Does call tracking negatively impact local SEO?

4 October, 2014

Does call tracking negatively impact local SEO?

No it doesn't.

There was some ill-advised concern back in 2013 from local search marketers using call tracking numbers about Google penalising organic search results due to call tracking numbers being used. Basically there was 2 main concerns:

1. Cloaking

Google states that they do not want webmasters to create a code view for ‘search-bots’ while presenting something different to human website visitors – cloaking they call it. Some search marketers thought using dynamic numbers could be considered cloaking because the search spider would see one number, but visitors would see another. Presenting geo-targeted content and remarketed creative to cookied visitors is commonplace which does not classify as ‘cloaking’ and neither does dynamic numbers.

Google has come out and said dynamic numbers are not considered cloaking and will not incur any SEO penalties whatsoever.

2. Inconsistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone)

It’s true that Google gives SEO credit to businesses that keep a consistent Business name, address and phone number (NAP) across their website and business listings. However, using call tracking does not have to impede this.

Our dynamic number code always has a default number – a phone number that will display if there are any issues with the code loading for whatever reason. This default number can be set to anything you want, and is the number that Google’s bots will see as the number in your businesses NAP. So if you’re concerned about inconsistent NAP just ensure your default number is the same number you promote on other business directories and listings like Google My Business (previously Google maps and Google Local). We will talk you through this if and when you setup dynamic number tracking with Jet.

On top of this, displaying the consistent NAP in your website footer is another way to ensure consistency on business listings and your website, while using dynamic tracking numbers to track what works.

Call Tracking can actually improve your SEO

Since the (not provided) debacle, which lead to organic keywords being unable to be attributed to web sessions in Google Analytics search marketers have had to use other methods to track and improve organic search. Call Tracking is one of them.

We can't magically find the keywords driving calls, but we do track the landing pages that result in phone conversions. Any SEO expert worth their weight will be targeting a small set of keywords for each landing page. Understanding the landing pages that result in calls will allow assumptions to be made on SEO keywords responsible for driving calls. Many search marketers have made changes to on-page fundamentals (title tags, description tags, h1 and h2 tags, alt tags, etc) based on the insights they have been able to garner from our reports.

The Web Master tools search queries report (whilst not precise) in conjunction with our phone call insights can also be used to make educated guesses on key SEO performance metrics. For more information on this talk to our team today