This article could also be called, “How To Create a Google Voice Number” or”Free Call Tracking for Small Business!”
Call tracking is common technique used by big marketing and media firms to measure the effectiveness of internet marketing. These firms use call tracking numbers to document leads that are given to a subscribing organization. Phone call leads are often billed to the client, as in the case of ServiceMagic.com, or are included in performance-based reports to show the value of the purchased service, e.g. AutoTrader.com.
Google allows small businesses access to free call tracking technology with Google Voice. One or more phone numbers can be setup to track phone calls that are coming from a small business website, local directories or other internet sources. The phone number can be targeted to a desired area code in most regions of the U.S. and all calls can be automatically forwarded to a land-line or cell phone. When a call is received, a verbal cue will let you know the call is coming from the Google Voice number.
Other neat optional (and free) features include:
- custom recorded greetings
- web access to recorded messages
- automatic transcription of the customer message into text
- automatic forwarding of message transcript to a cell phone
- forwarding voice messages to others via email
- conference calling
- call screening
- call blocking
Here are the simple steps for setting up an account:
- Log into, or create, a free gmail account
- Navigate to: www.google.com/voice
- On the left side of the Google Voice page click, “Get a Voice number”
- In the popup window click “I want a new number”
- In the next window type in the area code you want, e.g. “202” and then click “search numbers”
- Scroll through the numbers that are available until you find one you want
- Click on the ‘radio button’ next to the number and click “continue”
- Add a forwarding phone number that will will ring when the Google Voice number is called. This can be a land line or mobile number.
- Google will ask you to immediately “Verify your phone” number by calling the forwarded phone and entering a two digit number when that number is called.