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Digital Marketing Tips

Time to Use Call Tracking With Google My Business

By Mike Ramsey

In the past, if you said you wanted to put a call-tracking number on your local directory listings, you might get a bunch of dirty looks and even be ostracized in certain circles. Almost every marketer proclaimed that being 100 percent consistent in your business name, address and phone (NAP) was the most important thing to strive for when building out local citations. Call-tracking numbers would ruin your citation profile and ultimately affect your rankings in local search results.

Well, things have changed.

It has now been tested and proved that, if done correctly, you can use call-tracking numbers on your Google My Business (GMB) listing.

Some of you might be thinking, “Mike, we already get Google call-tracking data from Google Insights within our GMB dashboard. Why would I need a call-tracking number, too?”

While Google offers some insights to help you track phone calls from your business listings, this only gives you half of the story. Calls that Google tracks are based solely on mobile device usage, where searchers click your listing to call your business. This doesn’t track searchers who call your business after finding it on a desktop computer or those who find it on a mobile device but don’t click to call. This means you could be receiving more calls than Google is reporting. That’s why you should consider using call-tracking numbers for your citations listings.

A Real-World Example

One of our clients has a call-tracking number set up on GMB. Below is the difference in the total number of calls reported from Google Insights compared to total calls reported from their call-tracking service for January 2018.

That’s a difference in calls of 135 percent for only one month. If they had relied on GMB Insights phone call totals alone, this client would have missed that 278 additional people called their business after clicking on their GMB listing.

How to Add Call Tracking to Google My Business

If you are beginning to see the value of this additional data, here is a step-by-step explanation of how to add call tracking to Google My Business. It is still important to set up a call-tracking number on GMB correctly so your local listing will remain consistent.

  1. Log in to Google My Business.
  2. Locate and click on the phone number section where you will see the option to add a second phone number.
  3. Add the tracking number as the “Primary” number.
  4. Use your actual business number as the “Additional” number.

This will allow you to track valuable calls without compromising the consistency of your NAP across the web.

Understanding where calls are coming from allows for better decision-making and better attribution. Knowing this is the first step in being able to truly calculate return on investment for the many marketing channels your firm uses. Take the time today to get Google My Business call-tracking set up and see for yourself. Get a glimpse of how many calls you haven’t been able to attribute to Google My Business.

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Categories: Daily Dispatch, Digital Marketing for Law Firms, Law Firm Marketing
Originally published March 1, 2018
Last updated March 3, 2018
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Mike Ramsey Mike Ramsey

Mike Ramsey is President of Nifty Ventures and founder of Nifty Marketing and Nifty Law, which brings digital marketing, website design, SEO and content marketing to firms nationwide, and Managing Partner of Bold+Stone investments in Burley, Idaho.  One of the foremost authorities on local search, Mike is the author of “Winning at Local Search: The Nifty Guide to Digital Marketing for Lawyers” and a top-rated speaker at events such as Mozcon, Smx, Pubcon.

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