How to protect your search campaigns from “bot” calls

A lot has been written recently about “bot,” or robo-dialed calls. Many of us know them all too well. We get a call that looks like it is coming from a local number, but we don’t recognize it. It could be our dentist or that chiropractor we called the other day. It could be any number of real people looking to get a hold of us. We pick up the phone, say “hello,” and wait a second only to hear a recorded voice on the other end begin: “You’ve been pre-selected…” That’s when we hang up.

Yes, bot calls, robo-dialed calls, and annoying spam calls are everywhere and happen to everybody. 

  • According to Robokiller.com, 4.18 billion robocalls were made in June of 2020 — that’s approximately 15 bot calls per person in the United States.

  • Another recent survey by ZDNet reports that over half of total calls received by study participants in 2020 were spam calls.

How do bot calls impact your business?

These calls are frustrating enough on our personal phones, but for business with paid search advertising and call tracking, bot calls can skew your results and negatively impact your campaign budget as well. 

Bot calls can also throw a wrench in your current cost-per-call metric calculations. A cost-per-call metric calculates how much money each phone call costs to handle during a specific period of time. You should be aiming to reduce your cost per call while maintaining high quality service, and these bot calls can be messing with your metrics and upsetting your marketing plan.

[Related: How Hibu Search Helps You Reach Customers]

Identifying (and blocking) bot calls

The FCC and telecom industry are taking steps to address the growing number of bot calls people and businesses receive every year, but your best defense today is to work with a digital marketing partner with scalable technology solutions to stop unwanted bot calls before they reach you. Here’s how they can help:

  • Analyze your incoming campaign calls

  • Identify which calls are coming from bots and which are legitimate business inquiries— and block calls that are coming from bots whenever possible

  • Make sure those calls don’t negatively impact your cost-per-call metrics and overall campaign performance

For example, Hibu analyzes every incoming call for our clients with call tracking each month — focusing on calls that are shorter than ten seconds (with the assumption that most of those are bot calls). Doing this has helped us block close to 60% of incoming calls to our clients that are suspected to be spam phone calls.

And here’s more good news — even as bot traffic has continued to increase, the percentage of incoming Hibu Search calls tracked that are less than ten seconds have been, on average, only 2.6% of our clients’ total calls.

While there is no exact science yet to identify and block all robo-dialed calls through automation, your business shouldn’t have to waste time or money hanging up on bot calls day after day — especially bot calls that look like they’re being driven by your paid search campaign.

By working with a partner who can monitor your calls and come between you and pesky bots, you can be more confident that the next call your business answers is proof that your paid search campaign is reaching real, local customers looking for your products or services.

If you are ready to stop wasting your time and money with bot calls and see some real results from your search campaigns, contact Hibu today to get started!

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Craig Plummer

Craig Plummer

Craig became Hibu's Director of Product Management – Traffic Products in August 2017 after serving as Hibu's Director of Search Operations. Craig has been honing his digital marketing skills since 2006. Why does Craig love Digital Marketing here at Hibu? “It’s 3 things, really. There is tons of data and I love data. It’s ever-evolving. You have to be willing to admit you don’t know everything and continue to learn. But the best part is working with SMBs. Being able to connect our clients to consumers they might not otherwise reach — 'That’s gold, Jerry!'" When he’s not in the office, Craig loves to spend time with his family and enjoys growing beets.

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