Why Conversation Intelligence Should Be an Essential Part of Your SEO Strategy

min read
Why Conversation Intelligence Should Be an Essential Part of Your SEO Strategy

Anyone who has spent a little time in the SEO world knows that organic search is often the most significant driver of web traffic. It’s how most consumers discover your business, so it makes sense. However, many marketers are missing out on a huge opportunity to optimize SEO for high-intent leads that end up calling to set appointments, get quotes, and ultimately make purchases. 

Phone calls contain a treasure trove of data for optimizing the organic channel, but many marketers simply don’t know it exists or don’t have the means to mine it. Here’s how you can use conversation intelligence to tap into call data to drive bigger results from their SEO strategies.

Organic Traffic Drives More Calls to Businesses Than Any Other Medium 

Organic traffic typically drives 50 - 70% of all calls from a web property. Given what SEOs know about the volume of organic traffic to a site compared to other mediums, is this statistic all that surprising? No, it shouldn't be. But if it is, it's OK. We won't judge you. We’re just excited for you to keep reading the rest of this article! 

If phone calls matter to your business and you spend precious budget on SEO and content marketing, knowing how organic traffic can be attributed to revenue and R.O.I. is a big deal. If you are not tracking calls driven by organic traffic, then it means that you have no visibility into the most significant driver of conversions—and no way to prove the value of your SEO efforts. 

If you cannot see how organic traffic drives most conversions, how can you possibly have an efficient, highly targeted SEO and content strategy? You are likely spending precious time and resources driving traffic that may not be valuable or qualified.

Why Call Data Granularity Matters for SEO Marketing

Find me an SEO who doesn't have a dozen platforms, spreadsheets, databases, and workflows to manage. Not to mention an industry where one algorithm update can wipe out years of work in one day. From keyword data to caller intent to call outcomes, there is a lot of phone call data marketers can make use of. So, let's talk about the key metrics that you should focus on and why they matter to your SEO strategy:

  • Landing page and calling page: These data points are invaluable for understanding the journey and the caller's likely intent. With the landing page, we get the classic SEO data: They had a need, they searched, they clicked on your link, and they entered the site. Adding the calling page adds an essential twist to understanding the customer journey. With a web form, there are only a handful of pages where a user can convert, but in many cases, someone can call from any page. Seeing the relationship between where someone entered your site and what page they called from can be profoundly insightful! If you link this data with Google Analytics, you can gain insight into the efficacy of content and the user's actual web experience with remarkable detail.
  • Call outcome: Tracking a phone call is only half the battle. Figuring out how and why leads convert on the phone is where the real magic happens. 

Seeing the call outcomes like booked appointments, quotes given, or purchaes made with its attached revenue opens up the door to helping you see the true R.O.I. of your efforts, and more importantly, proving it to your boss. SEO and ROI are always a point of contention. This will help tip the scales to your favor. It also gives you a north star on where and how you should optimize your pages and content. We'll talk more about this in a bit. 

Organic Traffic Drives Calls At All Funnel Stages 

People search the internet for everything, and your customers are no different. If you look at your ranking keywords, you’ll find a spread of search intents that range from the top of the funnel (I have a problem, but I don't know what solutions exist) to the bottom of the funnel (I want to know specific details before I purchase, sign up, etc.). 

Just like search keywords, people will also call your business at every stage. If we think about this through the lens of our audience and who we are trying to target, organic traffic will be the medium that best represents your audience and the things they value. Do other mediums capture customers at every stage? In some ways, yes, but they have limitations. Let's explore this in more detail:

  • Paid search: Ads cost you money with every click. Most organizations do not want to spend the budget capturing top-of-the-funnel users who have a lower likelihood of moving down the funnel and converting. If we remove a third of our audience from our data, it’s impossible to get accurate insights into the true needs of our audience. In fact, it is typically in the top of the funnel where we can learn the most about not just your audience, but also your competitors and potential shifts and disruptions to your industry.
  • Direct traffic: Direct traffic always plays a significant role in the total volume of domain traffic. However, to get to your site, users must already know who you are. As a result, direct traffic attracts more middle-to-bottom funnel users and existing customers.
  • Social media: Social media can undoubtedly drive all stages of the funnel. But social platforms are designed to keep users within their platform, not leave it. As a result, social users tend to engage with one page and then leave. This high bounce rate is particularly true with mobile (take a quick pause and pull up an article on Facebook, Twitter/X, or Apple News and try navigating away from a page to go deeper into a domain.). As such, you’ll see a much smaller volume of traffic and calls from social media, and it tends to be too small of a sample size to accurately reflect your target audience.
  • Referral traffic: Referral traffic can be a fantastic source of customers at every stage of the funnel, but only if the domain has a robust amount of referral domains. High referral traffic usually requires a well-established and curated content repository that drives referral traffic naturally. Sources like affiliate domains are not good sources as they are almost always more bottom-funnel. Lastly, referral traffic typically has a lower volume of traffic than organic, which leads to too small of a sample size.

