Part 1: A Guide to Lead Attribution for Landing Pages

Learn how to use dynamic phone number insertion (DNI) to improve your lead tracking and attribution. This article is the first in a four-part series.

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Part 1: A Guide to Lead Attribution for Landing Pages

American merchant John Wanamaker famously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.”

Wanamaker mainly conducted business in the early twentieth century, and this was a reality in the advertising landscape at that time. Attribution was a mess. Advertising as a concept and skillset was barely out of its diapers. It has matured a long way since…

There are many ways to track and attribute return on advertising spend nowadays. In this series of Learn articles, we will discuss number management strategies that businesses and marketing agencies can utilize to know which marketing activity drove the most traffic to their website—in order to double down on the successful ones—and gather relevant user data that can be utilized to convert those activities more effectively.

In this piece, we’ll cover a specific kind of attribution that works effectively for both online and offline advertising. It’s known as call tracking.

Why Call Tracking Matters for Lead Attribution

Marketing agencies drive traffic to their customers’ landing pages in different ways. They could publish paid ads in Google AdWords, Bing, and social networks like Facebook. They could invest in search engine optimization. Or they could partner up with other publishers, broadcast their message through emails, or spend their advertising budgets on offline or outdoor channels.

In order to measure all of these experiments, marketing agencies use lead attribution to understand which acquisition channels are the most effective for lead generation, engagement, and goal conversion.

Call tracking allows attribution of offline phone calls to advertising spend, making it possible to accurately measure conversion rates and ROI. Through call tracking, marketing agencies can help their clients understand which channels are performing most effectively, where to find their best prospects, and how to make each marketing dollar go further. Programmable phone numbers effectively link online activities such as clicks and page views to phone calls.

Dynamic Phone Number Insertion (DNI) and Lead Attribution

The most common approach that advertisers use to track calls generated by different sources is by implementing dynamic phone numbers insertion (DNI). At a basic level, DNI works like this:

When a user clicks on an online ad, the link brings them to the advertiser’s landing page. The landing page will display a different phone number depending on which specific type of lead attribution the advertiser wants to run.

The more granular the advertiser wants to go with lead attribution, the more phone numbers they’ll need to provision and allocate, and so the more expensive the lead tracking solution becomes.

Different Levels of Lead Attribution

The good news is there are several optimizations you can apply to reduce the volume of phone numbers allocated while achieving your desired lead attribution level. Depending on your business and tracking requirements, you may want to use:

  1. Campaign-level attribution: You can use Campaign-level attribution when you are running multiple campaigns in parallel and you want to compare which one performs best. This is particularly useful when you advertise on multiple channels, both online and offline. In this case, you need to understand which channel you should focus on. If you want to go deeper in the understanding of how to fine tune different aspects of a campaign, you can consider keyword-level or session-level attribution.
  2. Keyword-level attribution: This helps when you’re running an online campaign and need to know which keywords are performing best. This knowledge helps you prioritize your resources. For example, when you’re running a paid ad campaign, it gives you a better understanding of the best keywords to bid for. If you’re looking at organic search, it provides a better understanding of keyword performance so you can rank higher in search results.
  3. Session-level attribution: This is handy when you need to have visibility at the single visitor level. For example, for recurrent visitors, you can track their behavior on your website before they call you. Once they call you, you can use that information to increase your chances to convert them.

Now let's take a look at all of these levels in detail, starting with campaign-level attribution.

If you'd like to learn about attribution for online directories, take a look at this guide.