ads PPCall

1:08 pm in Local Advertising News, PPC Marketing Blog, PPCall by brad

The pay per call trademark is owned by Ingenio. Not sure what Yahoo is going to call their pay per call solution; however, there are many reports of them currently offering a beta test solution on the PPCall platform.

Google is calling their solution Click to Call.

The Kelsey blog has some information about this test.

Expect a few more rumors and announcements over the next few months.

A little info about PPCall:

PPCall is the next generation of small business advertising. Instead of paying per click (the traditional model currently abounding on the web) advertising, pay per call is charged when someone calls the advertiser.

In some industries, this model will never work. Amazon doesn’t want phone calls, they want online shoppers.

However, a plumber would rather pay for a phone call to talk directly with a potential client than have someone visit his website.

Small businesses are familiar with the traditional Yellow Page market. They often measure success in phone calls and actual leads/sales. Paying per click, worrying about website conversion rates, bounce rates, click fraud, etc is not part of their business model or expertise – hence why many small businesses have not adopted the PPC model of advertising.

PPCall will help to alleviate the slow migration of Small businesses onto the internet by giving them a chance to advertise in a model they’re more familiar with – phone calls.

PPCall will probably see a slow adoption over the next year, but those who adopt will be able to take advantage of a growing internet trend – online search to offline sale.

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Ingenio to display PPCall ads on

2:23 pm in Local Advertising News, PPC Marketing Blog, PPCall by brad is an up and coming local based search engine. Their user query is increasing each month, and so is their local data.

Ingenio has been a pioneer in the PPCall (pay per call) arena, and continues to look for new quality distribtuion.

This partnership should be very good for both companies as they look to gain market share.

Pay Per Call is a paid-search advertising model pioneered by Ingenio last year that empowers business — including small and local merchants who may or may not operate a website — to generate targeted phone calls instead of website clicks, and pay only for calls received. Ingenio also powers the industry’s only ad distribution network dedicated solely to Pay Per Call. represents additional distribution for Ingenio’s Advertising Network, which is anchored by AOL Search.

Launched in August 2005, enables consumers to find local businesses, products, and services quickly and easily. Powered by Interchange’s proprietary Keyword DNA(TM) and local-web indexing technologies, is designed to deliver consumers highly relevant local-search results. The inclusion of Ingenio’s Pay Per Call advertiser listings represents

Press Release.

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AOL launches Pay Per Call

12:53 pm in Local Advertising News, PPC Marketing Blog, PPCall by brad

AOL will feature Ingenio ads on regular search results. This will be the first major distribution deal for Ingenio.

Pay Per Call works very similar to Pay Per Click – a business only pays when a call is in place. Ingenio has informed us that they have quite a few quality control specs in place. For instance, a call won’t be charged if it’s under a certain number of seconds. Also, under some conditions they’ll be able to tell if an answering machine picked up and then not charge the call as well.

However, the business also won’t know by picking up the phone if the call is coming through AOL or just another phone call. Ingenio played with some ‘whisper’ technology to let the business know the phone call was originating from an Ingenio ad, but the added few seconds created a scenario where many callers hung up before the call was connected.

This will lead to advertisers having to login to the Ingenio system to see when they’re receiving phone calls, and then try to correlate reported phone call times with actual calls into the business.

There are quite a few bugs to be worked out as to how measuring the value of this service, but there is a lot of potential in this arena for a small business advertiser.

Related Links:
Ingeno’s Home Page
AOL Search Engine

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