How to Get Call Tracking for GMB and What it Means for SEO
Today, one of my customer received an email from Google. “See who’s calling your business from Google”, it was an invite for the Google My Business (GMB) call tracking feature. The feature allows you to “Find out who’s getting in touch and who you need to call back.”.
This is a new feature that is part of Google My Business. It allows you to see who’s called through your company GMB profile.
Currently, it is still an experimental feature only available to a small number of users.
How to use Call Tracking in your Google My Business (GMB) Listing
I will cover how to use a call tracking number in your Google My Business listing, the set it up, and how it relates to SEO.
This new feature in Google My Business can add integration to Local SEO tracking. This specific feature is using a call tracking number.
Does it hurt SEO to use a Call Tracking Phone Number?
Historically, using a tracking number in your GMB listing was a bad idea. It made citation consistency an issue and raised SEO concerns about implementing a call tracking number. Adding a different phone number use to be a bad idea because it would make your NAP inconsistent. NAP is the business Name, Address, and Phone number across all business listings, local directories, social media profiles, and websites. For SEO, a NAP should be accurate and consistent as it is a search ranking factor. An unvarying NAP is fundamental for your customers.
Previously if a different phone was associated with your business online, it was a poor signal to Google’s algorithm.
Update Search, Updated Times, and Updated NAP
Is that what should happen? No. It was not ideal with chancing times not to allow call tracking or more than one phone number for businesses. Many businesses are seeking more sophisticated call systems and tracking numbers.
Adding a call tracking number for Local SEO and its impact has been tested, along with its impact on local search rankings and deemed it safe for local businesses.
Businesses have every type of website analytic and tracking possible. Why wouldn’t you want the same thing with inbound phone calls?
No one was going to (or at least trying to) mess up a Google My Business Profile with a different phone number due to NAP inconsistency, and intern mess up Local SEO. It simply wasn’t worth the risk of gaining the phone tracking to mess up your citation profile.
Google has allowed algorithm updates. There is no issue with using a tracking number in your Google My Business listing.
Today it is ok to join the Google Call Tracking if you get the invite or to use a 3rd party call tracker if done correctly.
Google Call Tracking Services
Call history in Google My Business (GMB) is currently an experimental feature that is in beta. It is only available for a select group of businesses in the US.
Use the sign-up link in the offer email from your GMB sign-in page to accept the feature. Once enabled, a “You’ve turn call history on” page will be presented. You can then click “See Call History”; your previous calls are viewable in the metrics. The new calls forward will be more accurate with data. I cover this in the benefits section below.
How to Get and Install a Call Tracking Number
Currently, the call tracking from Google is invitation-only for select US-based businesses. However, you can add a 3rd party tracking without getting it from Google.
From either Google or a 3rd party, the tracking number is added to Google My Business.
Start by logging in to your account. On the dashboard choose info on the left, and then click the pencil icon to edit the phone number on the right.
Click the pencil next to your phone number and enter your tracking number as the primary phone number field. Add your existing phone number to the Additional Phone Number field.
Your original phone number and your new tracking number are now part of your business listing.
To track all calls, you should also change the phone number on your website to the new tracking number, so no issues with NAP, citations, or your website exists.
Now your business will show the tracking number in Search and Google Maps.
Up too Three Total Numbers, One to see
There is an option to add a total of three contact numbers, one primary and two additional. The primary phone number is published publicly in your listing on desktop, mobile, and Google Maps. This is why you want to set your tracking number as the primary phone number, as it is the only one visible to searchers to call.
How The Google Beta Call History Works
Once enrolled in the beta feature and your customer clicks the “Call” button on your Business Profile, their call is connected.
At the start of a call, you’ll get an automated message that says, “Call from Google.” The phone calls are logged in the “Calls” tab on your GMB dashboard. On the Calls dashboard, you can see analytics such as recent calls, missed calls, and more.
The Benefits of Call Tracking for Small Business
Most businesses receive calls for many it is even their primary form of customer leads.
I am going as far as recommending setting up call tracking.;Google is offering in Beta as a GMB feature. In addition to analytics, there are other features include filtering out spam calls and telemarketers.
Without call tracking, you cannot get accurate reporting. It is often not understood that within GMB, the Insights Report is flawed for phone calls, as it does not track home or standard business phones.
The data Google tracks are only from click-to-call on mobile devices. Insights data also does not count dropped calls, so hangups are still incorrectly in call volume.
A sure-fire way to accurately track potential clients from Google Search to their phone calls is by setting up phone call tracking. It also gives data for a winning strategy as it is the only way to get an understanding of your phone call performance in local search.