If you have your number in your header, your footer, your content, WhitePages, YellowPages, Facebook, Twitter, and a hundred other sites, all of those sites — to the extent you can control — should display the accurate number. Call tracking can operate in a few different ways.
You can have scripts that dynamically change a number based on information about the user, such as referral data or demographics. You can use different numbers for different sources, sort of like using different UTM parameters for the same link on different sites. That second option is the worst option.
This way Google will always see one number, which you can make consistent across other sites as well. For example, you can track information about calls made via your number through Google Ads, when a user on a mobile device or with a VoIP client installed click to call the number. SEO is so important that any call tracking solution that hurt websites would have been run out of business by now.
Other than call tracking, there are plenty of reasons why your business might have multiple phone numbers. Do any of these sound familiar? In all of these situations, your single website is likely to have a lot of different phone numbers present. Yet, as we know from above, having one phone number consistent across all locations is vitally important.
So how can this be reconciled? The key SEO element you want to research is multi-practitioner listings.
Here are your general options. The first option is to strip out all numbers except a primary number. You can then set up a phone tree or phone system to answer that number, which then allows users to navigate the tree to get to your front desk or to any individual or department within. There are dozens of business phone systems available that can handle the call directing.
The benefit to this option is that only your primary number is displayed anywhere. Generally, contacting a specific person within your phone system involves using an extension as well, so even if someone posts an extension somewhere, the primary number is still the same. The second option is to keep a primary number in prime position, and list secondary numbers in a directory on an About page or directory page. Now, you can keep them straight by labeling each of them clearly, but it can still be a bit of a mess depending on your formatting.
You absolutely need to make sure your primary number is given a position of importance and is labeled primary.
Several resources are available to aid you in researching phone numbers. It may be hard to believe, but you can find the name and address of an individual. Search over million records to see who called with our phone number search The name and address of the person or business associated with the phone.
This becomes an issue if various numbers could be considered primary, such as having three branches for the same business. The third option is to give each unique entity that has its own number its own profile page with its contact information.
This defeats the directory problem, but brings up a problem of duplicate content or of confusion about the relative importance of each number. In many cases, Google is smart enough to identify which number is the primary, or at least assign each number to is own branch , but you do need to make it clear which is which. This is why you never see orphaned numbers on websites; they always go with a full NAP entry whenever possible. With all three options, the key is adequate labeling. As long as Google can associate a name, an address, and a phone number together, all three unique pieces of information become a unique identifier.
When you have multiple numbers for the same address, they have different names. When you have multiple numbers for the same name, they generally have different addresses. By identifying the combinations, Google can keep them all straight. With all of this in mind, you might be asking yourself whether or not you really even need a phone number. Many web businesses, particularly those run by entrepreneurs or other solo owners, might feel they can do all of their relevant business over email.
There are a few problems with this. For one thing, having a phone number is an element of trust. Without a full NAP, Google and some other sites , not to mention customers, trust you less. You already might be dropping the address for a web-based business, so dropping a phone as well can hurt that much more.
Additionally, if you choose to not have a phone number, you lose out on two major elements of marketing: phone sales and phone support. Phone sales are hugely important, particularly amongst the older generations. Young folks might be fine communicating over email or chat, but many people still prefer phone over other alternatives. If nothing else, a phone conversation can be a much faster way to progress from lead to sale than a slow email chain or an outsourced chat box.
The harder you are to contact when an issue arises, the less likely a user is to convert in the first place, and the more likely they are to have a negative impression of you if support fails. I would say that, in general, you need a phone number for your brand. Address may be expendable, and name may be a given, so a phone number splits the difference.
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