Note: Link does not seem clickable in mobile browsers anymore
It’s obvious yet I’m struggling to understand why it’s not being used more often.
On smart phones (iPhones and Androids using the Chrome browser), phone numbers in the search result’s description for Google and BING are clickable and will place the phone number in the phone’s native dialer.
On desktops using Chrome browser, the phone numbers in Google’s and Bing’s SERP result’s description are clickable if a VOIP messenger program is installed such as Skype or Google Voice.
Since the meta description tag is not DIRECTLY a SEO factor, NOT having the focus keywords in the beginning of the meta tag content does no direct SEO harm.
Code used in this example:
<meta name=”description” content=”Call (732) 993-8187 to learn more about what Digital Consultants do. From Web Design, SEO, SEM, Social Media, to P.R. and more, let us be your guide.“/>
However, it does seem that the phone number in the meta description tag needs to be in some sort of format to become clickable.
The example below from merchantcircle.com contains the phone number but it is NOT clickable. At first I thought placing the phone numbers in parentheses was the trick, but the McDonald’s result proves that to be incorrect.
There are few search results that have the phone number near the beginning of the description so it’s difficult to research further but the “trick” is to just place the phone number with parentheses near the beginning and it should work! (see the code above)
NOTE: Clickable phone numbers seems to only work in Chrome browsers for Google and BING. I’m unable to test every o/s & browser at this time. Yahoo also does not seem to use the meta description tag as it just grabs random text from my homepage.
Since Chrome is taking 34% of global market share and desktop Chrome users account for 51%, it might be worth implementing this. If anything, having a phone number near the beginning will make your result stand out from the rest easier.
It would probably benefit businesses such as local plumbers, restaurants, and taxi companies the most. How many times have you forgotten the phone number of your local business?
If it makes it easier and quicker for customers to call you, why not? Even if it’s not clickable on other browsers, it allows fast access to your number.
Statistic References: Browser Trends August 2015: Chrome Exceeds 50%