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Why Call Tracking DOESN’T Harm Local SEO

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As avid fans of responsive marketing, we've always got our ears to the ground when it comes to the world of call tracking. We like to see what people are talking about, the things they'd like to know and how they truly feel about call tracking in general.

One topic that seems to be repeating its head recently is the "local SEO vs. call tracking" argument. There are various SEO experts who suggest that implementing call tracking into your marketing mix can actually harm your local SEO rankings. However, from what we've seen, this couldn't be further from the truth. Here's why:

Dynamic phone numbers

Let's tackle the most obvious one first. When you set up a Google Places listing you are required to enter key information for your business; name, address, website and, of course, telephone number.

It is suggested that your Google Places telephone number needs to match that of your website. Call tracking solutions, such as Mediahawk Vision, generate a unique phone number for each visitor, allowing you to track exactly where they come from, which keyword they entered, the referring website, visitor path etc.

So it's easy to conclude that, based on the above SEO theory, call tracking applied to your website can hurt your rankings – right?

Wrong

Google uses spiders to crawl through your code and figure out what your site is about. That's right – it goes by the source code of the website and not what's actually being displayed to the end user.

So what will Google do when it sees, instead of a unique phone number that fails to match to Google Places, but a snippet of Javascript code? Will it penalise you? No. It will keep crawling through your site until it does find a phone number.

As long as your main telephone number can be found somewhere on your site (often under a contact page or the footer) you'll be fine. Which is one case closed.

Using call tracking properly

It's a fact that leads gained from a phone call are the most valuable kind of lead you can acquire. So first of all, why would you sacrifice gaining insight on this source of ROI calculation for the sake of an SEO myth in the first place?

If you are generating leads from the telephone and you want to use call tracking without hurting your local SEO listing, then you should find out how to use it properly.

Static call tracking numbers can and should be applied to traditional marketing methods such as magazine ads, direct mail and perhaps even billboards if that's what currently floats your boat. Typically, it's ill advised to apply a call tracking number on to your Google+ local listing. This COULD hurt your local SEO, but there is not data that backs up the fact that it DOES.

Still, some people do this anyway, namely because their Google+ listing is generating a high quantity of calls they would like to track as the insight gained is often more valuable than the threat of a penalisation from Google.

I think this should suffice as evidence against the now heated "Local SEO and Call Tracking" argument, but if you disagree let us know in the comments below, but please make sure you bring some data to back this up!

Finally, if you're still feeling ill-minded against call tracking, check out this article here to help get you off the fence.

In the name of good fun though, we will always recommend call tracking and will do everything we can to make sure myths (read: claims without data to back them up) are debunked.

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