The SEO practitioners on your team are always on the hunt for anything that might impact search ranking. For good reason—results on the first Google search result pages (SERPs) receive 92% off all search traffic and organic results are the most trusted source for people researching a purchase. So if you mess with anything that brings down your search ranking, you can count on your SEO folks frantically knocking down your door and throwing your computer out the window before you can do any more damage. They will also want to know if that fancy new call tracking platform you’re evaluating will negatively affect SEO. 

So, will call tracking software impact search ranking? The short answer is Invoca does not, but some other call tracking platforms can. Here’s the skinny.

What is SEO and How Does SEO Work?

Before hopping into the impact of call tracking, let’s start by talking a bit about SEO in general and why this question even comes up.

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to get organic, or unpaid, traffic from the search engine results page. By making sure your website has a top-notch design, follows the latest SEO best practices, and most importantly, assuring that you publish high-quality content that is relevant to your audience, will help search engines recognize your site as relevant and trustworthy. In turn, you may turn up the search results.

Search engines are continually crawling websites to understand what the site is about and how easy it is to navigate or read. This is to help ensure that their users will receive the best results when using their search engine and consequently, will continue to want to do so. Some of the following factors are what they are looking for when determining your SEO ranking:

  1. Content Marketing = how often are you creating high-quality content to your site, preferably containing relevant keywords or phrases.
  2. On-page SEO = what type of content is on your page and included within the HTML (i.e., descriptions, metadata tags, etc.)
  3. Off-page SEO = how trustworthy is your site based on backlinks from other trustworthy websites and social media likes or shares.

If you check those three boxes, and you’re regularly publishing quality content, you’re well on your way to a decent search ranking. But there are, roughly speaking,  100 billion other factors that Google and Bing take into consideration when ranking your pages, and about 90% of those are locked away in their algorithm hive minds. Just go to any SEO conference and listen for how many times you hear “We think this is what Google does, so we think you should do this.” 

For example, one of the things we think Google looks at as a ranking factor is the consistency of your website, which is why people question whether or not call tracking effects SEO. Call tracking platforms like Invoca insert dynamic phone numbers on web pages, so every user sees a different number, which search engines may see as an inconsistency.

How does Dynamic Number Insertion Work?

Dynamic number insertion (DNI) is how call tracking platforms place their unique tracking phone numbers on your website. Each site visitor is linked to a unique phone number, which is how you get granular insights into the customer journey such as what marketing channel drove them to your site or the landing page they placed their call from. To accomplish this, Invoca uses a “tag”, or a snippet of JavaScript code that is placed on your site.

What is the impact of Call Tracking DNI on SEO and Search Ranking?

Since DNI is changing an element of the page on a 1:1 basis for each user, this can make search engines question the trustworthiness of your site, causing a negative impact on your SEO ranking. Or at least this’s the thought process of your SEO manager when they’re freaking out about you purchasing a call tracking solution.

The truth is, they’re right when it comes to many call tracking solutions. However, the Invoca Tag is a bit smarter, as it is able to differentiate between a search engine crawler and a real human user. When search engine crawlers hit your site, your hardcoded phone number remains intact instead of a dynamic number. This means your on-page content will be consistent, you are deemed trustworthy, and your SEO ranking stays intact!

The bottom line: Invoca call tracking DOES NOT affect your SEO, but other call tracking platforms might. When choosing a provider, make sure to ask all the right questions, including if their platform can hurt your SEO. 

Learn more about how call tracking works (and go to the beach!) at Invoca Summit 2019!

Ariel Middleton

Posted by Ariel Middleton

Ariel Middleton is a Product Marketing Manager at Invoca. Before joining the marketing team, he worked in customer success at multiple companies, which helped to hone a "customer first" mentality for all the work he does. When not working, you will likely find him looking for a new pair of shoes to add to his ever-growing collection.

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