Track phone number clicks on a mobile website with Google Tag Manager

Here’s a quick way to track clicks on your business phone number on your mobile website with Google Tag Manager. You can use the tracking to create a goal in GA, and also connect AdWords conversion tracking to this action, if you run AdWords ads and want to track clicks on your phone number on your mobile website. This feature only tracks clicks on your phone number, not actual phone calls.

For complete call tracking solution, take a look at CallRail and my article about 3 Reasons Why the Free AdWords Call Tracking is not Right for Your Business.

Open your website, right-click the phone number and select Inspect Element.

phone1

If you want your visitors to able to tab the number and automatically dial it when on a mobile device, the number should be wrapped in an <a href> tag with tel extension, like below:

Phone number inspect element

All we have to do in Google Tag Manager is create a simple Event tag with trigger link clicks on this element.

1. Start creating a new tag by clicking the New button.

2. Give it a name and select Google Analytics – Universal Analytics.

3. Type your tracking ID, or if you have a constant variable for your GA ID, select it and choose track type Event.

4. I’ve named the event category Phone calls, for Action I’d like to see the actual link being clicked (useful if you have different numbers) and as Label I want to see from which page the number was clicked.

Phone number clicks in GTM

5. Now it’s time to create our trigger. In the Fire On section select Click and start a new trigger. Give it a name and select Just links. Enable on all pages if you have the number in a common area like header or footer: Page URL matches RegEx .*
And for the Fire On section select the special tel link we want to track: Click URL contains tel:

Phone number trigger in GTM

6. Create your tag, enter Preview and Debug mode and test your tracking by clicking on the phone number.

7. If you want to add AdWords Phone calls tracking of type Clicks on your number on your mobile website, you can use the same trigger. First create your conversion tracking in the AdWords interface as described in Part 1 here.

Then create a new tag of type AdWords Conversion tracking, copy and paste your Conversion ID and Conversion Label, and for the Fire On section select the existing trigger for Phone call clicks.

Good luck!

P.S. Got a Google Analytics question? Send it to me and I’ll try to answer it on the blog.

is a Google Analytics fan, who also loves SEO, conversion optimization, online marketing and social media. You can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

32 thoughts on “Track phone number clicks on a mobile website with Google Tag Manager

  1. Hi Margarita,

    great info on phone number tracking! I was wondering if there is a way do display the PhoneNumber on mobile phones only (not on tablets). If the browser is not on a mobile phone, I want to show just text.

    Looking forward to your feedback 🙂

  2. Hi,

    I cannot find {{Click URL}} option in Create trigger … Fire On section.

    I only have the following option in the drop down
    Page Hostname
    Page Path
    Page URL
    Referrer
    &
    New Variable

    Please guide, how to get the click url option

    Thanks,
    Anish

  3. Hii,
    My Phone Events are working but there’s something more I want.
    I am running adwords search ads and as phone call tracking is not available for India in adwords, I’ll have to use analytics.
    So the scenario is like I want to track all phone event and want to know which call lasted for more than 3min. I tried using duration goal in analytics but it is not working, it tracks even the desktop events as goal that has session duration >3min.

  4. hi
    i set it like in guide but when im debugging it using the preview mode, o can see that the mobile trigger is fired when page load regardless if someone click to call
    what am i doing wrong

    Thanks
    Eyal

  5. How do you handle the coding when there is dynamic number switching on the website. So there isn’t a specific number assigned and the telephone number varies depending on the source/medium and ad group/ campaign. Thanks

    • Hi Marty, if you have dedicated numbers for these sources, someone who knows JS can easily customize the script. Other solutions like CallRail that handle the different numbers make it very easy.

  6. When I get to “Enable When” and select “Page Url” it gives me this error: “Invalid filter specified.”

    Actually, it won’t allow me to select anything in that drop down. What am I doing wrong?

    • Ah…

      I missed : Page URL matches RegEx .*
      The wildcard being literally the period and asterisk.

      Thanks! This worked great!

  7. Pingback: Tiggers to Test Using Google Tag Manager | Clix Marketing PPC Blog

  8. Sorry to resurrect this but I followed the guide(Really easy to go through thanks) and got everything setup and am testing my links by clicking them on my phone but I don’t see anything in the dashboard that should be tracking the code. Where is it going to show me the conversions?

    • Hey Christopher, which dashboard do you mean? When you click the phone link (you should be able to click it even on desktop – it will probably ask you to launch Skype or something similar) and you see the tag fired in GTM Preview & Debug mode, you can go to Real time reports in GA and check the events recorded.

  9. HI. I was wondering if you needed to manually add the href tel code in the CMS or through GTM and what the process would be there before starting the tracking?

    • Hey Glenn, You can easily turn your phone numbers into links through your CMS. For example, if you have your phone number like 111-222-3333, you just need to wrap it with “a href” link, like this:

      <a href="tel:1112223333" rel="nofollow">111-222-3333</a>
  10. Thanks for the wonderful article, I did all what you have mentioned but I am not able to track the click in real time. I cannot find clickURL variable in the dropdown and even in new variable definition.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  11. If I am sending a mobile number on email and the user opens that email on Mobil and clicks on the Mobile number, how can I track that ?

    Will the above code help ?

    • Hi Vishal, no – the example in the article is for a website where you can track traffic with GA and GTM. For emails you can use the Measurement protocol to track email opens and send this to GA, but I don’t know if it will work for clicks on a phone number too.

  12. For some reason I can’t get it to work in the Preview and Debug mode, could you tell me why you used:
    1. Page URL matches RegEx .* in the trigger;
    2. Why {{Click URL}} and {{Page URL}} are action and label?

    Can I use another actions/label here like with the old method?

    Not sure why there not measuring as I followed all steps, but even when publishing it nothing shows up in real time.. Could it be the newer version or something?

    Hope you can help!

    • Hi Lars, can you share the website where you want to add this tracking so I can take a look? I’m using {{Click URL}} for event action because if I have different phone number, I want to record them dynamically. Also, if I have the number visible and clickable on all pages, I’m recording {{Page URL}} as event label so I know which page the user was on when she clicked the call link. Of course you can use other values for action and label.

  13. Hi,

    I am implementing this method to track clicks. In the tag manager, there are now additional selections one can make, beyond what you have described here.

    See the screenshot: https://cloudup.com/c1Spqr9pBOM:

    There is a field for “Value.” I selected Click Text, so that I could potentially see what text is being used near or in the click.

    There’s also a “More Settings” and “Advanced Settings” drop downs with a bunch of hidden selectors. What should I do with those?

    Can you update this tutorial with information about those possibly new additions?

    • Hi Tony,

      The event value field accepts only numbers, so it won’t work for Click Text. Click URL and Click Text should be pretty close, so if you want Click Text you can use it as event action.

      You should use More Settings and Advanced Settings only when you have additional customization which is not necessary in this case.

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