Tracking Phone Calls

Conversions Overview

Each client is going to have different goals. Some clients will consider a phone call the most important action a user can take on their site while others will think a contact form is more important. Because of this, I’m going to show you how to track them the top ones. You can choose to include or exclude any of them from your SEO strategy.

Phone Calls

How Does Call Tracking Work?

Call tracking works by replacing the real business phone number on the website with call tracking numbers. When someone clicks on one of them from a mobile device, it will be tracked. When someone sees the tracking number on a desktop screen and manually dials the number from their phone, this will also be tracked.

When tracking clicks to phone numbers, this will mainly only track phone calls from mobile devices since they will be “clicking” on the phone number to call it. Most desktop users don’t click on phone numbers, they will manually dial the phone number from their phone. That is why tracking clicks on phone numbers is not nearly as accurate as using a call tracking solution.

CallRail

CallRail is a great call tracking software. It’s my favorite because it’s sooo easy to implement and it tracks data properly in Google Analytics. You simply choose how many phone numbers to add to your number pull and drop the script on the site. It automatically tracks calls from all sources and it’s easy to see this data in Google Analytics.

If you are using CallRail, here is how you track phone calls in Google Analytics.

CallRail Settings

First, you need to make sure you have turned on the Google Analytics integration in CallRail’s settings.

Reference: https://support.callrail.com/hc/en-us/articles/202918409-Google-Analytics-Overview

This makes sure that CallRail will start sending over event data to the Google Analytics account of your choice.

CallRail Goals in Google Analytics

Then you will need to set up CallRail goals in Google Analytics.

Reference: https://support.callrail.com/hc/en-us/articles/201325073-Adding-Call-Goals-to-Google-Analytics-Universal-

Here’s how the event data is sent over from CallRail into Google Analytics.

Category Action Label
Phone Incoming call via 727-551-4948 – Google My Business From 707-XXX-9001 Call-03
Phone Incoming call via 727-400-3308 – Brand Call Extension From 727-XXX-1977 Call-01
Phone Incoming call via 727-400-3308 – Brand Call Extension From 727-XXX-1977 Call-02

When creating the phone call goals in Google Analytics, there are several that you can create which are helpful. Here’s a simple overview of the event categories and event labels you can use to track all phone calls, first time callers and repeat callers.

Goal Name Category (equals to) Action Label (regular expression) Value
All Phone Calls Phone Leave Blank Leave Blank Leave Blank
First Time Callers Phone Leave Blank .*Call-01 Leave Blank
Repeat Callers Phone Leave Blank .*Call-([1-9]\d|0[2-9]) Leave Blank

⚠ Note: Google only allows for one call per session to count as a goal completion. Because of this, if someone calls three times within one session, Google Analytics will only show one phone call under goals. If you want to see all phone calls, you have to look under “Events” in Google Analytics not “Goals”.

From CallRail support:

“A goal can only be counted once per session. If you want to see total calls you should look in Google Analytics under the Behavior section in Top Events and filter for Phone. There you will see total Phone calls and you will see Unique phone calls.

This is the default behavior of Goals vs Events in Google Analytics.”

https://community.callrail.com/t/track-all-phone-calls-google-analytics-goals/665/3

Call Tracking Metrics

Call Tracking Metrics is a more robust call tracking software. However, it is time consuming to set up and requires many steps which leave much room for human error. I also do not like the way it tracks data in Google Analytics. It does not sent even data properly which forces you to create a tracking number for each individual source.

If you are using Call Tracking Metrics, here is how you track phone calls in Google Analytics.

Call Tracking Metrics Settings

First, you need to make sure you have turned on the Google Analytics integration in Call Tracking Metrics settings.

Reference: https://www.calltrackingmetrics.com/support/integrations-account-management/google-analytics/1543270-linking-ctm-with-google-analytics/

Call Tracking Metrics Goals in Google Analytics

Then you will need to set up Call Tracking Metics goals in Google Analytics.

Reference: https://www.calltrackingmetrics.com/support/integrations-account-management/google-analytics/2767959-what-data-is-sent-to-google-analytics/

Reference: https://www.calltrackingmetrics.com/support/integrations-account-management/google-analytics/1543120-setting-up-goals-in-google-analytics/

Here’s how the event data is sent over from Call Tracking Metrics into Google Analytics.

Category Action (Tracking Number Nickname) Label
Phone Google My Business “Google My Business”, +17272356880:first-call, 639XXXXXXX
Phone Google Ads “Google Ads”, +17275925440:first-call, 640XXXXXXX
Phone Google Ads “Google Ads”, +17275925440:repeat-call, 640XXXXXXX

When creating the phone call goals in Google Analytics, there are several that you can create which are helpful. Here’s a simple overview of the event categories and event labels you can use to track all phone calls, first time callers and repeat callers.

Goal Name Category (equals to) Action Label (regular expression) Value
All Phone Calls Calls Leave Blank Leave Blank Leave Blank
First Time Callers Calls Leave Blank first-call Leave Blank
Repeat Callers Calls Leave Blank repeat-call Leave Blank

Phone Clicks

Your client may not want call tracking. Call tracking replaces the real business phone number on the website with call tracking numbers and once you stop using the call tracking software, those call tracking number no longer belong to the client. So if someone saved any of the call tracking numbers, it won’t work next time they call it.

If your client does not want call tracking, you will want to track clicks on phone numbers. That will at least count some of the phone calls that are made from the website.

You can track phone clicks by using Google Tag Manager.

Tag
Category = Phone Click
Action = Click URL
Label = Page URL

Trigger
Link contains tel:

Links to telephone numbers or click-to-call buttons look like this:


<a href="tel:+1-123-456-7980">123-456-7980</a>

Anytime someone clicks on a link that contains “tel:” it will count as a phone click.

Import Google Tag Manager Container

For this to work you need to replace these fields.

[COMING SOON]

Import Google Analytics Goals using this link.

[COMING SOON]

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