Gain Full Accountability With Call Tracking

More Accountability

We’ve talked in the past about tracking conversions on your website, but that doesn’t really cover tracking a customer who calls you from a phone. This is super important; it’s very possible that a majority of your customers will call instead of filling out a form. That’s a huge area of missing accountability. 

But if you have call tracking in place, then you have the full meal deal for accountability. You have:

  • conversion tracking (the online form component)
  • call tracking (the offline phone component)

But how do you track the calls?

How It Works

Using a piece of code on your website, you can swap the phone number displayed on your website with a fake tracking number. The customer then calls that number, which goes directly to your regular phone number.

At this point the customer is none the wiser, but you can now find whether your call came from:

  • Google organic search
  • Google Adwords
  • Facebook
  • Bing
  • …and other sources

This is pretty fancy stuff, and it’s relatively cheap too. If you’re going to set it up yourself, you’ll want to find a provider that gives you toll-free numbers, keyword-level tracking, and call recording.

Call recording?

Record Calls

You automatically get data into how long each call was, and who it came from – this we know.  But you can also activate a feature to record the audio from calls.

We’ve all heard that little call whisper “Your call may be recorded for quality purposes”. What are they doing with all these calls?

 They’re doing exactly what you should be doing – listening in. Most call tracking software will give you the option to record the calls that come in, so you have an actual audio of every person that calls your business from your website.

As a business owner, this helps you in a few ways:

  • you can audit your processes to find out if your receptionist is doing her job well, and is friendly enough. Is her manner turning away customers?
  • you can measure exactly what customers are calling in for and buying. At that point you can see exactly how much money your advertising is making you.

Call recording isn’t for every business though. If you’re a medical practice for example, you might not be allowed to record your customer’s calls due to the confidentiality of your industry. 

For everyone else, there’s call recording.


  • with both conversion tracking and call tracking in place, you know exactly what results your website and online ads produce.
  • call tracking is dynamically inserted onto your website based on how the visitor found your website
  • you can record calls for more valuable data.
  • if you don’t want to record calls, then don’t.
  • you can even use call tracking on your offline ads to see if they’re producing results.

Some Truths About Your Businesses Website Design (Part 3)

Last week in our website design series we covered credibility that you gain through professional design, as well as the need for mobile friendliness. This week we’ll take a look at expanding the functionality of your site, and some final thoughts.

New Tools

Especially if you’re upgrading your old site to WordPress, you’re going to find a whole new ecosystem of valuable tools available to you upon a redesign.

Things like:

  • eCommerce

  • SEO

  • website security

  • site backup

  • photo galleries

  • analytics

  • social sharing

…are just a few examples of features that have never been easier to implement at any time in history using WordPress. That’s not to say that everything becomes easy, but it certainly is easier now than it was 10 years ago.

Let’s not forget that a website built on a user-friendly CMS (content management system) like WordPress allows even you, the business owner, to edit your website.

It’s no harder than using Microsoft Word once your site has been designed. We offer hands-on walkthroughs for all of our web design clients so they never have to be held hostage to a web designer again for changes to their site).

My main goal in writing this whole series was to answer the question “why bother with a new site? Is it even worth it?” In some cases no, it’s not worth it.

You might not need a new site if you’re already following modern conventions (user friendly professional design, mobile-optimized), so I certainly wouldn’t encourage you to redesign if you’re already well represented. If you’re missing out on those key conventions though, you might consider a new site.

To summarize, a professional site:

  • builds credibility for your business

  • makes someone feel comfortable with you, and trust you more

  • lowers bounce rates

  • should be mobile-optimized

  • can indirectly increase traffic, especially if you take advantage of new SEO tools to promote your content

  • makes you feel proud to promote your business online! Don’t underestimate how much of a difference a little pride can make

Your website is the hub of your entire online business presence. Everything you do online should send people back to your website, so make sure it’s worth investing in.

You don’t necessarily need a new website (as I’ve qualified above), but you do need a good one.

Some Truths About Your Businesses Website Design (Part 2)

Last week we spoke about bounce rates and traffic in the context of a good web design. Here’s part 2 of that series.


Nick Eubanks makes the point that “design has become a legitimacy signal” in this search engine watch article. And he’s right. Having a great design for your website gives one message:

“We’re serious about what we do; we’re professionals.”

This is probably the main benefit of having a professional design (unless your old site is difficult to use, in which case a new one would provide even more benefits). Positioning your business as professional also positions your business as trustworthy.

