Call Tracking

CallTrackingMetrics Terminology 101

by Jessica Michaels

Whether you are just getting started with CallTrackingMetrics or have been using it for a while, you’ve probably realized there are a lot of different terms you need to know. This post will give you a short overview of what we call the various components that make CallTrackingMetrics work.

Tracking Number

A Tracking Number  is the phone number that your customers or potential customers will call. Before you can use our system, you need to purchase at least one Tracking Number. You can purchase local (i.e. a particular area code), toll-free (888, 877, 866…), and international Tracking Numbers. If you already have a number or numbers you can port them to Call Tracking Metrics. Each Tracking number will be assigned a Tracking Source.

Tracking Source

Tracking Sources are the sources of advertisement that you want to track. Google Adwords, Google Organic, Bing Paid, Bing Organic, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, email, billboards, flyers, and radio are some of the typical Tracking Sources. We have default setups for many Tracking Sources, but you can customize them and create custom Tracking Sources depending on how granular you want to make your data. Some customers have just a handful of Tracking Sources and others have hundreds.

Tracking Sources can be either Off-site or On-site. Off-site Tracking Sources are things such as billboards, signs, flyers, TV advertisements, Radio spots, etc. When you assign a unique Tracking Number to this Off-site source, you will easily be able to measure the effectiveness of that particular advertising medium.

Things get more interesting when you use On-site Tracking Sources. Tracking Numbers that have an On-site Tracking Source will be dynamically swapped when a visitor lands on your website. At a minimum, you should have one Tracking Number for each On-site source (i.e. Google AdWords, Google Organic, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook) of visitors. But, to maintain accuracy, we recommend 1 Tracking Number for every 20 visitors from a particular On-site source.

Target Number

A Target Number is the phone number on your website that our script will find and dynamically swap with a Tracking Number. Some websites only have one Target Number. Others may have different Target Numbers for sales and service. You can configure CallTrackingMetrics to swap some or all of your Target Numbers with different Tracking Numbers.

Receiving Number

A Receiving Number is a phone number that can receive a phone call from your Tracking Numbers. It can be a mobile number, a land line, or the number for your call center. If you have a phone number that people are calling today, it can be a receiving number.

Call Routing

Related to Receiving Numbers is Call Routing. Call Routing determines how a call to a Tracking Number is handled. Remember, people are calling your Tracking Numbers. How that call is handled is Call Routing.

The simplest Call Routing is an  Tracking Number associated with an Off-site source that calls a single Receiving Number. No numbers will be swapped, and when a person calls the Tracking Number the call will be connected to that Receiving Number. You can have a single Tracking Number configured to route to multiple Receiving Numbers. You can also have all of the receiving numbers ring simultaneously or sequentially.

Other options for Call Routing include Voice Menus (aka IVRs), Geo Routing (routing based on area code or zip code), and Call Queues. Our more advanced options require more advanced plans, but there are plenty of Call Routing options included with even the simplest plans.

Tracking Script

The Tracking Script is a snippet of JavaScript unique to your account that takes care of dynamically swapping your Target Numbers (the phone numbers on your web site) with your Tracking Numbers (the number you want your visitors to call.) The Tracking Script should loaded onto every page of your website. Most CMSs (content management systems such as WordPress, Medium, Ghost) make it easy to add a script to every page.

When a visitor lands on a page on your website, the Tracking Script will determine the correct Tracking number to display based on the refering URL, landing URL, priority of the Tracking Sources, and the Target Numbers.

When a visitor calls the dynamically displayed Tracking Number, Call Routing will determine how to handle the call and which Receiving Number will receive the call. The Tracking Script is what connects all of the data related to the caller (via the Tracking Number) and the Tracking Source and allows us to gather all of the data you see in the Call Log.


We don’t expect you to be experts; that’s our job. But, knowing the above terms will help you when you are setting up your CallTrackingMetrics account. Be sure to look at our features page for everything CallTrackingMetrics can do. And, look for new posts with more terms!