How to Track Phone Calls in Google Analytics

We’re as big an advocate of data-based marketing as anybody out there. In order to make informed marketing decisions, it’s important to track more than what a basic Google Analytics set up will give you. Did you know that with a combination of Analytics and Tag Manager it’s possible to track the engagement of almost any element on your website?

If you want to move beyond basic pageview tracking on your website, contact links such as email links and phone numbers, are a good place to start. While we’ll never know how many people viewed a number on your site, picked up their phone and dialed, there is one way we can get an idea of how effective a phone number is.

Phone Call Tracking Using Google Tag Manager

Before you get started tracking phone calls you’ll need to make sure you have Google Tag Manager set up on your site. Then you’re going to set up some new variables and create a new tag and trigger set.

Step 1: Link phone number

The first step to being able to track phone calls coming from your website is to set up each phone number as a link. On your website, whether you built it on WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, or any other platform, create telephone links the same way as if it was a regular text link. The only difference is that the destination URL will be tel: followed by your phone number.

e.g. <a href=”tel:17097692725”>1-709-769-2725</a>

Turning your phone numbers into links will allow visitors on desktop as well as mobile to launch calls directly from your site and will allow Google Tag Manager to track these clicks.

Step 2: Set Up Tag Manager Variables

Now we move into Google Tag Manager (GTM) for the rest of this setup. We’re going to ensure that the click variables we need are enabled and also set up a Google Analytics settings variable.

  1. In GTM, navigate to the Variables section.
  2. The top part of the Variable section is for Built-In Variables. In this section click the Configure button.
  3. In the menu that opens; scroll down and check:
    1. Page URL
    2. Page Path
    3. Click URL
  4. Next, you’ll want to create a user-defined variable to connect your Analytics account.
  5. In the User-Defined Variables section, click on the New button
  6. Name the variable GA – Settings
  7. For the variable type, scroll down to Utilities section and select Google Analytics Settings
  8. For the Tracking ID, enter the tracking ID from your Google Analytics property
  9. Click Save

Google Analytics GTM Settings

Step 3: Create a trigger

In Google Tag Manager you’ll need to get up a new trigger to indicate when a phone number was clicked so that the tag can be sent to Google Analytics.

  1. Click on Triggers in the left-hand menu and then click on the New button.
  2. Name the new trigger Phone Click and click in the Configuration box to set it up
  3. Choose Click – Just Links as your trigger type
  4. In the configuration box check both checkboxes
  5. Enable the trigger for all pages
    Page URL matches RegEx .*
  6. Select the Some Link Clicks radio button
  7. Fire the trigger when Click URL contains tel:
  8. Save the trigger

Step 4: Create a tag

  1. Click on Tags in the left-hand menu and then click on the New button.
  2. Name the new tag Telephone Click Event and click in the Configuration box to set it up
  3. Select Universal Analytics as your tag type
  4. For track type, choose Event
  5. Category: Telephone Links
    Action: {{Click URL}}
    Path: {{Page Path}}
  6. Under Google Analytics settings, choose your existing GA settings variable
  7. Save the tag

You’ve now completed setting up phone call tracking on your site. Publish your changes and soon you’ll see data start to populate Google Analytics. You can now use these events in dashboards and to set up conversion goals.

If you have any questions about phone call tracking in Google Analytics, please get in touch.

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