Google’s Newest AdWords Extension
As the trend towards mobile search continues to grow, Google seems to be adding more extensions catering to those searching and advertising on mobile. Moving past call extensions, where users can call businesses directly from the search results, consumers are now able to click to text select businesses. Many of us currently use our smartphones to search, plan and communicate with others on a daily basis. Google is looking to introduce this efficient communication feature to search ads. With a message extension, businesses give users a direct and easy way to communicate and start a text conversation.
This new AdWords extension will show alongside ads on search engine results page with a text message icon.
Clicking on this icon will allow the users to send a text directly to the company that is advertising on AdWords and advertisers will be charged the same CPC fee that is charged for any other link click. The default messaging app will open, auto filled with the advertiser’s information and a pre-written message tailored to the product or service of interest.
From the extensions tab, it allows you to create a message extension at ad group or campaign levels. You will then need to provide 1) The name of the business you are advertising for. 2) The text phone number you wish to have the text sent to (must be able to receive SMS messages). 3) The Extension text, which is the text that will appear along with your ad. Something similar to “Text us” should be used here, making it clear to users that the icon will proceed with sending a direct text message. 4) Lastly, is the message text. This is the message that Google will supply in the text field of the user that clicks on your message extension. Here you have 100 characters to write a specific message for the customer to begin a conversation with the business. This message will be dependent on the product. It could be something specific such as “I’d like to book an appointment for…” or could be more general such as “I want to know more about…” or “Call me”.
Like other ad extensions, we suspect AdWords Message Extensions can improve click-through rate. From WordStream, we have a few other insights in the best practices when using the message extensions and click to message ads, along with some possible limitations of the new extensions.
As the message extensions will only show on mobile devices and only show some of the time, it can be difficult to have success on mobile SERP. If your message extensions are not showing up, you may want to revisit your mobile search strategy. You also want to ensure your message extensions make sense for all searches. It could be necessary to create different message extensions if offering different products or services, or have multiple locations. Lastly, you will want to ensure you set a schedule for the message extensions. Ensure the extensions are only available for users to message when your business is able to respond. For example, turning it off on weekends or after working hours.
So far, there is one initial limitation to the extension that is worth noting. Advertisers have the ability to see how many people see and click their message extensions, as with the other AdWord extensions. Though, Google is unable to track conversions through this extension.
EHD hopes to use this new feature in the near future to find some more benefits or limitations with the extension, or determine for which product it is best suited. Stay tuned.