SEO experts everywhere agree that creating a Google My Business page is one of the first steps to a location based marketing strategy. It’s easy, it’s effective, and best of all, it’s 100% free. However, there are a few best practices that you should know in order to optimize your GMB listing and take advantage of customer interactions that come through the platform. One of these steps is using a call tracking number on Google My Business.
For many people, Google has replaced the phone book and fridge magnets that we used to use to call businesses, and now we simply search and click-to-call.
Here, we’ll cover the benefits of using a call tracking number on your GMB page, and how to do so with CallTrackingMetrics’ pre-set tracking source. With this extra layer of call tracking, you’ll be able to fully attribute phone calls from both Google Search and Google Maps.
Getting started on Google My Business
If you’ve recently called a restaurant to place an order for carryout or delivery, chances are, you used Google and searched for the restaurant name or type of food you were craving. That’s Google My Business in action!
When your prospects and customers search for your business on Google or Google Maps, you’ll want them to be able to quickly find your website, address, and phone number, as well as browse photos and reviews that will help them make their decision. You can do all of this for free by visiting google.com/business.
The average business is found in 1,009 searches per month, with 84% of these coming from discovery searches –BrightLocal
Once on your business profile, customers have four general options for action:
- Call your business
- Visit your website
- Look up directions
- View your photos
It’s easy to see that phone calls are a key action that users can take on your profile. Plus, the data shows that a quarter of actions taken on GMB listings are phone calls. In the next section, we’ll get into how you can track your Google My Business phone calls to better understand your customer’s journey and your local search performance.
Benefits of Using a Call Tracking Number on Google My Business
There’s a common misconception that using a call tracking number on GMB can hurt your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) consistency, or that Google will penalize you for using a tracking number. This article by Sterling Sky does a great job of debunking those myths (among other common myths about call tracking and local SEO.)
Phone call volume from GMB is notable, and growing. Across a variety of industries, 16% of businesses receive more than 100 calls each month from GMB. Calls from GMB grew 22% between 2017 and 2018. And, while impressions are temporarily down as a result of COVID-19, some industries are seeing peak call volume from GMB. With this growing reliance on Google for consumers calling businesses, it’s crucial that you capture as much data from those calls as possible! And as consumers navigate the current pandemic restrictions, phone calls through Google My Business are your direct line to customers interested in your product or service.
Know who’s calling
When it comes to monitoring and reporting on GMB calls, a call tracking provider like CallTrackingMetrics is key. By using your CTM tracking number, you’ll instantly know who the caller is, that they came through GMB, and what their history is with your business—all before you answer the phone.
Go beyond basic reporting
While Google provides limited reporting, they are only tracking calls from mobile devices—not desktop. CallTrackingMetrics can go far beyond the included insights to capture all of the calls and then feed that information back into your Google Analytics account for easy monitoring. You’ll also be able to apply CTM’s conversation analytics tools like keyword spotting.
So, not only is it okay to use a call tracking number on Google My Business, but doing so will help you gain valuable insights from the many calls that come through your GMB page!
How to set up a call tracking number for GMB on CallTrackingMetrics:
Through a pre-set tracking source in CallTrackingMetrics, you can easily send GMB call data into Google Analytics as Events.
- Purchase a tracking number in your CallTrackingMetrics account and choose the Google My Business tracking source from our preset list.
- Update your Google My Business listing to add some UTM parameters to the URL that people click.
- Update the phone number on the GMB listing. Enter the tracking number in the “Primary phone” field in GMB, and add your local business number in the “Additional phone” field. By including your main business number as an additional phone number, you quell any worries about consistency and signal to Google that the number is still active.
- Deploy the CTM tracking code on your website so we swap out the number that normally appears for your new Google My Business tracking number. More on deploying the CTM tracking code is available here.
That’s it! Just a few steps to properly using a call tracking number on Google My Business with CallTrackingMetrics. With this, you can better understanding your local search performance and your customer’s journey. To learn more, view our popular Google integrations for advertising and talk to a team member today!