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Does Call Tracking Affect My SEO?

Does Call Tracking Affect My SEO?
Dr. Christopher Phelps

There is a ton of misinformation out there about call tracking and SEO. Dr. Phelps dispels those myths and explains how it actually works.


How do you know which online advertising campaigns are connecting new patients to your practice, and which are a waste of money? To get a clear picture of what advertising works and which doesn’t, you need to use a call tracking program like Call Tracker ROI. Call tracking software tells you which calls came from which sources. You can see which advertising campaigns resulted in new patients and then adjust your marketing budget to get a better return on the money you spend.
Sometimes people worry that using call tracking in combination with a web campaign can confuse Google and other search engines. They’ve read that it disrupts their “NAP”, and that, in turn, affects “SEO.” To understand why this is an irrational fear, you need to understand a little bit about search engines, how they work, and how reputable firms use call tracking.

Google Takes a NAP

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of making your website comprehensible to major search engines like Google. The search engines use software programs called bots to examine websites and find relevant data. These bots collect the information that lets the search engines index your site and match it with queries from users. When bots collect better data, they can do a better job matching your site with people who are looking for it.

One piece of information that the bots look for is the name, address, and phone number (NAP) for your business. If your phone number is consistent across multiple sources, Google will list it with your site. This is especially important to new patients who search using mobile devices. If the phone number is there, 61% of the people who find you will call you, and those calls lead to new patients. If the phone number doesn’t display, 47% of mobile users will contact one of your competitors, even if you were their first choice for a dental practice. If the bots can’t find a consistent NAP for your practice, you lose business.

The Right Way to Track Calls

Call tracking affects SEO when it disrupts the NAP. But that only happens when firms are sloppy about how they track calls, for instance, simply giving different numbers to a bunch of online directories, or using different phone numbers on different pages of their websites. If your call tracking company understands how to code for the web, they can insert tracking numbers without disrupting the NAP for your site. The Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association has detailed a few different ways to use call tracking without affecting SEO and NAP. For instance, programmers can use JavaScript to display tracking numbers to human visitors but your actual number to search bots. They can use tags, footers, and HTML schema to make sure that bots grab your real phone number, not tracking numbers.  Basically, with just a little bit of attention, a good web programmer can make your site friendly to call tracking and search engine bots at the same time.

Once you start call tracking, it will actually help SEO. You’ll gain insight into which keyword searches bring you actual new patients, not just website views. You’ll be able to target your marketing dollars so that they reach the people most likely to make an appointment. You’ll have the hard data you need to help you grow your practice. You don’t have to choose between SEO and call tracking. Use both, and help your practice thrive.

Is your practice using call tracking? Let us know in the comments!

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