call tracking influence on SEO

Are you utilizing or thinking about implementing call tracking numbers? It’s not a bad idea from the standpoint that you can very accurately track leads down to a specific source, such as digital ads. However, you need to be careful…call tracking numbers can hurt your website’s SEO.

The keyword here is “can.” Call tracking numbers, if implemented correctly, will have no effect on your website’s SEO.

What’s the best way to implement call tracking numbers on my website to avoid hurting my SEO?

Use a javascript. This is a short-code that is typically added to the header of your website. The code works by identifying the actual practice phone number and dynamically replacing it with a unique phone number. The reason why this doesn’t hurt your website’s SEO is because Google, or other search engines, that index your website can see your actual number listed on any given page. While this information may not be visible to the prospective patient, Google can still that the phone number matches the listed phone number for other online listings for your practice. This consistency matters.

call tracking for aesthetic practices
Call tracking can negatively impact your SEO

How can call tracking phone numbers affect a website’s SEO?

First, you need to understand a major component of SEO: consistency. Google wants to see all references to your practice show the same name, address, phone number, and website address. If your Google My Business page lists your old address and your Facebook Fan page lists an old phone number, for example, Google has a difficult time recognizing what’s accurate. These discrepancies make your website less credible, and even if these discrepancies are not on your website, but rather, 3rd party directory sites, they can hurt your website’s organic visibility.

If you purchased a phone number to use to track calls you DO NOT want to go into the header and each page to manually add this static number. In this case, Google will see that the new number doesn’t match any of your other online profiles, leading to inconsistencies and, potentially, a negative effect on your website’s SEO.

Dynamic call tracking can identify a source from each call

If you stop and analyze the goal of call tracking you’ll realize that it makes little sense to manually update the display number on your website. The goal should be to able to track phone calls to a source, such as an organic search, Real Self referral, or AdWords click. If you blanketly updated your website to display a static tracking number on every page how are you any closer to determining the source than if you simply kept your actual phone number listed?

The only way to truly track calls down to a source is to use dynamic call tracking via a javascript. This will identify each individual IP address used to access the website and credit a source/medium when a call is made.

The one instance where I think it’s ok to use a single call tracking number is when you’re running ads to a micro-site. If your micro-site lists your main practice number then you’ll likely experience some difficulty determining exactly how the caller found you (even if you ask them). In this case, manually adding a static tracking code is a solid solution. You won’t be able to distinguish sources of leads from the micro-site, but if we assume that the micro-site is only driving traffic from one source, such as Google AdWords, then it doesn’t matter. Your goal here is to distinguish phone calls to your practice based on prospective patient finding your micro-site vs. your main site. 

Bottom line: for optimal SEO, make sure your practice details are consistent across all web directories and utilize a javascript code to take advantage of any call tracking.

If you have any questions about SEO you can check out our collection of SEO articles here. If you are interested in detailed call tracking that can identify each call down to the source then contact TRBO to learn more. You can drop us a line here or call us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.

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