Dynamic Number Insertion: How to Use Call Tracking Safely Without Harming SEO

Can call tracking hurt your SEO efforts? Will you be penalized by Google for using multiple phone numbers?

The concerns over call tracking and its effect on SEO have been the subject of long debates over the last decade! Some people will say it’s okay to use call tracking, while others will claim that it damages your SEO and online reputation. So what’s the truth? What should you believe?

Today, we are going to bring all your apprehensions to rest by telling you all you need to know about call tracking and its impact on SEO. By the end of this article, you will be able to make an informed decision and know the best ways to use call tracking without harming your SEO.

But first, a few words on call tracking.

What is Call Tracking?

Let’s discuss a bit about call tracking so that you are able to understand its relationship with SEO. Call tracking enables you to track the sources and conversions of inbound calls coming from different marketing sources.

Call tracking solutions assign a unique tracking number to each source or campaign so that you know where the calls came from. The tracking number is assigned automatically and forwards the calls to your business phone number. As a result, each visitor sees a different number, which is included in any interaction the person has with your company.

You can assign a unique tracking number for each marketing channel like PPC, organic, retargeting and more. This enables you to associate your leads and conversions down to a specific campaign.

Now let’s see why people think call tracking is bad for SEO.

Call Tracking: Concerns for SEO

SEO or search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your website and its elements to provide the best user experience. SEO focuses on several aspects like keywords, site loading speed, schema markup, backlinks and more to make your site user-friendly and facilitate indexing on search engines.

SEO also involves staying on top of guidelines released by various search engines so that you can tune your site for the best results. Google is undoubtedly the largest search engine and has over 200 signals that it uses to rank websites. Among the top considerations is NAP, which is where all the concerns over call tracking and SEO began.

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number, which are displayed along with your business information, especially in local searches. Now, Google puts a strong emphasis on the consistency of your NAP across your website – meaning that you should use the same address, name and phone number for all of your iterations.

Call tracking inherently uses different phone numbers for different users, and can thus harm your SEO. Why is that?

The search engine bots will find multiple phone numbers on your site and can get confused. Using different numbers goes against Google’s guidelines and there are high chances your reputation may suffer. Ultimately, your ranking can go down!

So, is there any way to safely use call tracking without jeopardizing your SEO?

Dynamic Number Insertion: The Savior

Using different numbers on your website as a part of call tracking was only a concern for old and outdated call tracking solutions. Modern call tracking software uses a technology called Dynamic Number Insertion or DNI to avoid this problem and save you from SEO backlash.

How does DNI work?

DNI uses JavaScript to assign different tracking numbers, while the hard-coded number stays the same. What it means is that every visitor will see a different number based on his/her source. But the bots of search engines will track the number coded into the HTML of your site, which remains the same in all occasions. Only humans see a new number, which is swapped each time using JavaScript.

So search engines like Google will not penalize you, as they will find the same number every time they access your website. All reliable present-day call tracking solutions use DNI, so you can use call tracking confidently without worrying about SEO.

What about Citations and Social Media?

Sadly, you can’t use DNI for sites that you don’t own. This will include other citations, social media profiles, business listings like Google Business and anywhere else your business is listed with NAP. As per Google and best practices, you should stick to the same number that you have hard-coded into your website.

In this case scenario, it’s not wise to use call tracking as you won’t be able to use DNI. So use the same number that you have coded into your HTML for citations and social media profiles.

Tips to Use Call Tracking Safely

Let’s go over a few tips to help you stay clear of SEO mistakes:

  • Never use call tracking for directories, yellow pages and sources that will result in NAP confusions
  • Use a No-Script tag along with JavaScript to facilitate indexing of your NAP-friendly phone number
  • List the actual address and phone number in the footer section of all web pages to give a consistent NAP signal to search engines
  • Take advantage of Telephone itemprop in structured data markup for strong NAP signal

Call Tracking is Safe for SEO

Call tracking is widely used and will not harm your SEO unless it conflicts with your NAP. You can now confidently use call tracking solutions that come with DNI to track your phone conversions without damaging your SEO efforts. Go get ‘em!

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