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How to Track Calls from Mobile Phones Using Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics

How to Track Calls from Mobile Phones Using Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics

Modern smartphones give users the ability to seamlessly call your business by clicking on the phone number on your website. Tracking these calls is the first step toward understanding how these potential customers are finding your site and whether your marketing campaigns are working. In this tutorial, we’re going to show you step by step how to set up tracking of phone calls from mobile device users using Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics. This tutorial assumes you have already set up Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics, and installed the code on your site. If you haven’t, you’ll want to start with these tutorials first:

How to Set Up Google Analytics

How to Set Up Google Tag Manager


Configuring Google Tag Manager to Track Phone Call Clicks


Set Up Google Tag Manager Variables


Google Tag Manager Workspace



Before you can start tracking that a mobile phone call was made via a click to call link, you need to make sure some variables are enabled to capture this data. Click Variables, then Configure. We’ll be looking to clicks that contain tel: in the URL, so make sure that Click URL is checked. If you plan to set up other tracking, simply check all the variables under Clicks. Keep in mind if you have set up other tags and triggers to track other click-based conversions in Tag Manager, these may already be checked.


Google Tag Manager Configure Built-in Variables


Now, let’s create a tag to capture your phone call clicks.


Create a Google Tag Manager Tag to Track Phone Calls from Mobile Devices


Next, we are going to set up a tag that will tell Google Analytics to create an event with certain parameters when someone clicks your click to call link, and a trigger to alert the tag when someone has actually clicks to call you. As previously mentioned, we will identify when someone clicks a click to call link which always has “tel:” in the link.

To create a new tag:

Click Add a New Tag


Google Tag Manager Workspace


Click the Tag Configuration box and select the type of tag you would like to use. Since we would like to set up Google Analytics Event tracking, we will choose Google Analytics – Universal Analytics.


Google Tag Manager Choose Tag Type


Under Track Type choose Event.

Now enter the tracking parameters you would like to assign. You can use any name you want, but for this example, we will use Call as the Category and Click as the Action. Since you want to track when someone clicks to call you, this name will be easy to recall when you set up the Goal in Google Analytics, which will cover next.


Google Tag Manager Configure Universal Analytics


Under Google Analytics Settings, click New Variable and input your Google Analytics ID so Google Tag Manager knows where to report the event. If you don’t know your ID or how to log into Google Analytics and find it, follow these instructions.


Google Tag Manager Setup Google Analytics


Click Save.


Create a Trigger


Now you need to add a Trigger which tells the Tag when to run. In this case, we only want to tag to execute when someone clicks the click to call links. Click Add Trigger to continue.


Google Tag Manager Add Trigger


Click the + sign and then click the Trigger Configuration box.


Google Tag Manager Choose Trigger


Since we are tracking a click chose Click – All Elements

Since we are only looking to track the click of a specific button, in this case, contact form submission button, choose Some Clicks.

Select Click URL from the first drop down, Contains from the second on, and enter tel: into the field. Since click to call links are contain tel:, this is an easy way to identify the link.

Next, click Save and name your trigger. For example, you can call it Phone Call Clicks.

Name your Tag and click Save.


Google Tag Manager Submit Form


Finally, you’ll need to save and publish your container.

Click Submit, type in a few words that will describe what you created (or updated) and click Publish.


Google Tag Manager Submit


Test Your Tag


Now it’s time to test. Open Google Analytics. Open your website in on your mobile device and navigate to a page that has your phone number. Click to call yourself and then hang up. Quickly go back to Google Analytics and click Realtime. If you used the Category and Action we suggested, you should see that the Event Category is Call and the Event Action is Click. If you see them, you are all ready to set up your event tracking goals. If you don’t see an event tracked at all, carefully retrace the steps above. In particular, make sure you have used the right logic in your variable and be sure to re-publish the container if you make any changes.


Google Analytics Realtime Events



If everything looks OK, let’s set up the Event Goal.


Setting up Goals to Track Mobile Phone Clicks in Google Analytics


What are Event Goals?


An Event Goal tracks when a user completes a particular action that meets one or more conditions defined in the Google Tag Manager tag.

Events are typically defined with one or more of the following attributes:

  1. Category
  2. Action
  3. Label
  4. Value

The Goal only triggers when each of the category, action, and label attributes is executed. In this example, we used Call as the category and Click as the Action, so we need to set up a Goal to register a conversion if Category = Call and Action = Click.


How to Set Up Event Goals to Track Phone Call Clicks


Click the Admin menu, which looks like a gear, Goals, + New Goal.


Google Analytics Goals Screen


Under 1 Goal Setup, select Custom and then Continue.


Google Analytics Goal Setup Step 1


Under 2 Goal Description, enter a Goal Name. (Note: Use something you’ll recognize, for example “Phone Call Clicks”).

Select Event, and then Continue.


Google Analytics Goals Setup Step 2


Under Goal Details, enter the Call as the Category. Enter Click as the Action.

Click Save


Google Analytics Goal Setup Step 3 - Goal Details


Testing Event Goals


Now, test your Goal and make sure everything is set up correctly. From Google Analytics, click Real Time, then Conversions. Call yourself from your mobile device.  If everything was set up correctly, your goal should be recorded and you’ll know because there will be a 1 next to the goal in the Active Users column. If your Event Goal was incorrectly set up, go back into the admin and edit your goal, and confirm you followed the above seven steps exactly. If you aren’t sure you identified the proper category or action, select Real-Time and then Events and look to see what Event Category and Event Action were recorded. If you used the suggested category and action, Category should be Call and the Action should be Click. Keep in mind events are case sensitive and need to be defined precisely.


Google Analytics Realtime Conversions



Now that you’re able to track mobile phone calls from users who visit your website, you can take your marketing analysis to the next level with Jess. Our marketing analytics dashboard will let you see at a glance which channels or campaigns are driving potential leads to call your business. Start analyzing your campaign performance for free today! Then go even further with Jess phone call tracking software. Jess is the only marketing analytics platform that will let you calculate the cost for each qualified lead that calls your business.

Stuck setting up conversion tracking for your mobile phone calls? Just post a comment below and our Jess marketing experts will help you out.

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