My favorite two quotes:
“Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination.”
“He who runs with the flock follows assholes”
Recently Chris Silver Smith, the former head of search engine optimization for SuperPages.com and probably 10 times out of 10 the smartest man in the room when it comes to local search marketing, wrote an excellent blog post on the use of Call Tracking lines in local search on Search Engine Land. He also made some suggestions on how Google and call tracking services could possibly work together to solve the issues that result from the use of tracking lines.
as Chris said in the post:
I’ve investigated cases where a company used tracking numbers in one yellow pages site and didn’t realize the numbers had spread to other local sites — utterly ruining their ability to detect how many calls came from which channels and obviating the entire point of using the numbers for non-paid campaigns.
The need to ensure that clicks, calls, and leads are real has been a challenge for small business marketers since even before the yellow pages. I often recommend the use of tracking lines for my clients only after using Google Analytics, Woopra Analytics, and asking customers “how they found your business.” Tracking lines are not as necessary in organic search engine optimization or local search, but become vital when working with pay per click marketing providers, especially with providers like the yellow pages and ReachLocal.
enter Humanatic, a call categorization service in which U.S. based live human reviewers listen to your calls and determine whether those leads represented a new businesses opportunity. This would be a great fit for sales agents that spend alot of time listening to calls trying to validate leads for their advertisers or companies like Yext.com who offer leadgen or a cost per lead. Many failed attempts at cost per call could have been avoided with this kind of technology.
The idea of filtering inbound and outbound calls for the purpose of reporting opportunities as well as ensuring that your advertising is working to bring real leads is brilliant.