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International Automotive Technicians Network
Re: The Tougher The Better
Posted to Shop Management Forum on 12/3/2015

Larry, In a recent post you mentioned - we have keyword-level call tracking with call analytics. Essentially, what that means, is that we get a scored report on every single inbound phone call coming into the shop. Was interested in the keyword-level tracking you use and wanted to know if you would share the vendor information?

Thanks in advance

Rick Genin [...] =================================================== Rick,

I do not use any SEO/SEM company. I do all of that work myself, including the URL tagging and JavaScript coding for keyword level call tracking. You can Google "keyword level call tracking" and there is no shortage of companies that will do this for you.

The very first company I used years ago was They were bought out by, who used to by As you can tell, there's a lot of changes and a lot of competition in the call tracking space.

Here's an example of how keyword level call tracking has helped me: The keyword "transmission(s)" sounds like a good keyword and it does get a lot of clicks. However, it doesn't generate a lot of calls. And when I analyze the calls that DO come in off that keyword, they are poor quality sales leads; mostly price shoppers. The Click-To-Call ratio was very low. What I mean by that was that we would get only 1 call for every 14 clicks. At $13/click that meant that low quality phone lead was costing us about $182.

Conversely, the keyword "transmission repair" didn't get as many clicks as "transmission(s)", but 1 out of 3 clicks resulted in a call and the phone leads were of much higher quality. As a matter of fact, "transmission repair" became our highest grossing keyword of all.

Over a period of a year, I slowly started bidding less and less on the keyword "transmission(s)" and doing just the opposite on the keyword "transmission repair". By the end of the year, I had completely quit bidding on the keyword "transmission(s)" altogether and was bidding $75/click for "transmission repair". Because Google works off the Dutch second bid auction principle (read the patent online), I never pay anywhere near that, but only a penny above the next highest bidder to retain the #1 spot on the very top of the page.

People intuitively pick the top choice when doing a search whether they are at a public library, in Wikipedia, or Google. We instantly started getting a lot more calls to the point that sales overran production. From time to time, we had to turn not only Google off, but Bing and Yahoo as well. We were that backed up. You have to remember we are only a 4-bay 3K sq. ft. shop with 3 techs. 2 R&R techs and 1 rebuilder.

The point is this: The uneducated count clicks. The educated count calls. Hence, my saying of "Count Calls Not Clicks" because clicks are meaningless, as my keyword "transmission(s)" proved. "Likes" on Facebook (to me) are meaningless as well. Put a tracking number on your FB page, or any social media for that matter and you'll see how much money you're wasting. BTW, you can buy tracking numbers for about $10/mo. or less. We have over 100 tracking numbers. Because we buy in bulk, we are only paying slightly over $3/number. But I'm doing all the tagging and coding, too. The tracking companies charge a premium for that.

This information would be good for the whole group to know, so I'm going to post it on the forum, too. Good luck with your call tracking!!!

Larry Bloodworth
Technical Information Specialist/Technician
Tanner Transmissions
Draper, Utah, USA