“How does that make sense?” says the reader. “Trust is about not having people take advantage of you, right?”

Not true. Trust is about more than that. There are perfectly honest people out there who can’t be trusted. Do you have any friends who are always late when you schedule a time to meet? Or even worse, a friend who often won’t show up? I’m sure they’re very well-intentioned people, but for some reason they can’t seem to manage their time – you can’t trust ‘em!

There are honest people that you can’t trust because they don’t have the ability within them to make good on their commitments.

There are multiple layers to trust, and having a stellar website helps to deliver one message – “You can trust that we are competent”. It doesn’t let them know if you’re honest, but at least they know you can do what you put your mind to.

By the way, if you need to prove that you’re honest, try testimonials.

Device Friendly

This fits in the with the bounce rate section, as well as the traffic section. It’s been shown that if your website isn’t mobile optimized, Google may penalize your search results. I quote:

“To improve the search experience for smartphone users and address their pain points, we plan to roll out several ranking changes in the near future that address sites that are misconfigured for smartphone users.”

Mobile users who have to pinch and drag their screens unnecessarily (because your site isn’t mobile) are more likely to bounce from your website (decreasing the effectiveness of your website, and possibly even your search engine rankings).

All of this is to say that you should have a mobile optimized website. Whether this is a mobile version of your site, or just a responsive design, it doesn’t matter (hint: we prefer responsive websites because they’re easier to maintain).

Unless your site was built in the last few years, it’s unlikely that it’s mobile-optimized. This reason alone is enough to consider a new, professional design.

If your current website is great but not responsive, you can always make a mobile version of your pre-existing website – it’s cheaper. If your site could use an overhaul already, the downfalls of missing out on responsive design could be a good motivator for redesign.

Next week we’ll cover part 3/3 of our web design series. It covers some of the great tools easily available to you upon a redesign, and some final thoughts.

Some Truths About Your Businesses Website Design (Part 1)

Why bother having a stunning website design? I’m exhausted from hearing different shallow excuses from webmasters as to why you should redesign your website.

Don’t get me wrong here, a shiny new website can make a HUGE impact on your business if done right, but not the classic excuses I hear from most web salesmen. I’m going on a journey to look at things from a more objective point of view.

Some things are greatly impacted by a well designed website, and others are not. Let us look together at which is which, and which is not.

Lowering Bounce Rates

A “bounce” happens when someone arrives at your site, and leaves without visiting any other pages. When someone bounces from your site, it means they have little interest in seeing what else you have to say. Needless to say, a high bounce rate is not good (over 70% especially is bad).

A poorly designed website can give you a high bounce rate, while a well designed site (with easy navigation) can decrease it. This is because visitors bounce when they don’t have a clear direction to go next.

But simply having a new site won’t decrease your bounce rate. Giving your visitors that “place to go next” is an important part of decreasing your bounce rate. More importantly than that though, is making visitors want to visit the rest of your site because the content on your site is so interesting – now THAT is an important way to decrease your bounce rate. Actually, it’s much more important than having a good design.

If you had very compelling and interesting content (think of your favorite website), it wouldn’t matter that your navigation wasn’t fancy or clear because your visitors would be so interested that they would knock over brick walls to find more of your content.

Think about every time a new album comes out. There’s always some up-and-coming computer whiz who finds a way to get early access to the album. He breaks into email accounts belonging to recording engineers – whatever it takes. Because the content of the music is so valuable that people are willing to hack for it.

I’m not suggesting that you make your content impossible to find, but I want to demonstrate the effect that good content has on people. They really will try hard to find more if it’s good enough.

On the flip side of that equation you might have totally boring content, but your site is easy to navigate – who cares? Why do I want to navigate your snore of a site anyways?

What if you had a compelling site, AND it looked great and was easy to use? Now you’ve got a winner! The bottom line is that content is more important than a good site design, but design certainly can help and is worth looking at.

You really can’t polish a turd. Although you can try.

Increasing Traffic Numbers

Although you may indirectly influence your traffic numbers by lowering your bounce rate, I want to note that a new site won’t dramatically increase your traffic. I’m sure it’s happened some time in the past, but that would be an outlier (not the norm).

The purpose of a new site is never to increase traffic, but to delight existing traffic (and hopefully persuade them to choose you).

You may be able to increase your sales by making some smart design choices in your eCommerce store, which is really a huge deal, but you likely won’t increase your overall traffic numbers in a big way. Think of a new design as adding a +20% multiplier to your efforts online.

Look for part 2/3 of this series next week as we talk about credibility and mobile devices.

