How to Track Calls from Mobile Pages using Event Tracking

As an internet marketing agency, we are always be looking for methods to track and optimize our efforts.  Google Analytics offers event tracking as part of their growing suite of analytics features.  Our team was tasked with creating mobile landing pages for our cremation services company and we wanted to track how many people click on the phone number.  An “out of the box” Google Analytics implementation doesn’t do this automatically without some alterations to the code for event tracking.  The following steps will teach you how to set this up on your own sites and clients

Step 1 – Create your mobile landing page.  As we’re working on many local clients these days, we opted to purchase Mobile LP plugin for wordpress.  The editor allows for some great custom elements and easy creation (and duplication) of landing pages.  Make sure you include your phone number ABOVE THE FOLD, so people can see it without scrolling.  Also, be sure to  make that number text and not an image.  Text based numbers are typically clickable on touch screen phones.

Step 2 – Bold the phone number.  We need something with brackets in the HTML code to insert the “onClick” event tracker.  When viewing the HTML of your page, your number should look something like this:

“<strong>(800) 123-4567</strong>”

Step 3 – Insert your event tracking code.  For assistance with this, have a quick read of the event tracking guidelines on Google’s Code site. You will need to establish what you “Category”, “Action” and “Label” (plus a “Value” if you wish) for your tracking.  In our case, we chose the following: Category = “Phone -Call”, Action = “Mobile-Click”, Label = “City-Number-Example”

Using our example above, your code will look something like this:

“<strong onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘Phone-Call’, ‘Mobile-Click’, ‘City-Number-Example’]);”>(800) 123-4567</strong>”

Step 4 – Once your pages are re-published, its time to test them and make sure you haven’t broken anything.  Have a look on your phone or using a phone browser emulator like iphoney or JohnRampton has a few..  If your checking on your phone, be sure to click the number.  This will trigger the event tracking code to register an event in Google Analytics.

Step 5 – Check your Google Analytics stats in a few hours to make sure your Actions, Category and Label is showing up.

Step 6 – Set-up your event as a Goal in Google Analytics.  You will need to use the new version of Google Analytics to do this.

Step 7 (optional) – If your running Google Adwords and want to track these goals as conversions, you can do so by ensuring your two accounts are linked together.  Next, after you have registered a goal in Analytics, visit the “Tools and Analysis” tab in Google Adwords.  Select “Conversions”

If you’ve done everything correctly, you are now tracking mobile phone calls from your mobile landing pages and seeing this data in Google Analytics and Google Adwords.  The advantage to Step 7 is now you can optimize keyword level data and improve your PPC account.  Happy marketing!


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About Adam Green

Adam Greenis the Founder of Maple North. Maple North is a toronto internet marketing agency based in Toronto, Canada. Our team specializes in PPC Management, Local SEO, Google Analytics, Social Media Marketing and more.

13 Responses to “How to Track Calls from Mobile Pages using Event Tracking”

  1. John Rampton November 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Beautiful post, love it. It’s really not that hard once you do it once! Thanks for the blog post!

  2. jameszol November 22, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    I recommend using the “tel:” microformat in an anchor to accomplish a similar goal…you might even capture more calls that way because clicking to call would be more accessible to non-smart-phone users with the number inside a clickable anchor.

  3. Adam Green November 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Great idea @jameszol. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mitchell November 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Great post!

    I don’t know if it’s possible, but if so, it would be sweet to code in a dynamic label generator that pulls in the referring keyword or phrase. That way you not only track mobile phone call conversions, but you know what keyword(s) are converting.


  5. jameszol November 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm #

    @Mitchell you can do that by simply segmenting the event to keywords in the GA UI. Easy peasy. 😉

  6. jameszol November 22, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

    Maybe segment is the right word…lol:

    Go to the event you want to see keyword data on, and in the header of the data columns you should see a dropdown (there are 2 drop downs – the first will already house the events and the 2nd will be blank so pick the 2nd one) where you can select the Keyword data to be displayed right next to the event…done!

  7. jameszol November 22, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    *is not. “Maybe segment is NOT the right word…” ^ edit to my last comment…

    sorry for cannibalizing the post with all my comments. :S

  8. Mitchell November 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    And now I need to remind myself of the K.I.S.S. method…keep it simple stupid! I totally knew that and have used that many times. Thanks for brining me back down James!

    Cool stuff nonetheless!

  9. Chris May 31, 2012 at 8:08 am #

    To make an image phone number clickable:

    a href=”tel:phonenuberhere”

  10. jsrampton June 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    Thanks for the great info!

  11. Brandon November 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    Nice! I think this will work! We’ve been messing with a few other guides but none seem to be accurate. Yours looks like it should pick up the event appropriately. Looks like we may have to use the a href for image phone numbers, so hopefully that works.

    Thanks for the guide man!

  12. Dave J January 17, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    We implemented click to call tracking 6 months ago but my problem is interpretting how many calls were made. This is becuase there are Total Events and Unique events. For other actions this is straight forward, one person is unique and performed many actions.

    But when one person uses a mobile phone on a webiste they are not about to make 3 or 4 phone calls to the business – they select the button and their phone initialtes a call. So do I play it safe and use Unique events as my call numbers or go with the total events which is actually the number of times the button was pressed?

  13. Adam Green January 18, 2013 at 2:20 am #

    Dave –

    Best to play it safe and use the unique events. I agree with you that it would be hard to make a claim that multiple calls happened when you’re producing your reporting. If you need further help with GA, let us know!

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