Want to track calls from Google - best practices


I want to track calls from Google my business and Google Adwords. What are the best practices?
Should I just use one of the numbers provided from call rail?


That’s what we do. We create one number to track organic and one to track paid — so not quite as granular as you’re looking for.


We’ve started to lean on keyword pools to track the source of all calls if you’re interested in seeing traffic sources like AdWords, organic, direct, referrals, etc.

However, I think for GMB you need to add a single number to track those calls. I know GMB has a setting for you to add a tracking number now to know where those calls are coming from.


If you are a local business you want to make sure the phone number on your GMB matches your website. If not this will cause you organic placement issues. Are you tracking clickthroughs on your GMB listing? If not I can give you the code for tracking.


Hi Jeff, Thanks for that info. I use Wordpress and use the callrail plugin to switch out the #'s on my website. Is that a consistent phone #? So I should use the number that callrail generates as my Google My Business phone #? I guess I won’t know if the calls are coming in from the Google my Business listing or my website then?


Hello Brian,

We work with 1,000 of customers where their GMB listing is critical to their business. Right now we are tracking their click-throughs on the listing by update the URL to look like this: https://website.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=GMB

But we don’t have a tracking number on the listings because we want to make sure the client’s NAP (Name, Address & Phone) is consistent across the web. So what you might want to do is the following.

  1. Move your real telephone number to CallRail.
  2. Setup a different telephone number on your Google listing, but also make that number the swap number on your website. Update all local listings to have this same phone number as well. This can be done with Moz.com/local

Lots of hoops to jump through but it is trackable. Let me know if you have any questions.


Hi Jeff, I’m not sure if I want to move my real number to callrail as I get some telemarketing calls through that number. I have it set to ring on both my real phone and cell phone via callrail then I know it’s a real customer calling. I know it’s a strange system but it works. What’s your email address? Mine is bhentschel at rogers.com. Maybe best to talk this through if you have a few minutes.


I see that Brian and Jeff took the conversation about tracking numbers, Google My Business, and NAP (Name, Address, Phone ) consistency offline.

For others who stumble across this thread and wonder about best practices. What Jeff is talking about in terms of NAP consistency is important. It’s also easy to address:

If you use a keyword pool with dynamic swap on your website, make sure that the swap target is the same as what you list on Google My Business. (The swap target is the number hard-coded onto your website that the dynamic swapping code looks for and replaces with numbers from the keyword pool.)

Take it a step farther: Set up an additional “NAP” tracking number to use on GMB and your website, let that be the swap target for your keyword pool. Since almost all website visitors will see a dynamic number, the calls to your “NAP” tracking number came from GMB.

You really want to feature a single, consistent phone number on all publicly indexed directory listings (GMB, Yelp, Apple Maps, Yellow Pages, etc.). The payoff to consolidating your index signals is far greater than any value you can squeeze out of tracking directory listings with different numbers.


Hi @scgarris! Thanks for sharing this - great insights for CallRail users concerned with NAP consistency.


Easiest way to do this is to create a new offline number in CallRail just for your GMB. It does not need to be the same as the number on your website or keyword pool numbers. List your secondary number on your GMB listing as your real phone number. We do this for all our clients and our own business and it does not affect your rankings. Your CallRail number will only be on the GMB listing and if you build citations or use a data aggregrator use your real phone number. Again, Google is smart enough to know a business can have multiple phone numbers so your rankings will be fine.