As one of the industry leaders in Local SEO, Andy Leonard, Partner and Senior Operations Manager for Law Firm Marketing Pros, recently attended a roundtable event in Miami, Florida, presented by the Seven Figure Agency. These events, which take place three times a year, attract the top digital marketing agencies in the country seeking to sharpen their game.
In an SEO roundtable consisting of five of the top Local SEO minds in the United States and Canada, someone asked the question on everyone’s mind, “Can you add a tracking number to your listing?” Andy answered it fully and removed all confusion about an action that may not be intuitive even for the most accomplished digital marketer.
He explained that GMB (Google My Business) has many features and some best-practices that can leave the savviest digital marketer scratching their head. Organically, themost effective way to rank and get found on page one of Google in a local market is by claiming and optimizing your GMB listing, then building a boatload of valued citations and backlinks, etc, etc, etc. But how do you track the progress of that listing?
Google My Business listing dashboard provides certain insights. It reveals the total searches broken down by direct, discovery, and branded queries used to find your business, or what people are searching; total views on search and maps; and customer actions such as website visits, request for directions, and calls. Clarifying that it goes a bit deeper than that, Andy paused for a moment to focus on calls, as represented in the image below.
According to Andy, it’s well known that the “call you” metric is not exactly accurate. Why? It can only show the number of clicks-to-calls from a mobile device. But what about the desktop calls – the calls that come from people searching from their desktop, laptop, or iPad? These potential clients and customers like to pick up the phone and dial the number they see. In some industries and age demographics, this type still comprises half, if not the majority of calls.
So, how do we track them?
As you might have guessed, that’s what everyone at the SEO roundtable wanted to know. If you are an SEO expert in search of the next level of reporting as it relates to call-tracking, the answer is exactly what you want to hear.
Before we delve into the subject, let’s review the benefits of your Google My Business listing. Not only does your GMB increase your chances of showing up in the Google Local 3-Pack, when someone searches your business by name, Google often displays a Knowledge Panel with detailed information about your company.
Where do these details come from? Google pulls them directly from your GMB listing and information it finds from other online sources and user-generated content such as third-party reviews, Q&A’s, user-suggested information, and so on.
Furthermore, over the past few years, Google has added a ton of amazing features for businesses to use to enhance and optimize their GMB listings – including the ability to manage multiple locations within one dashboard. If you’re not taking advantage of these advanced features, it’s time to log into your Google My Business dashboard and start optimizing it.
Can You Use a Tracking Number on Your Google My Business Listing?
As Andy noted at the roundtable, his forte and the forte of Law Firm Marketing Pros is Local SEO & GMB. Historically, there was always a concern that if you use a tracking number, your GMB listing might show inconsistent NAP (Name, Address & Phone), which would negatively impact rankings.
About two years ago, Andy and his team discovered through forums and conversations that you could, for instance, make the CallRail (tracking) number the “primary phone” number within a GMB listing, and make the actual business number an “additional number,” without detracting from NAP consistency, allowing you to track EVERY call made via your Google My Business listing.
Make sure you move the primary number to the “additional number” field on the GMB. Andy and Law Firm Marketing Pros use CallRail for this purpose. In fact, CallRail now has an integration: once you create your local GMB tracking number within their dashboard, you trigger the integration to GMB and it will automatically push that tracking number to the “primary number” field and push the main business number to the “additional number” field.
Would You Now Use that Tracking Number When Building Citations (business directory listings)?
No. Use the primary business number in all of the directories outside of your
GMB listing. Since the main business number is in the additional phone number field within your GMB listing, Google will recognize that number and align it with the NAP throughout the digital ecosystem, to maintain your NAP consistency. Again, only the GMB has the tracking number.
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