Last week, Google rolled-out Call Metrics for Canadian advertisers. This is very big news for our client base for a couple of reasons.
For starters, professional services firms like to hear the phone ring. While email remains the dominant form of business communication, most new retainers tend to start with a phone call. When we review web analytics to determine the marketing ROI, professional services firms (unlike Amazon.ca or any e-commerce firm) generally want to funnel their business through their phone lines. This is where call metrics starts to prove useful. This new ad extension allows you to assess how many people called your firm via your Google ad(s), how long they were on the phone, and how much you spent on the calls.
I actually blogged about Google’s Click-to-call ad extension back in June. Those ads only display on mobile devices with full browsers (iPhone & Android). A user can click your phone number and call your office directly from the ad. Call metrics are somewhat different in that a custom, temporary 1-800 number is included in your ad text. This number can be seen on any device meaning that the person can call from any phone. Calls to the toll-free number are automatically forwarded to a number of your choosing. The cost of using call metrics is $1/call. However, you can enable either call metrics OR click-to-call ads.
Besides being able to assess marketing ROI, the real advantage here is the benefit of getting a 1-800 number (even if its temporary) without having to pay the full cost of a dedicated 1-800 line. In other words, it conveys the image of larger operation without the cost. For example, suppose you’re a 3 lawyer family law firm with clients across the Kootenays and Western Alberta. While many of your prospective clients call your office long distance, a dedicated toll free line would be cost prohibitive on your end. That being said, you’re likely to get more long distance calls with a toll free option.
For lawyers out there looking to setup a virtual practice, this option will prove particularly appealing. Now if only they would release Google Voice in Canada…