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    Question Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    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?

    Name:  add-a-second-phone-number-to-GMB-theory.png
Views: 195
Size:  29.4 KB

    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.
    David Hunter
    Epic Web Studios

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  4. #2
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    Re: Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by epicwebstudios View Post
    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?

    Name:  add-a-second-phone-number-to-GMB-theory.png
Views: 195
Size:  29.4 KB

    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
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

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    Re: Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    Thank you for the feedback, Colan! May I ask what service you use for your call tracking?
    David Hunter
    Epic Web Studios

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    Re: Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    Call Tracking Metrics

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

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    Re: Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colan Nielsen View Post
    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
    David Hunter
    Epic Web Studios

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    Re: Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    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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    Re: Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    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.
    My rarely updated website (I should fix that) - https://www.ericrohrback.com
    Follow me on Twitter
    Want to talk? Book time with me here

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    Re: Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by epicwebstudios View Post
    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
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

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  17. #9
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    Re: Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    Quote Originally Posted by epicwebstudios View Post
    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.

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    Re: Debate: GMB Call Tracking - Yay or Nay?

    Darren put this insightful video together that adds some food for thought to this discussion.

    Can You Use a Call Tracking Number in Google My Business? - Whitespark Weekly - Whitespark
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

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