A question recently came up around Local SEO and implementing call tracking software for a client. In this case, the call tracking numbers replace the original phone numbers no matter the referral source, so this includes organic search. This opened a can of worms for us to investigate – are search engine crawlers picking up the new call tracking numbers during their crawl of this site?
The concern is that the call tracking numbers will not match the numbers appearing for BM locations on the directories and listings around the internet (i.e., Yellow Pages, Yelp, Google+, etc.). When inconsistencies are found between directories and the business information on your website, search engines could consider these listings less resolute and reduce rankings.
For this particular execution, the original brick and mortar phone numbers remained hard coded on site and searchable in the source codes; and the tracking numbers dynamically replaced the BM numbers when a user loaded the page. Using DNI (dynamic number insertion) allowed the original number to be viewed by search engines, while the tracking number is only seen by the visitor.
So our takeaway is – understand how the call tracking software is implementing the number change. In our experience, DNI is the best practice to remain in the good graces of the search engines, while also tracking the value of the organic traffic. Feel free to share your experiences in the comment section below or ask any questions you might have – we would welcome the conversation!