Yelp Integrates Telmetrics Call Tracking

Despite the fact that call tracking jas been around for over 20 years, it is enjoying a bit of a resurgence in the last 12 months, suggesting that the era of mobile internet has well and truly, finally arrived. Google recently added call metrics to AdWords and paid search platform, Marin, added it as a keyword level analytics feature. Now Yelp has joined the party and has selected Telmetrics as it's call measurement provider.

Yelp has over 16 million reviews and receives more than 45 million visitors a month will use Telmetrics' call metrics to track the volume of phone calls the site is driving to Yelp-listed businesses. This will be good news for both Yelp and small businesses. The latter will be able to get a sense of how their listings perform on Yelp, and will presumably enable the former to create a stronger business case for "up-selling" advertising products.

Both companies issued statements:

"We look forward to working with Telmetrics to better understand the impact and value that Yelp profile pages can deliver to businesses," said Lemar Hight, director, business operations and finance.

"We are very excited to be working with Yelp, one of the premier names in today's local advertising market," said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. "With Yelp and Yelp Mobile's traffic numbers continuing to grow, call measurement will offer greater visibility into the high quality leads that Yelp generates."

Beyond Call Metrics
With Yelp and other review sites at the mercy of Google Places, it makes sense for them to take steps to own and articulate the value proposition they provide to small businesses. However, call tracking technology can go beyond simply reporting numbers.

In a discussion with Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics, he explained to me how call tracking technology could be a useful tool to discover the real life connection between online and offline. On top of the traditional data data such as caller location, time of day, and demographics, call transcription can also be used to look at keywords used in a conversation and analyzed for sentiment and reputation scoring.

For example, a call transcription could be analyzed to find out if customers are asking for products you do not sell. This data might tell you that your paid search ads are off target, or could suggest you are using the wrong language in your search campaigns - maybe there are more keywords for you to automatically add. In a nutshell, call transcriptions may also reveal industry phrases that are worth using in paid search social media campaigns, and help you optimize your media buys.

In the case of this latest announcement, and I am just speculating here, Yelp call-tracked numbers might also be a way to still attribute business leads generated via their data, even if they get scraped onto other sites such as, ahem, Google Places.