Can You Really Tie Conversions to Keywords?

Can you tie keywords to conversions?

Understanding the effectiveness of your search marketing tactics can be a challenge, because it’s not always simple to see which of the keywords you’re utilizing in your marketing are driving real conversions like calls and emails on your website. With the right tools in place, you can get a little more clarity into what types of searches are bringing you results like conversions and leads.

Search Engine Advertising

If you’re running paid ads on search engines, you are able to see click data each of your ads, and in turn, the keywords you’re bidding on for those ads. And, now you can even implement Google’s conversion tracking tool, which provides more insight into the keywords that are driving actions on your website like calls and button clicks, since it’s vital to track your marketing beyond just the click. Because search advertising is driven by keywords, it’s much easier to correlate which keywords drove which website conversions.

But how do you get actionable information about prospects who contact you from your advertising? And what about the traffic that comes from other paid advertising sources, like Bing and Yahoo Gemini?

Adding call tracking and recording to your website and including call tracking in your paid search campaign is one way to get even more information about how your visitors are finding you. Then you can leverage click data from each of these publishers, along with analytics and call tracking information to learn what’s working and steer your paid advertising dollars to the keywords that are really getting you conversions.

ReachLocal’s search advertising technology automatically does this for our each of our clients. This technology, called conversion based optimization, correlates which keywords across all search engines are driving conversions like calls, emails, and forms. Using that data, this technology shifts budget automatically to those keywords and search engines that drive the most cost-effective conversions for the business.


With the lack of available keyword data from organic search traffic, there’s almost no way to tie your site conversions back to the organic keywords that brought people to your site. That’s because today, specific keywords have much less importance in SEO than they once did.

If your site isn’t getting or converting organic traffic, you need to worry less about your keywords and more about your website’s user experience as a whole. Instead of keywords, you should be optimizing your site’s content around one or two primary topics or categories, since search engines emphasize semantic or natural language in determining a site’s relevance to a search. In addition, the technical aspects of your website, like your site load speed, mobile optimization, navigational structure, links, and more are also incredibly important to your site’s SEO performance and need to be aligned with search engine and consumer expectations. Once you start optimizing your website with all of these factors in mind, you should start to see better results for topics you’re focusing on for SEO a few months after your program begins.

Tie Conversions to Tactics, Not Keywords

If you don’t have a way to track your paid ads separately from your organic search visits, it’s extremely difficult to see which tactic drove which conversion on your site, regardless of your keyword emphasis.

ReachEdge™ from ReachLocal helps with this challenge by tracking which marketing sources (like search advertising, SEO, display advertising and even offline media) drive the most conversions like calls and forms to your business. Even if you can’t tie website conversions directly to your keyword strategy, you can tie them back to the marketing programs you’re investing in.

The Value of Call Tracking

Whether you’re doing paid advertising, SEO, or both (or neither!) having the ability to track and record calls from your website can be highly valuable to your business. This technology not only gives you insight into what is driving you leads, no matter where they came from, but you can also find out what searchers are actually looking for from your business (looking for hours or directions, trying to book an appointment, etc.) so you can make improvements to your advertising, your website, and your business processes that boost both conversions and sales.

What tips do you have for tying your paid and organic strategies to conversions on your website?

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Tamara Weintraub

Tamara is a content marketing manager at ReachLocal with over 7 years experience in B2B marketing and has a nerd-level affinity for software and technology. She specializes in helping local businesses succeed online, writing and learning about Google, search advertising, SEO, and social media marketing. When she's not writing about online marketing, you can find her watching cult TV and hanging out with her Doberman.

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