We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, tracking calls on any website is incredibly important data for any digital marketing campaign. Whether you’re using Google Ads or trying to track the performance of an SEO campaign then call tracking is a must.
Previously we’ve detailed how you would go about adding call tracking using Google Analytics using custom event tracking. However, since creating this post we’ve since moved onto the more powerful solution provided by Google called Google Tag Manager.
Google Tag Manager, or otherwise called GTM, allows you to embed scripts and tracking codes throughout your site without having to touch your website code (after the initial GTM installation).
Think of it like a big container and within that container is all of your scripts, such as Google Analytics, that you use to track visitors to your site or add other key functionality. Scripts that you might add to this container might include:
- Google Analytics
- Google Ads Call Tracking
- Crazy Egg
- Optin Monster etc.
- Advanced Sitewide event tracking
Within your website code you only need to embed the GTM script which becomes the container for all of your other scripts.
1. Setup Variables
To start with, we need to add a new built-in variable to GTM that we’ll use to get the URL for a link that has been clicked.
1. The first thing you want to do is click on the variables tab and then hit the configure button.
2. Secondly you want to scroll down the list until you find Click URL, hit the checkbox next to this and then close the window.
That’s all you need to do with variables for now.
2. Setup The Link Trigger
The second part of configuring GTM for phone call tracking is to configure a trigger.
A trigger is a condition that evaluates to either true or false at runtime. Triggers are attached to a tag when the tag is fired or not fired. The Trigger is basically the mechanism that says “this telephone link has just been clicked” and the Tag responds by saying “I’ll generate an action to deal with it”.
Without the Trigger the tag will never fire. Make sense?
1. Select triggers from the tabs and then selection new
2. Give the trigger a name, anything you like, and select the option for “Just Links”
This says that we only want this trigger to fire when a link has been clicked. In our case we’re specifically concerned with links that contain “tel:” followed by a phone number.
3. Select Wait for Tags, leave the default 2 second time period, and then enter in the details as shown in the screenshot below.
The following settings are telling this trigger to fire when a link click occurs within any page on our site i.e. matches RegEx .*. However we want this trigger to only occur when clicking a “tel:” link so we need to add some additional information.
The second rule refines our trigger to fire only when the Click URL, i.e. the url of the link that was clicked, contains tel:
Once you’ve added the settings above you can hit the save button.
3. Setup The Tag
Now, the final step is to set up the tag.
Tags typically execute, or fire, when the page loads, or in response to some interaction on the page such as a trigger. As we’ve already configured the tel: trigger we can now assign that to our tag to specify what should happen when the trigger fires.
In our example we’re going to use the Tag to generate an event to Google Analytics.
1. Select tags from the tag and then select new
2. Give the tag a name, anything you like, and select the tag configuration. From the options select universal Google Analytics.
In our example we want to create a tag type using Google Analytics, because we’re generating a Google Analytics event. For the tracking ID you want to ensure that you add your own unique tracking ID from Google Analytics – It will look something like this UA-12341234-1.
Finally, we want the Track Type to be an event.
3. Configure the Event that will fire using this Tag.
Setup your event in the same way we show in the example. Basically what we’re saying is that we want to generate a GA event with the event Category of “telephone”, the action of “click” and we want the event to have a value of the Page URL.
The Non-Interaction Hit should be set to True so that the event does not affect our bounce rate.
One thing to note about events is that, by default, events affect the bounce rate. If a user lands on a page and an event is triggered, they should not be considered a bounce even if they don’t view any additional pages on your site. If someone engages with the page in some way, you probably don’t want to count them as a bounce any more.
4. Setup Goal
Before we setup the Goal in Google Analytics it’s important to understand that our event is firing.
Go to your site and click on one of the telephone links, then go back to Google Analytics and look in the real-time reports for events. You should see the following:
Now all you need to do is set up a Goal in Google Analytics for a custom event with the event Category of “telephone” and an Event Action of “click”.
Need Help Setting Up Google Tag Manager?
If you’ve followed this tutorial and you’re still confused, contact us today for a quote on how we can help you set up comprehensive performance tracking and reporting for your website. Your website is the backbone of any digital marketing campaign so it’s important that businesses track and report on the information that translates to your business goals.