How to Set Up Free Call Tracking for Your Website

How to Set Up Free Call Tracking for Your Website

So many services tout call tracking for businesses. They’ll change your phone number every time someone calls, so they have a specific record to report back to you.

While this may seem like a great way to learn more about your customer, it can be detrimental for your search engine optimization (SEO), especially your local SEO.

We’re sharing how to set up free click-to-call tracking for your website, how to read the insights, and where you can find extra results about your phone calls for free.

Why You Should Have a Consistent Phone Number for SEO

We talk a lot about the importance of great SEO. It’s one of the biggest ways your business can show up (and beat out your competition) on search engines like Google and Bing.

Google will never fill us in on the secret sauce in its algorithm, but one thing is sure: Google loves consistency in your business information. One of the most important things it looks at, besides your business name, is your phone number.

Yes, some call tracking systems can work around a crawl bot . . . but they won’t work around the confusion a human experiences when seeing different phone numbers for your business.

So, we propose saving some money (and confusion) by using free click-to-call tracking with Google Tag Manager (GTM) and Google Analytics. No, it won’t record incoming calls to your website, but it will tell you how people got to your site and where they went on your site before making the call.

How to Set Up Click-to-Call Tracking

First off, you’ll want to have Google Tag Manager set up on your website.

If you haven’t done that, here’s a tutorial provided by Google.

Once you have GTM firing on your website, there are a few extra things you’ll need to do in GTM and on your website to set up click-to-call tracking.

1. Set Up Variables

In GTM, click Variables in the left-hand navigation. There should already be a few checked boxes, but you’ll need to check a few more through the Configure button:

  • Event
  • Click Target
  • Click URL

Once these are clicked, you can back out of the Configure pop-up, and your list should be longer.

2. Set Up Triggers

Next, head to Triggers, found just above Variables in the left-hand navigation.

  • Click New.
  • Name your Trigger (e.g. “Click to Call”).
  • Click the Trigger icon or the pencil icon within the pop-up.
  • Choose Click – Just Links from the pop-up options.
  • Set this Trigger to fire on Some Link Clicks.
  • Use the drop-down to select Click Target.
  • Add your phone number with the prefix code tel: (see screenshot below).
  • Click Save.
set up click to call tracking in Google Tag Manager

If your website has multiple phone numbers for different departments, you can break it out by phone number, as in the screenshot above. If you have only one phone number (or don’t care if it’s tracked altogether), you can leave the phone number off, but keep tel:.

3. Set Up Tags

After that, click Tags, found above Triggers in the left-hand navigation. Our labels below can easily be changed to whatever works best for your website. Just remember what you did differently so it matches up in Google Analytics.

  • Click New.
  • Name your Tag (e.g. “Click to Call”).
  • Click the Tag Configuration icon or the pencil icon within the top box.
  • Choose Google Analytics – Universal Analytics from the options.
  • Change Track Type to “Event.”
  • Type “Clicks” in Category.
  • Type “Phone Call Clicks” in Action.
  • Click the + button next to Label, and select {{Page Path}}.
  • If you know the value of a phone call for your company, you can include that in Value. If not, leave it empty.
  • Leave Non-Interaction Hit empty.
  • Create a variable for the UA tag if none exist (here’s how to find your Google Analytics tracking ID to add to that section).
  • In the Triggering section, add your Firing Trigger.
  • Click Save.
Set up a tag in Google Tag Manager

4. Set Up Your Website

Most websites now have clickable phone numbers, so people can easily click and call your business.

Make sure this is true of your website. View your website on mobile and desktop, and try clicking the phone number. You should be presented with a pop-up option to call your business, as in the screen recordings below.

[Video] Example of Desktop Pop-up

[Video] Example of Mobile Pop-up

If your website doesn’t have a clickable phone number, work with your website provider to set it up. The process is different for every website, so it’s best to talk with your provider.

Once your clickable phone number has been set up, head back to Google Tag Manager, and use the Preview tool to make sure it works. It should originally show as “not firing” until you click on the phone number.

Example of Previewing Clickable Phone Number

How to Report Calls in Google Analytics

Once you have your GTM all set up and see that the tags are firing, you’ll want to set up your Google Analytics goal conversion. Remember your tag configuration from earlier, and make sure the rules match up correctly.

set up click to call tracking goal in Google Analytics

You can click Verify this Goal, but since you just set it up, it will probably have a 0% conversion.

From there, you can view how visitors first got to the site, the path they took to make the call, and the last page viewed when making the call.

1. Identify the Source of Calls

In Google Analytics, go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium, and check that your date range is what you want.

Here, you can sort by the specific goal you want and view a list of sources from which visitors came to your site.

Source and Medium for click to call goal.

2. Identify the Path Visitors Took Before Calling

In Google Analytics, go to Conversions > Goals > Reverse Goal Path, and check that the right goal and date range are selected.

Here, you can view the pages visitors viewed before calling your business.

Reverse Goal Paths in Google Analytics

3. Identify the Page on Which Visitors Converted

In Google Analytics, go to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages, and check that the right goal and date range are selected.

Here, you can see the landing pages visitors were on when clicking your phone number.

Landing Pages where your goal happened.

Report with Confidence!

Besides Google Analytics, you can report from Google My Business the calls you have received. These will not be included in your website clicks, as they clicked directly from search results within Google. But, with robust analytics, your team can see where your dollars are being used — especially if a third-party vendor touts “guaranteed calls.”

You can also send people to a specific landing page built for a campaign and record the number of calls that came from that page or a UTM code added in campaigns.

If this still seems overwhelming to set up and report, how about letting our digital marketing agency help you out? Our experienced SEO team can help you track calls, clicks, and engagement, giving you better reports for more educated decision making. Schedule a free digital marketing audit today.

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