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In previous articles about search engine marketing and website analytics, I have written about the importance of tracking leads—from a website all the way through the buying cycle—to determine which of your online campaigns are performing at optimal levels and which could use some tweaking.

A new technology, Dynamic Telephone Number Insertion (DTNI), has arrived and has the ability to track website leads based on incoming sales calls. With a modern website-analytics platform (Google Analytics, Omniture, etc.), it is fairly simple to track your closed sales back to their point of origin, whether from organic search, banner ads, social networking, pay-per-click (PPC), or other online marketing initiative.

Unfortunately, traditional analytics platforms are limited to reporting on leads that take a physical point of action on your website, and cannot track telephone leads like DTNI can. As we all know, prospects sometimes prefer to pick up the phone and talk to someone at your company—and that propensity to call generally increases in proportion to the price point of your product or service. When you run traditional analytics programs without using DTNI, the source of high- or low-quality leads fall off the grid as soon as prospects on your website decide to pick up the phone and call your company.

That is why it is an important part of your search engine marketing campaign to implement a website analytics technology like DTNI to your site.

The Basics of DTNI

DTNI may sound fancy, but it is actually a fairly simple concept. The DTNI website analytics system creates a placeholder where your phone number would normally appear across your website (in or near the masthead of each page, generally). When visitors come to your site, the source of that traffic is noted, and a different phone number appears for each entry channel you are tracking, making it ideal to gauge the amount (and end result) of phone calls generated from your different online marketing campaigns.

For example, say you focus your online marketing efforts on organic search (SEO), banner ads, and PPC. Visitors who came to your site from organic search would see one phone number when they arrive, visitors who came from pay-per-click would see another, and visitors from banner ads would see yet another. Your DTNI website analytics program would track the source of each of these leads.

DTNI has a very simple configuration, and you can track an unlimited number of channels with it. Theoretically, you could show a different telephone number on your website for every keyphrase that you are targeting organically; one for each PPC phrase, one for each link pointing to your site, etc. Obviously, granularity is not an issue with DTNI (although the price for thousands of tracking numbers might be).

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image of Scott Buresh

Scott Buresh is founder and CEO of Medium Blue, an award-winning search engine optimization company.

LinkedIn: Scott Buresh