SEO Call Tracking FAQs for Car Dealers | GMB Call Data & More

If you’ve got questions about the who, what, when, where, and why of it all regarding call tracking and SEO, we’ve got the answers. Check out these frequently asked questions below to better understand the benefits of monitoring and measuring inbound calls from organic visitors. Regardless of traffic source, deciphering the calls your car dealership receives is essential, so make sure your call tracking strategy and processes cover your SEO efforts too.  

Why Track Calls from Organic Traffic?

Just because organic traffic doesn’t have an ascribed budget in the same way that a paid campaign does, doesn’t mean that it’s any less important to be evaluating the quantity and quality of calls coming from these users. More data is always going to be useful in determining what’s working and what’s not. Are your SEO efforts producing sales calls? Service calls? General inquiries? Use call tracking to find out.     

And while we’re on the topic of why, it’s also worth noting that over fifty percent of organic traffic comes from mobile devices, meaning these people are using the “click to call” button to contact your dealership. This insightful data is very much available to anyone willing to track it. So why wouldn’t you?    

Where Should We Use Call Tracking Numbers for SEO?

From an SEO perspective there’s two obvious places to be using call tracking numbers.

 One, on your website. A dynamic number is the most elegant solution to on-site call tracking as this method displays a unique phone number based on the traffic source. Meaning users from direct traffic will see a different number than someone who enters the site via a Google search. This allows calls to be properly, and automatically, attributed to their marketing channels.

 Two, on your business listings. Additional online assets like business listings from Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, and Foursquare (just to name a few) routinely rank on page-one for dealership-related searches so it’s also worth assigning a specific tracking number to these, one that differs from the website. They don’t each need to have their own unique number, although Google My Business can because it’s a different animal altogether, but it’s still ideal to separate these calls from those that come “from inside the house” aka directly from the website. 

Will Call Tracking Numbers Interfere With My Business Listings?

Short answer, no. 

Longer answer, still no, but once upon a time best practices for business listing optimization was to keep a consistent name, address, and local phone number (NAP) across all online assets. The fear was that introducing a different phone number into the local ecosystem would essentially cause chaos in the form of duplicate business listings and general confusion among search engines.

However, search engines have gotten smarter over the years and now better understand that businesses may have more than one phone number or use tracking numbers. Additionally, business listing management tools like Yext, Moz Local, and BrightLocal make it much easier to verify, control, and edit these listings from one centralized dashboard. If you’re still having reservations about using a tracking number here’s a detailed debunking of five common call tracking and local SEO myths.

Where Can I Find Call Data in Google My Business?

Whether you’re using a tracking number or not, Google My Business does have some call metrics worth checking out, such as calls per day and missed call totals. 

You can find these in the traditional Insights tab of the backend of Google My Business. For call totals scroll down to the “Customer Actions” section and for the missed calls data click on the link for the new Profile Performance report from the “Your insights are moving” message located at the top of the Insights page.

Where Can I Find Call Data in Google My Business?

Assuming the click to call button on your website has a corresponding event firing into your Google Analytics account, this data would be located in:

Behavior → Events → Top Events

In a perfect world these events will be intuitively labeled but some clicking around through event categories, actions, and labels might be required to find what you’re looking for. If it’s not immediately obvious, reach out to your call tracking provider to ensure that they are indeed firing events and to learn what the naming conventions are. It’ll be much easier to locate these metrics if you know what you’re looking for.  

To see calls just from organic users, add the organic segment to focus in on just this subset of traffic.


How Do I Set Up a Goal in Google Analytics to Track Click to Call?

For car dealers, phone calls are conventionally considered to be hard conversions and therefore should be tracked as a goal within Google Analytics. If events allow it, I would even recommend setting up separate goals for sales and service phone calls. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to the Admin section. 
  2. Click on Goals, which you’ll find under the View column to the far right. Then click on the red +New Goal button to add / create a new goal. 
  3. Under the Goal setup section, select Custom, and hit continue. 
  4. In the Goal description area, give the goal a name and select Event as the goal type. Hit continue. 
  5. As for Goal details, use the naming conventions discovered in the Top Events section for calls to fill in the corresponding category, action, and / or label fields. 
  6. Click on Verify this Goal to check your work.    
  7. Hit Save. 

Just an FYI: This goal will track calls from all traffic sources so this data will need to be inspected within the organic channel or with an organic segment applied to see goal completions for just organic traffic. Also, goal completions only track going forward. Google Analytics will not populate historical data from before the goal existed, so the longer you put off creating a goal or goals, the longer you go without having these helpful insights at your disposal.

If you’d like a second set of eyes to inspect your call tracking efforts including Google Analytics events and click to call goals, contact the PCG team for a digital audit.

Picture of Jamie Paton
Jamie Paton
Jamie Paton is the SEO Director at PCG Digital by day and a TV connoisseur by night. As an experienced digital marketing nerd with a knack for search engine optimization and content creation, she channels her powers for good by developing strategies, poking around Google Analytics and Search Console, and by writing blogs like this one for PCG.

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