Part 3: How to Use Dynamic Number Insertion to Track Keywords

This is the third article in a four-part series on lead attribution and call tracking. Learn how to track keyword-level attribution for your campaigns.

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Part 3: How to Use Dynamic Number Insertion to Track Keywords

Even though campaign-level attribution is useful, it remains very high-level. Maybe you’ve decided to double down on AdWords, but you don’t know why it converts better, or what specific keywords are effective. This is where keyword-level attribution comes in. With Google AdWords or Bing ads, a campaign can contain several groups and each group is made up of several keywords.

Ad Groups and Keywords

A Google campaign can include a high volume of keywords (some advertisers reach thousands). Keyword selection varies drastically within the life of a campaign. So which keywords deliver results? To understand keyword-level attribution, let’s revisit our hypothetical agency and company, SmartMarketing and their client OK Pest Control (first seen in this post).

Keyword-Level Attribution

How can SmartMarketing run an accurate keyword analysis while optimizing the volume of phone numbers allocated? They will still implement dynamic number insertion (DNI) into the OK Pest Control landing page, but this time a new phone number will be inserted contextually with a new ad keyword. More specifically, SmartMarketing will follow these three steps:

Step 1. Pass the right data from the ad to the landing page.

In order to pass the correct data from the advertisement to the landing page, we’ll either use a tracking parameter or the link tagging method (also known as UTM tagging) we mentioned in our previous post.

Much like we explained for tagging at the campaign level, we can also pass parameters through the URL at the keyword level. For campaign-level attribution, we used manual tagging. For keyword-level attribution, the most commonly used technique is auto-tagging. Because there are usually a large number of keywords tied to each campaign, auto-tagging allows marketers to more easily tag and disambiguate large volumes of keywords.

Step 2. Allocate a phone number based on the information extracted.

The next step would be to extract keyword information from the URL itself. Depending on which keywords drive traffic to your landing page, you can display the corresponding number from a number pool.

When you map a group of keywords to a pool of trackable numbers, the keywords the user enters define what number to display dynamically on your landing page.

If we return to how this would look for OK Pest Control, we would see the following progression:

1) A prospective customer for OK Pest Control performs a search on Google using certain keywords (e.g., “rat extermination”).

2) SmartMarketing has already set up an ad for OK Pest Control using Google Adwords. The ad has a destination URL which acts as an entry point into their landing page.

3) Using additional custom parameters, SmartMarketing identifies the specific keywords that brought the consumer to their landing page. They can then match this keyword passed via query parameters to the exact keyword-based phone number pool.

4) This matching results in dynamic insertion of a trackable phone number on OK Pest Control’s landing page.

How Keyword Attribution Works

Step 3. Optimize the volume of phone numbers allocated.

We’ve already seen that the number of keywords equals the amount of phone numbers that need to be provisioned. But if your campaign involves thousands of keywords, your costs can go up quickly. This is why the ability to release numbers associated with inactive keywords back into the number pool for reuse is critical. You can use different policies to release phone numbers into the pool. It all depends on the user experience you want to achieve and on your users’ behavior.

For example, for how long after the last visualization do you want your visitors to be able to call the number? Do you think your customers will be likely to call the number multiple times? In these scenarios, you will have to decide how long a number needs to stay mapped after the last visualization and after the last time it received a call.

Do you want to minimize the cases of misdials? Then it might be worthwhile to recycle your numbers in buckets—the same destination points will be mapped to the same buckets of phone numbers. So in this case, even if an old visitor is calling a number that has been reassigned to a different keyword, the call will still get forwarded to the same destination point.

Finally, the more dynamic you get with phone number reallocation, the more careful you need to be in recording which keyword a specific phone number was allocated to at a specific point in time. This is essential for correct lead attribution.

Find Out More

Campaign-level attribution and keyword-level attribution are important for optimizing your campaign at a high level. But some insights can only be gleaned at a much deeper, individual level, by watching how each person behaves on your website.

In the next article, we’ll look at how you can use session-level attribution to understand the exact activity on your website that leads to each phone call.

Want to learn how to make the most of your marketing dollars through attribution? Check out part two on campaign-level attribution and part four on session-level attribution.