Gaining Traffic For Your Website: Quantity, Or Quality?

If you’re working on a content marketing strategy for your website (that is, writing content in order to drive search engine rankings), it can be tempting to push out something less insightful in favor of producing more content.

 It’s a trap; don’t fall for it.

1 insanely high-quality article could drive more traffic than 100 low-medium quality articles.

Think about your own trip to your email inbox. Are you thinking: “I just don’t have enough email to check – anything at all is fine, I just need some reading material!”. I doubt it. You’re likely thinking “I don’t have time for any of this, I’ve more important things to do”.

It’s a rare occasion for you to spend time reading an article that’s come into your inbox – except for the 2-3 newsletters that you’re subscribed to that always have incredible content to share. They’re always fascinating and severely related to you, so you’re willing to take time out of your day to read because they enrich your life.

You want to make it your goal to write content that’s that good.

Google Panda Update

Another reason to really put yourself in the “great content” game is Google’s “Panda” update. This is a special system created by Google to penalize websites that produce low quality content.

So write all you want, if your content is just regurgitating the same old ideas found everywhere else on the internet, you could be straying too close to a ferocious stray dog.

If you’ve been hit by the Panda algorithm, the simplest way to reverse your penalty is to increase the quality of the content on your website. This might be a large job, depending on how much content you have.

The Hallmarks Of Quality Content

Adding in a unique perspective or commentary based on your expertise is the easiest way to make your content more unique and original. While you’re adding that in, make sure your voice and personality really represent the business well; this way visitors get to know you and come to expect your brand of information.

Some key indicators of incredible content include:

  • It has that “been there – done that” voice and flair.

  • It has specific knowledge that comes from real experience.

  • It supports a depth of useful information – you link to sources, such as this link to Make Your Content PreSell, which is where this “incredible content criteria” was originally listed.

  • It is spun or positioned in a way that is uniquely yours.

  • It is consistent from web page to page, newsletter to newsletter, Facebook post to post, tweet to tweet, from week to month to year.

Beyond those criteria, you might also consider creating content with:

  • professional images to help illustrate what you’re teaching

  • a catchy headline to grab a visitor’s attention

  • infographics or videos that make difficult concepts simple

Because you’re the expert in your field, you’re the best person to write this content. You might not have time though, in which case you should hire a writer to interview you and ask you questions related to whichever subject you’re talking about.

If you don’t have time for regular interviews, then you’ll want to find a writer who has knowledge and experience in your area of business.

And lastly, if you can’t find a writer who has experience in your area of business, at least find a writer who’s really good!


  • Create content that blows visitors away

  • Producing huge amounts of low-quality content is a sure-fire way to get hit by Google’s Panda algorithm.

  • Hire a writer if you don’t have time to do it yourself

Visitors Into Customers Series 4: A/B Split Testing

If you have a website with over 200 visitors per day, and you make sales or leads through your website, then you’ll want to consider split-testing your audience.

There is a time where testing might be less helpful – if your customers can’t interact with you online. If your business only has a phone number to call, then the best thing you can measure with testing is engagement, and not actual sales; it’s less useful when testing your site if you can’t measure results.

If you have important actions for visitors to take, such as:

  • contacting you through your online form

  • making a physical or digital purchase

  • signing up for your newsletter list

…then split-testing becomes very valuable because you can track conversions. So let’s dive in!

What Is A/B Split Testing

Split-testing allows you to create different versions of your website, and test them against each other to see which one drives the most sales.

You don’t have to test your whole website though; you can create variations of just a single  web page (such as a sales page) and then see which variation gets you the most sales or conversions.

It’s called A/B split-testing because you split your traffic between variation A, and variation B, and then test to see which ones provide the most results. You can have unlimited variations, so you might have variations C and D too!

In the above image (courtesy of Nitro Interactive), you can see that:

  • variation A had a 34% conversion rate

  • variation B had an 8% conversion rate

  • variation C had a 13% conversion rate

A 34% conversion rate means that 34 out of every 100 people who viewed the page took a desirable action (such as buying a product, or whatever you wanted to test).

Programs To Use – Free & Paid

If you’re on a tight budget and have time to spare, then try out Google Content Experiments. It’s free, and you just need to have Google Analytics installed on your website to use it.

The free price tag comes at another type of price – it’s time intensive. In order to make an experiment, you need to create a brand-new web page for every variation. Installing the tracking code can also be a bit of a pain, but it’s totally doable by simply following Google’s documentation and having the patience to deal with any technical hiccups.

