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For our first marketing myth, as a part of our newly released Marketing Mythbusters series,  we’ll take a look into Google tracking numbers. In the past, it was feared that Google tracking numbers might interfere with your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistency, which would then negatively impact your local SEO. While this may have held true in the past, it is no longer the case. Throughout this blog, we’ll explain why your multi-location business should start using Google tracking numbers, and explain why tracking numbers will no longer hurt your business’s local SEO. 

A Brief Overview of Google Tracking Numbers 

While tracking numbers on Google My Business (GMB) have been around for years,  the ability to use them on local listings has changed. A tracking number allows your business to track calls and attribute them to specific campaigns. Through Google tracking numbers, a call is tracked as a conversion, which can help you analyze campaign performance and determine the best performing ads. For instance, if you have a variety of ad campaigns live at once, and you want to know which campaigns are generating the most calls, tracking numbers can help. 

Benefits of Google Tracking Numbers on GMB 

Tracking numbers on GMB were previously advised against because you wanted name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistent across all online directories and local listings to avoid being penalized by Google. Having different phone numbers in different places previously confused Google’s algorithms and it would hurt your SEO. That has changed! 

Google has updated its algorithm, and now there is nothing wrong with using a tracking number for your GMB accounts – as long as you list your business’s local phone number under the “additional phone number” option. Adding in a tracking number for GMB will allow your multi-location business to boost its local SEO and increase call volume. Local SEO is a critical component of growing visibility around your multi-location business. 

With many businesses limiting their hours during this time of social distancing, it provides an opportunity to spend time improving your local search and social pages. We also know that budgets can be tight due to the impacts of COVID-19, but Google tracking numbers are free. If your multi-location business is looking for a way to track calls that your business receives, it’s time to add Google tracking numbers. 

Requirements Before Getting Started 

Now that we have busted the myth and shown that Google tracking numbers can be beneficial to your multi-location business, it’s time to get started. There are certain things that your multi-location business must already have in place to be able to utilize Google tracking numbers. These include:

  • A Google Ad account 
  • A website for your business 
  • The ability to edit the website for your business 
  • An active call extension for your multi-location business 
  • A company in an eligible country (If your business is in the U.S., you are qualified!) 

If your multi-location business meets all of the requirements, you can start setting up your Google tracking number. There are quite a few steps to set up your Google tracking number for your business, and it can seem quite complicated, but Google Ads is here to help! Google Ads lays out step by step instructions on how to set up and activate your Google tracking number. 

Once you have your Google tracking number set up, it’s essential to have a robust localized marketing strategy to ensure that your business will be able to engage with the audience you attract from Google Ads and ultimately convert them to leads. Any listings that are not up-to-date will hurt the chances of your business appearing in the local search results of Google. Consistent and accurate listings in times of crisis and beyond allow your business to become more trustworthy in the eyes of Google and the likelihood your business will show up in local search results increases. 

If you’re looking for a way to build a winning localized marketing strategy, SOCi is here to help! SOCi can help your multi-location business manage its local search, social, reviews, ads, and more! All from a single platform. For more information on SOCi and ways we can boost your business’s localized marketing strategy, request a demo today


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