Your phone number plays a crucial role in optimizing your company web pages for SEO. It adds credibility to your online presence, makes you more accessible and approachable, and makes it easier for people to take a critical action: giving you a call, so they can start their customer journey.
In today's look at SEO best practices, we focus on where people go wrong when it comes to putting their phone number online and how the companies at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) get it right.
Phone Number Mistakes to Avoid
If you notice any of the following on any of your web pages, take steps to get it fixed right away, so you stop missing out on potential leads:
No Phone Number in the Header: Leaving the phone number out of the website header is a "rookie mistake" that even well-established websites make. We recommend putting the phone number in the top-left corner of the website header on every page of your website. Put it in a style that is consistent with your brand color palette, but make sure it stands out from the rest of the text so that it's clearly visible.
People Aren't Answering the Phone: Here's the bottom line. Response times impact close rates. Some companies have their website phone numbers connected to a voicemail that's only checked once every week or two. Answering the phone at the number listed on your website not only prevents leads from getting cold fast, it makes your customer experience warmer and more personal from the start.
Your Number Isn't Tied to Your Analytics: If your number isn't tied to your website analytics dashboards, your sales and marketing teams won't know how many calls are coming from your website. This means you could either be overspending on a campaign that's not generating a lot of calls, or you could have a campaign getting you a lot of phone leads that's flying under the radar.
It's Hard for People to Call You or Find Your Phone Number: Making it hard for people to locate your phone number, or causing them to take extra steps to call you (like dialing the number instead of clicking to call), means you run the risk of missing leads, of people losing interest, or of people dialing the wrong number.
Your Phone Number Isn't Current or Correct: It's true. There are websites, and even Google My Business listings, where a well-known company has a broken, old, or outdated phone number. Even if there are other ways for people to get in touch with you, that's not the first impression you want to make.
The bad news? Any of these mistakes are going to hurt your lead strategy, and could negatively impact your ranking over time. The good news, many of these are easily fixed, and you should start to see improvements in lead generation and conversions over time once phone number issues have been addressed.
Phone Number Best Practices for SEO and Leads
Check your site right away to make sure these SEO/user experience improvements are in place and working correctly:
Header and Footer Placement: Along with the top-left header placement, make sure the phone number is in the footer of every page. You may want to double-check this in case your sub-service pages or product pages are formatted differently from other pages on your site.
Make It Personal: Add a few words, "Call us today!" or "Ask for Bill!' to remind people they can expect to talk to a person when they call.
Let People Know What to Expect: Make it clear from the content on your home page or landing pages what will happen when they call. Will they hear from you within 24 hours? Can they request a callback if there's a wait? Will they get a follow-up email? Make everything clear from the start.
Use the Right Number Type for Your Scope of Service: If you're a national company or HQ, have a toll-free number. If you're a local business that intends to keep services local, use your local area code.
Click to Call: Make phone numbers clickable whenever they appear on your site so people can call you with one click (or one tap on mobile) without having to jump through a bunch of hoops.
We have no doubt that starting with something as simple as making a phone number interactive and keeping it current across all your platforms will go a long way in improving your rank and enhancing your lead strategy. And you'll be able to see that success in real-time, especially if your phone number is tied to your analytics software and your marketing campaigns.