Call tracking is a valuable and legitimate marketing tool for any business that depends on phone calls for leads, clients, and customers.
In the early days of call tracking, there was a conflict with Google's NAP requirements, which could result in poor local SEO and search rankings. However, those days are long gone.
Call tracking is $1 billion industry, serving the needs of numerous businesses that get most of their conversions from phone calls. These businesses include:
- Home services
- Dental clinics
- Cosmetic surgery clinics
- Legal services
- Real estate
- and many others.
Call tracking is beneficial to any business that receives leads from phone calls, and can actually prove valuable to your SEO strategy.
Understanding Call Tracking
First things first — let’s discuss how call tracking works so you understand what it is and why it does not negatively impact SEO.
Call tracking is a method used to track the sources of your phone calls and subsequent conversions.
Call tracking uses a variety of different phone numbers that automatically forward to your business phone number. This allows marketers to track which channel the call came from, by assigning each channel--organic, PPC, retargeting, and even offline advertisements--a unique number. This allows marketers to tie leads and conversions back to a specific campaign.
Without call tracking, phone leads are difficult to attribute to a singular source.
Call tracking allows marketers to:
- Link the number of incoming calls to the efficiency of an advertising channel.
- Make accurate calculations of ROI for marketing campaigns.
- Measure expenses for different advertisements.
- Optimize the marketing budget to favor more efficient marketing channels.
Call tracking is useful in both measuring the effectiveness of offline (billboards, ads in newspapers) and online (PPC, SEO efforts, retargeting) marketing channels, which makes it an integral part of an omnichannel marketing strategy.
Without analytical data on phone calls, you cannot have a clear picture of your customer’s experience with your brand.
So how does call tracking work with SEO?
The basic idea of call tracking is to assign different phone numbers to different marketing channels, in order to discern the source of a phone call lead.
In the early days of call tracking, marketers would put various phone numbers on their business's website, which would conflict with Google's requirements for NAP (which stands for Name, Address, Phone Number directory).
Google wants NAP citations to be consistent and uniform, and call tracking's endless variations of a company phone numbers would confuse Google's algorithms and result in lower rankings.
This conflict was the reason for the call tracking controversy. With updated technology, it is no longer an issue.
Call tracking services now offer DNI: dynamic number insertion.
DNI means that every visitor sees a different temporarily inserted phone number when accessing your website, using a website script. When the visitor makes a call, call tracking services registers the user session and discerns pertinent information about the caller.
Using DNI technology we can learn the:
- Keyword that brought the person to the website.
- Source of conversion.
- User’s activity on the website.
- Caller’s phone number.
- Agent who picked up the phone.
- Caller’s region.
- User’s device (and its screen resolution).
- Length of call.
- Conversation recording.
This information is extremely useful for determining the efficiency of each marketing channel, as well as gathering more info about customer behaviour.
3 Ways Call Tracking Can Help SEO
There are several practical advantages from call tracking for your SEO efforts.
1. Call tracking helps landing page optimization
That’s right—call tracking services are capable of discerning the path of your customer to your landing page, starting with the keyword.
Having that information, you can determine which keywords worked best for your landing page and resulted in conversion. If you decide to a/b test the landing page, it will give you valuable info for optimization.
2. Call tracking helps optimize your highest converting pages
When a person uses your website to phone your business, he or she is making a conversion.
Tracking calls from the highest converting pages means understanding where your conversions come from. This helps you understand--and optimize--the pages that work better and generate more conversions.
3. Call tracking is a great conversion indicator
The main goal of SEO is not to attract traffic for the sake of traffic, but to increase the number of conversions, deals, and sales generated by your website.
For an SEO specialist, or anyone running an SEO campaign, it is essential to have a reliable indicator of whether or not your traffic is converting, which is the real value for your business.
Call tracking can fill this gap neatly, as it tracks conversions and ties them to your website, giving a clear indication of what works best.
Call tracking has become indispensable for many businesses.
However, there are still some who believe call tracking could harm SEO and the performance of your website. This simply isn't the case.
With modern technology and dynamic number insertion, call tracking doesn't conflict with SEO. On the contrary, there is a wide-variety of useful data provided by call tracking analytics, with benefits to your marketing strategy.
Moreover, call tracking can be used to enhance website performance and make SEO more efficient.