For a more intuitive solution, you may want to try Optimizely. It’s a paid program, but comes with a 30 day free trial (after that it’s $19/month).

Optimizely is great because you  can set up new variations in less than 5 minutes, and they have a very easy-to-install code that you can put in the <head> of your entire website;  you never have to install it again, no matter how many experiments you conduct.

It’s much easier to use than Google Content Experiments, but obviously there is a monetary price, which we think is totally worth it.

Starting Your Own Experiments

To get started with your own experiments, try one of the tools above. You’ll want to have some goals in mind; do you want to increase sales, or increase leads? What is your most important sales metric right now?

Once you’ve determined your exact goals, you’ll want to come up with different elements to test. You can test:

  • headlines
  • colors
  • fonts
  • images
  • navigation (or no navigation)
  • headers
  • footers
  • and anything else you can think of.

Recommended reading: 71 things to A/B test (by Optimizely)

You may want to hire someone to do these types of tests for you. At One Yellow Tree, we’d be happy to help you with that, though we’re also just really happy to be teaching this to you, so feel free to use your newfound knowledge to try out your own experiments!

Next week we’ll be going into part 5 of the “Visitors into Customers” series, where we’ll be talking about name dropping.

Visitors Into Customers Series 3: Testimonials Or Die…In Business

For many of us, referrals are the lifeblood of our business. Local businesses aren’t Coca-Cola – we have limited marketing budgets and mouths to feed. Getting clients ecstatic with your work so that they share with their friends is incredibly important to keeping food on your table.

Online, referrals work in a different sort of way. Yes, you can have a customer share your business with their friend on Facebook or through email, but another very useful way to have someone “refer” you is to use a testimonial from them on your website.

With this review in place, when a stranger arrives to your site, they are right away able to see that other clients are happy with your service, and why.

Testimonials work because they provide credibility for you and your business, the best testimonials helping to conquer common objections about your business (ie. “I thought it was going to be too expensive, but it turned out that Accountant X saved me hundreds of dollars because he was so experienced and efficient!”)

What Does A Stranger’s Opinion Mean To Me?

Yes we’ve all heard the hokey “as seen on TV” testimonials of some “real user”, and they’re largely unconvincing for us as we know it’s just some paid actor.

How do you make sure that visitors to your site don’t perceive your testimonials as “hokey”, but instead see them as a credible source of information?

You do this by providing testimonials that are:

  1. real

  2. detailed

  3. personal

You can’t make this type of testimonial up. That’s why it’s always good to get your current clients to write about how happy they are with your service.

But then, we run into a problem. We go and ask all our clients to leave us a nice review, and they promise “oh yes I’ll do that for sure”, and then…

…they never do it.

You see, a customer runs into a big problem when they need to write something nice: writer’s block. you see, most customers aren’t like you or I, who can come up with something special to say off the top of our head. They need some momentum to get going.

And that’s where questions come in, to help your happy customer’s mind start thinking.

6 Questions To Ask Your Clients For Rich Testimonials

Ask your customers these 6 questions, and you’ll start getting rich, specific, and engaging testimonials in no time at all.

  1. What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product/service?

  2. What did you find as a result of buying this product/service?

  3. What specific feature did you like about this product/service?

  4. What would be 3 other benefits of this product/service?

  5. Would you recommend this product/service? Why?

  6. Is there anything you would like to add?

Now, once you receive your answers from your customers (you can email them these questions, if it’s easier for you) you’ll probably want to edit them a little bit. Ask them to answer with full sentences so that you can do less editing.

You’ll want to remove the most generic parts of the testimonial, because sometimes a customer gets stuck on a question and just gives a “swath” answer; they don’t have an answer so they just make something up that’s generic and boring.

Take care in editing the reply, as you don’t want to change the meaning of what your customer has said – you just need to condense it down to 2-5 sentences so that you can easily display it on your website. You can keep some of them very long if you feel it’s appropriate too.

By the way, these questions were first developed by Sean D’souza from He’s also written an entire little book about testimonials.

Where To Put These Testimonials

Once you have your testimonials in hand (these are worth thousands of dollars), you can start putting them on your site.

Place testimonials in some, or all of these places, such as:

  • your home page

  • a “Testimonials/Reviews” page

  • on your purchase page

  • on a specific product page

  • on your contact page

  • in a right-hand sidebar

  • on your Facebook/Twitter page

Use testimonials to bolster your credibility, and add a “multiplier” effect to the rest of your online sales efforts.

