Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

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LSF friends,

Hoping you can help settle a debate that's been happening within the analytics team at my office about trackable phone numbers.

TLDR? -->
Implement call tracking on GMB despite obvious NAP/Citation conflicts: Yay or Nay?



While everyone agrees we would love to invest our 400+ clients into Twilio numbers or something similar, I am incredibly nervous it will mess with their ranking signals for both citations and overall SEO. Other folks say to get over it and implement since we'll never have a truly accurate count of ROI without it.

By placing a tracked phone number on their GMB listing only, won't that screw everything else up big-time and lead to an overall decrease in ranking? What have you done to implement tracking but avoid the NAP conflict?

I've read theory on adding the "actual" phone number as a second phone number to GMB, which will allow for NAP to remain in-tact. I've read others saying the 2nd number is not going to help to "save" any ranking signals at all. Has anyone tried this with proven and repeat success? I am doubtful moving the main number to second position and replacing top number with tracked phone is going to work.

I know AdWords offers ways around this, but our concern is mainly for GMB-related optimization, and we want a permanent solution that does not involve updating the citations on every single website and directory we come across. While a platform like MOZ Local would make this easier, there's simply no way it can grab literally every listing out there. Plus it defeats the purpose of call tracking in the first place.

Success/Horror stories? Ideas?

Postscript: We've read just about every article out there on this and we've never had a definitive answer provided in favor of call tracking. But if that's true, what's a marketer to do?

Thanks! :)
Epic Web


P.S.S. We would do this for most clients and absorb all costs because it's not the client who cares about call tracking, it's us, the agency. By tracking all GMB calls, we can truly prove an accurate ROI on our GMB efforts.
 

Colan Nielsen

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LSF friends,

Hoping you can help settle a debate that's been happening within the analytics team at my office about trackable phone numbers.

TLDR? -->
Implement call tracking on GMB despite obvious NAP/Citation conflicts: Yay or Nay?

View attachment 3828

While everyone agrees we would love to invest our 400+ clients into Twilio numbers or something similar, I am incredibly nervous it will mess with their ranking signals for both citations and overall SEO. Other folks say to get over it and implement since we'll never have a truly accurate count of ROI without it.

By placing a tracked phone number on their GMB listing only, won't that screw everything else up big-time and lead to an overall decrease in ranking? What have you done to implement tracking but avoid the NAP conflict?

I've read theory on adding the "actual" phone number as a second phone number to GMB, which will allow for NAP to remain in-tact. I've read others saying the 2nd number is not going to help to "save" any ranking signals at all. Has anyone tried this with proven and repeat success? I am doubtful moving the main number to second position and replacing top number with tracked phone is going to work.

I know AdWords offers ways around this, but our concern is mainly for GMB-related optimization, and we want a permanent solution that does not involve updating the citations on every single website and directory we come across. While a platform like MOZ Local would make this easier, there's simply no way it can grab literally every listing out there. Plus it defeats the purpose of call tracking in the first place.

Success/Horror stories? Ideas?

Postscript: We've read just about every article out there on this and we've never had a definitive answer provided in favor of call tracking. But if that's true, what's a marketer to do?

Thanks! :)
Epic Web


P.S.S. We would do this for most clients and absorb all costs because it's not the client who cares about call tracking, it's us, the agency. By tracking all GMB calls, we can truly prove an accurate ROI on our GMB efforts.
Hi Eric, we have set up GMB call tracking for numerous clients and added their main local number as the additional number in GMB with no issues or ranking drops that we've seen so far.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 
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Call Tracking Metrics
Nice. Can I be annoying and ask one more question? ha... My original post mentioned how the call tracking is really more about demonstrated ROI than anything else. I worry about the "per minute" pricing becoming very expensive. We have clients who already get a high volume of calls and if the call tracking were in-force for a long period of time, this could turn into a pretty hefty bill at .04 USD/minute.

How does the billing shake out, on balance/ball park, when using the service? I would imagine some of those can become quite lofty.

Example of a small client: Dentist office getting average of 30 calls per day, average of 4-minutes per call (with voice prompts, hold music, schedule appt, etc, 4 minutes can be a low number but this is just an example). 120 minutes times .04 cents per minute is $4.80 per day, or ~$144/month.

For a small client hiring us for "GMB Optimization only" (which would obviously be a bit strange to engage an agency for 'only' GMB services, but allow me to make the example), $144 additional/month can obviously become unsustainable no matter who is paying. If absorbing the cost ourselves, we may lose our margins. If passing the invoice to the dentist, they would respond "stop the call tracking, we don't care about it, we are happy and know its working". That's great news and all, but wait until a bad month happens and the client retracts their budgets, etc. This is where we would need the ammo of a call report.

Colan if you can't tell, I talk/write too much; ha! Thank you, again, for your insight!
Best,
David
 

joetroyer

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We've done this for 300+ local customers in maps. And we haven't had any rankings drop from it.

I would REALLY suggest doing it.

Proving your worth is important ;)

We use the service we built analytic call tracking.
 
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Use Callrail if you're worried about pricing - CallRail Call Tracking Pricing Sign Up | Call Tracking and Analytics

You get 500 minutes included with the lowest package and it works out well for us. Even upgrading to the agency plan doesn't take too much of a hit.

Just being really honest, if you're worried about the cost of call tracking then you might be worried about the wrong thing. Call tracking is a crucial tool to help you understand where your marketing efforts are best spent (eg, how are people finding the business and how can I get more of those), and it's important for the client to understand the value of the service. Call tracking is more valuable in the long run than the cost to run. Once you see the value, the cost doesn't really matter as much.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Nice. Can I be annoying and ask one more question? ha... My original post mentioned how the call tracking is really more about demonstrated ROI than anything else. I worry about the "per minute" pricing becoming very expensive. We have clients who already get a high volume of calls and if the call tracking were in-force for a long period of time, this could turn into a pretty hefty bill at .04 USD/minute.