Why Marketers Must Embrace E.E.A.T.

Google has been pushing hard for SEOs to focus their efforts on demonstrating experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E.E.A.T.), and finding customer and audience insights are paramount to being competitive in the S.E.R.P. "The main goal of optimizing for E-A-T is to make the good qualities about your brand, your leadership, your experts, and the people who write for you as prominent as possible on the website. This helps to instill a sense of trust in your users (as well as search engines) that the content you provide is safe, credible, and accurate," said Lily Ray in her her post E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

As E.E.A.T. is now at the foundation of most SEO and content strategies, it can be hard to stand out. The likely paths to success are finding ways to make your content more valuable while creating new content within a topic cluster to build topical authority. Finding these paths is easier said than done. For many high-profile SERPs that cater to Your Money or Your Life (Y.M.Y.L.), the content is very comprehensive and is only slightly different from competitor to competitor. 

Your first move should be to I.D. table stakes: "What must I include to be competitive?" Every SEO has their own process for this phase. Let's skip it for now and focus on the next stage: "How do I stand out?" or rather, "How do I provide something that is more valuable to my audience?"

Hyper-Detailed Call Data Can Drive Insights For Stronger E.E.A.T. Optimization

We've already established that calls from organic search align with all stages of the funnel or customer journey. Still, we have yet to touch on how it can be your best source for customer insights. 

Customer insights can be boiled down into two categories: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data tells us the "how many?" and this is the analytics data you'll find in Google Analytics 4 (GA4) e.g. how many visits, conversions, clicks, etc., occurred on your pages, domains, and ads. It is phenomenal for helping marketers and SEOs understand how  customers get to your pages. 

Qualitative data is the high-quality data that tells you the "why" behind how a users or customers behave. It's what we get from things like surveys and focus groups. It's also the most accurate and informative audience data you can get. Unfortunately, it doesn't scale and is painstakingly hard to get—or is it?

With conversation intelligence, you can segment call recordings and transcript segments to home in on to the exact audience you are trying to target. It’s a good idea to look at an entire year's worth of calls and then segment the report to show:

  • Sales calls: When you want to get insight into interactions with new customers.
  • Customer type:  Find out how do callers fit—or not—into buyer personas.
  • Didn't convert: Discover why qualified prospects decided not to move forward after speaking with an agent or a representative. 
  • Calls from Organic Search: When you want to see calls from every funnel stage.
  • Product interest: Discover what exactly a prospect did or did not like about a product or service. What questions did they ask? How well did we address their questions or pain points?

Once the calls are segmented, you can use Invoca’s global transcript search to quickly sort through dozens of calls to find the unique insights. If data mining is not something you have the time to do, you can use Signal Discovery to quickly surface insights with machine learning. 

These customer insights will shine a new light on your audience. You'll learn things about them that no other analytics platform or A/B testing tool would ever surface. You’ll use these insights to add unique value to your content and landing page copy to better align with E.E.A.T. As these insights will come directly from your audience, you can confidently update your pages knowing that it will add value and not be an empty SEO gimmick. 

Use Conversation Intelligence to Think Beyond SEO

We've just walked through a simple methodology that makes your qualitative data segmentable and minable at scale. Let that sink in for a minute and contemplate all the different teams in your organization that would benefit from this information. Here are a few use cases:

  • Product teams can get product feedback pre- and post-purchase (sales vs. support).
  • Sales teams can look at agent performance at the product and service level to I.D. coaching needs.
  • Customer Experience teams can review call data with the web journey to understand fiction points in the funnel better. 
  • Build more robust and user-validated F.A.Q. and support pages to increase self-service and reduce support calls.

Ready to learn more? Get the Ultimate Guide to Conversation Intelligence for Marketers.

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