NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) consistency is one of the most critical ranking factors for local businesses on the internet. Businesses must display a consistent phone number on their website and in local directories (Google Local, Yelp, Facebook, etc) in order to achieve maximum visibility online. CallRail has taken great measures to ensure that dynamic number insertion and call tracking have no impact on NAP. This article covers two methods of implementing call tracking without affecting NAP.
Use this article to learn about:
- The importance of NAP Consistency
- The "Track All Calls" method
- The "Main Line Only" method
NAP consistency is a top priority for many CallRail users and this article is intended to be a supplement to the more advanced breakdown of CallRail and NAP Consistency posted on the CallRail blog:
The Importance of NAP Consistency
When clients search for your business online, they should find it on their first try. NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) consistency assures that your business’s information is the same across directories, citations, and search engines. It is widely thought to be a primary ranking factor for local search on Google. If different names, phone numbers, or addresses for your company are floating around online, search engines are less likely to display the correct business information and therefore less likely to display your business.
The "Track All Calls" Method
The "Track All Calls" method is CallRail's recommended way of maintaining NAP consistency while installing dynamic number insertion on your site.
This will require you to port your number into CallRail and set up keyword-level tracking. Porting a business number into CallRail gives it features like call recording, advanced call routing, and call analytics. Porting numbers in and out of CallRail is always free and we will never keep a number from your business when you are ready to port it out.
If you don't want to port an established number into CallRail, you can create a local offline tracking number to use as your main line number. It's important to know that after creating a brand new main line tracking number, it is still possible that your existing business number could appear online. Mike Blumenthal covers this possibility and makes several suggestions in his blog on call tracking and local SEO.
Main line tracking numbers won't allow you to attribute calls to their exact marketing campaigns, but they will give further insight into the calls that are coming from work you've done on citation cleanup and listing optimizations. It's important to focus on the "first-time callers" performance metric when implementing a main line tracking number as it will inform how many inbound leads are coming from your local SEO work. For more information on how to set up Google Analytics phone call goals for first-time callers, see this blog post.
Once your main line tracking number is set up and placed on your website and around the web, you're ready to add a keyword tracking pool to your website. Keyword-level tracking gives your much more data about the callers who visit your website and how they got there by creating a pool of numbers that are swapped in for the main line tracking number that's been placed on your website.
In order to maintain NAP consistency, it is best practice that you take steps to assure Googlebot and Google Organic searchers only see your main line tracking number. While many marketers choose to forgo this step and do not see any negative impact on local search rankings, it’s widely considered the best practice to conform with Google’s guidelines. You can configure which visitors only see your main line tracking number when configuring your swap target. Choose to track visitors from "all sources except Google organic and direct traffic."
The "Main Line Only" Method
It is possible to track callers who are finding your number online using only a main line tracking number. This is a number you will have to manually place everywhere online and it will not affect your NAP consistency. CallRail recommends the “Track All Calls” method for the most detail about incoming calls; however, the “Main Line Only” method still gives some visibility into call volume and call recordings from local SEO efforts.
You won't see if a call is coming from your own website or somewhere else on the web, but you will still know it came from your online presence. These calls can still be recorded and you will still have access to the caller's information.