Google Removed Call Tracking from Business Profiles. Here’s What Marketers Can Do.

min read
Google Removed Call Tracking from Business Profiles. Here’s What Marketers Can Do.

In early July 2023, many marketers and businesses noticed that Google quietly removed the call tracking feature from Business Profiles. What does this mean for the businesses, agencies, and marketers who drive high-value phone leads through Google Business Profiles and how can they make up for the loss of attribution for calls from local listings?

Update: Google Announces it Will Remove Call History Reports from Google Business Profiles

Google officially announced that as of July 31, 2024, call history reports will no longer be available in Google Business Profiles. You’ll continue to receive calls from your Business Profile and can still track other engagement metrics for your business, like web traffic or directions requests, but call data will no longer be available.

Call Tracking in Google Business Profiles Maligned by Some, Missed By Others

There are mixed feelings about Google Business Profiles (GBP) dropping call tracking. It may not be missed by some, as it was known to be an imperfect feature that would sometimes route phone calls to the wrong business. Google Business Profile expert Ben Fisher tweeted “Good riddance to the buggy mess,” while others like Jim Froling, President at (949) Local Internet Marketing will miss the attribution for calls it provided, saying “one of the most “insightful" insights from a GBP report...gone.”

No matter your feelings about the call tracking feature, missing attribution for calls driven by GBP can have a significant impact on your ability to optimize profiles to drive high-intent phone leads. 

Why Businesses Need to Track Marketing-Driven Phone Calls

The impact of losing GBP call tracking will likely be felt most by small businesses since it was free for them to use and provided valuable attribution insights despite its flaws. Large multi-location businesses, franchises, and chains could see an even greater impact, though, as they rely heavily on local search and GBPs to drive calls to their business locations. 

It’s important to track phone calls because they’re often the best source of leads for multi-location and local businesses. Imagine somebody shopping for a car, an accountant, a plumber, or a storage unit. Or someone who needs to book an appointment to fix their furnace, repair their car, tour a rental property, or see a doctor. Most people do their research online and then call to set an appointment, plan a visit, or get a quote.

In high-touch, locally-based businesses, phone calls are a critical step in the customer journey. The numbers speak for themselves. According to Google:

  • Most searches are on mobile devices, and consumers using mobile search to find businesses are 39% more likely to call them.
  • Each month, search results showing local businesses drive over 2 billion phone calls, website clicks, direction requests, and other connections to US businesses.
  • Phone calls to businesses convert to customers 3x more than web clicks. 

Given the high conversion rate of phone leads, marketers need attribution for calls to optimize their Google Business Profiles and other campaign channels. Without call attribution, you’ll waste time and budget on campaigns and keywords that don’t result in conversions and not invest enough in the ones that get leads on the line. If you don’t know who converted, you’re wasting ad spend retargeting people who already made a purchase, too.

This results in low conversion rates, increased acquisition costs, and wasted ad spending on ineffective campaigns.

How to Use Call Tracking Software with Google Business Profiles

Even though Google Business Profiles are one of the biggest drivers of local leads, most businesses set up their listings and then forget them. Unlike other search channels like Google Ads or organic search that marketers continually monitor and update, the success of Google My Business listings is too often left to chance—but it shouldn’t be given the value of the leads it drives.

By tracking all of the calls from your GBP, you can get the attribution you need to optimize this important channel and get credit for all of the leads you drive.

Now that Google has dropped GBP call tracking, though, it’s up to you to implement a call tracking solution like Invoca to get attribution for calls from your profiles. Here’s how it works.

When someone calls from your Google My Business listings, Invoca attributes the call, captures identifiers and data about the caller (such as phone number, name, location, and device), and connects that data to their call experience and conversation with your business, analyzing if the call was answered, if the caller is a marketing lead, if they converted on the call, and more.

You can view reports on how GBP drives calls that convert to sales opportunities, appointments, and customers in Invoca. Comparing the volume and value of GBP calls to other channels like Google Ads and SEO helps you understand the total impact of your search marketing, and activating Invoca call data in tools like Google Analytics, Adobe Analytics, and Salesforce enables you to analyze online and call conversion results together to see what drives the best results.

With precise routing and more attribution data about calls from your Google Business Profile, you can make smarter optimization decisions that will help you drive more phone leads to your business and provide a better experience for your customers.

Check out this blog post to learn more about how to use call tracking to improve your Google Business Profiles and get attribution for all of the leads you drive.

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