How does the billing shake out, on balance/ball park, when using the service? I would imagine some of those can become quite lofty.

Example of a small client: Dentist office getting average of 30 calls per day, average of 4-minutes per call (with voice prompts, hold music, schedule appt, etc, 4 minutes can be a low number but this is just an example). 120 minutes times .04 cents per minute is $4.80 per day, or ~$144/month.

For a small client hiring us for "GMB Optimization only" (which would obviously be a bit strange to engage an agency for 'only' GMB services, but allow me to make the example), $144 additional/month can obviously become unsustainable no matter who is paying. If absorbing the cost ourselves, we may lose our margins. If passing the invoice to the dentist, they would respond "stop the call tracking, we don't care about it, we are happy and know its working". That's great news and all, but wait until a bad month happens and the client retracts their budgets, etc. This is where we would need the ammo of a call report.

Colan if you can't tell, I talk/write too much; ha! Thank you, again, for your insight!
Best,
David
That's a really good question. We have all of our clients set it up themselves. And for the most part there's no issues with pricing and payments. But we definitely do have some clients that just receive so many calls because they're in a really big city like New York City that we just turn it off.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

HRobinson

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Example of a small client: Dentist office getting average of 30 calls per day, average of 4-minutes per call (with voice prompts, hold music, schedule appt, etc, 4 minutes can be a low number but this is just an example). 120 minutes times .04 cents per minute is $4.80 per day, or ~$144/month.

That's great news and all, but wait until a bad month happens and the client retracts their budgets, etc. This is where we would need the ammo of a call report.
I'm curious about your situation you have put forward.

Do you pull the current call tracking data for free from GMB? Break it down by location and time of day and report to your client these numbers currently?

Are the numbers you pull with Twilio or a service what is needed to keep the client vs what is currently free call reporting? If $144 is a small client is it worth $200+ in fees to keep the client over the free call reporting already available?

Is the difference in a service conversion related? That is a call length to conversion estimate you would provide in your reporting? Is that the justification to spend more over the current call data available for free?

Again I don't know and curious what you are thinking.
 

JoshuaMackens

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It looks like Moz Local is refusing to manually change your phone number in their system.

This means when they notice your phone number changes on Google My Business to the tracking number, it's going to change in Moz Local. Effectively ruining your citations on many sites.

I just found this out today and I'm looking to move on from Moz Local.

Is anyone else using a competitor to Moz Local and happy with it?
 
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I also use CallRail and have been quite happy with it, the prices are reasonable but I'm also dealing with relatively small call volumes. I would agree with Colan that I've experimented with call tracking numbers in GMB and had no ranking issues. I did ( as your image suggests ) still include the local number in the secondary slot.
 

FriarTuck00

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It looks like Moz Local is refusing to manually change your phone number in their system.

This means when they notice your phone number changes on Google My Business to the tracking number, it's going to change in Moz Local. Effectively ruining your citations on many sites.

I just found this out today and I'm looking to move on from Moz Local.

Is anyone else using a competitor to Moz Local and happy with it?
We use Moz Local, as well. We have found that Moz Local changes the number in ML as well as creating/updating listings on sites such as Infogroup, Neustar/Localeze, Foursquare and Hotfrog.

Are you still using Moz Local? Still putting tracking numbers in GMB?
 
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We ended up disconnecting the pushes to our GMB Account from MOZ Local for this reason and a few others. We still have the service for the remaining directories, but GMB is just too feature-rich now for a software like this to cover all bases. Instead, we're using dbaPlatform.com because it's solely focused on GMB (disclaimer, dbaPlatform is something we helped to invent, haha). :)
 

JoshuaMackens

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We use Moz Local, as well. We have found that Moz Local changes the number in ML as well as creating/updating listings on sites such as Infogroup, Neustar/Localeze, Foursquare and Hotfrog.

Are you still using Moz Local? Still putting tracking numbers in GMB?
I am not using Moz Local anymore. I quit using them. Looking for another alternative.

Still using tracking numbers, for sure. GREAT way to prove ROI.
 

JoshuaMackens

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We ended up disconnecting the pushes to our GMB Account from MOZ Local for this reason and a few others. We still have the service for the remaining directories, but GMB is just too feature-rich now for a software like this to cover all bases. Instead, we're using dbaPlatform.com because it's solely focused on GMB (disclaimer, dbaPlatform is something we helped to invent, haha). :)
This sounds like it disconnects GMB from Moz Local but in this case I think Moz Local is still grabbing your info from GMB, correct?

For instance, I've never connected the two (honestly didn't know you could) but they still try to pull info in from GMB.
 

FriarTuck00

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We ended up disconnecting the pushes to our GMB Account from MOZ Local for this reason and a few others. We still have the service for the remaining directories, but GMB is just too feature-rich now for a software like this to cover all bases. Instead, we're using dbaPlatform.com because it's solely focused on GMB (disclaimer, dbaPlatform is something we helped to invent, haha). :)
How did you disconnect pushes to GMB from Moz Local? Ideally, Moz Local should verify those listings with the Facebook page for the business and not the GMB listing.
 
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If you mean the MOZ disconnect feature, then I don't really know! I think we've had it that way for quite a while but it's also possible our team was just reverting pushed changes manually.

If you meant the other tool, then yes. I know dbaPlatform is definitely brand new. It's pretty awesomeSauce too :)
dbaplatform.com
 

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