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Here's a sample testimonial that we wrote for a sign company, so you can see what one might look like in action.
Here’s a sample testimonial that we wrote for a sign company, so you can see what one might look like in action.

On a barely related note: you can also ask clients to review you on Google+ Local, where more reviews help increase your business’s ranking on Google.

Next week we’ll be discussing one of the most exciting online strategies for increasing your sales and leads: A/B split testing. That might be an unfamiliar term right now, but we can help you get over your temporary ignorance. Read next week’s article and feel your knowledge gap disappear!


Visitors Into Customers Series 2: Display A Prominent “Click-To-Call” Phone Number

“Most of our customers call; they don’t email us”.

If that’s you, then displaying a phone number in a very visible location is important. Beyond that, you’ll also want to make sure the phone number is “click-to-call”.

What’s click-to-call?

When a potential customer is on your site on their mobile phone, they can simply touch your phone number on their screen, and their phone will prompt them to automatically “call you”. It removes the dialing process entirely so you’re just a click away.

The click-to-call link is very easy to make, just send the following HTML to your webmaster (with your phone number in it):

<a href=”tel:+18006669999″>1(800)666-9999</a>

If someone on their desktop computer clicks the link, they’ll just be directed to call you via Skype or another calling app. On a tablet (iPad), they will be prompted to add the number in their contacts book.

Breaking The Mobile Web has a great article about the click-to-call code if you need some more information about it.

Where Should You Put Your Phone Number?


Put your phone number in any place that makes sense, the most obvious being the top right corner of your screen (and right at the top on mobile devices).

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Desktop Version
Desktop Version

[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]

Mobile Version
Mobile Version

More ideas: you could put a call button after each article on your website, and even just spaced throughout your content or eCommerce store. You’ll want your web developer to spend some time designing new buttons to grab attention.

If you have a fair amount of traffic (over 100 unique visitors/day) you might even consider some A/B split testing on your buttons to see which ones get the most calls. We’ll cover A/B split testing in part 4 of this series.

Call up your webmaster today and get some phone numbers on your business’s website![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Visitors Into Customers Series 1: Use A “Call-To-Action” On Your Website

You have a beautiful new website, and you’re running some ads or an SEO campaign to bring new visitors to your site.

Now what?

Imagine a bakery that’s full of people, but no one buys anything. They just walk in, take a peek around, and then leave. If that was your business, what would you do? I can guarantee you’d at least think “why isn’t anyone buying anything?

It would be perfectly natural to think that, yet sometimes we don’t have the same thought process about our website:

Why isn’t anyone buying?” Or possibly “how can I get more people to buy?”.

Given this question, we’ve decided to introduce a new series called “Visitors Into Customers”. We’ll be giving you a new idea every week that you can apply to your business’s website. It’s not a huge job, and most tasks can be done in under an hour (bar week #4, which has one of our most important tips).

We’ll provide examples and tools that you can apply yourself, or get your webmaster to do for you. Let’s start with tip #1:

Use A “Call-To-Action” (CTA) Throughout Your Website

Also known as “telling your visitors what to do”, a CTA is short, and it contains your “Most Wanted Response” (MWR).

Most-wanted response definition: the action you most want visitors to take that is most valuable to you. Common MWRs for a small business are to get a visitor to:

  • call you
  • fill out a contact form
  • make a purchase online
  • fill out a form for a free quote
  • book an appointment online

Your MWR is valuable to you; it usually represents a lead or a sale.

It may seem shallow and possibly even cynical, but simply saying “Call Us Today!” will dramatically increase the likelihood of a visitor calling you, instead of just leaving your website.

You have two action steps now:

  1. Decide on a most-wanted response
  2. Turn that MWR into a call-to-action, and put it throughout your website

Examples Of A Call-To-Action

Let’s say you decide that your MWR is for a visitor to email you. You’ll want to place some prominent buttons around your website, “calling” your visitors to take action. Here’s an example:


You’ll also want to put a “contact” link in your navigation.

One successful idea is to put a call-to-action at the end of your articles whenever appropriate. For example, a local mechanic in Chilliwack puts this button at the end of his articles:


Because they’ve already been reading his content, and are sold on his credibility (because he answered all of their questions), providing a CTA at this time is very effective.

Where can you put a call-to-action on your website? If your site is built on WordPress, you should be able to find shortcodes that make creating buttons a snap. If not, you can always use Button Optimizer to make your own custom CTA buttons.

And in our very own “call-to-action” style…

…create your website’s call-to-action now!