Google Message extensions will begin rolling out in Google AdWords in the upcoming weeks, according to an announcement this week from Google. This means that businesses will soon be able to add an additional text extension to their ads that will allow customers to connect with the business via SMS, similar to the current phone extension provided by ads.
How It Works
Google AdWords users with a phone number that’s capable of receiving and sending SMS will be able to set up message extensions as well as the text for an automatically populated message under the Ad Extensions tab in AdWords. Customers who view the advertisement on a mobile device will see the option to text the designated phone number below the main ad. When the customer clicks the extension, their preferred SMS app will launch and automatically populate their message with the pre-determined text. If setting up message extensions in Google AdWords seems simple – it is!
Who Benefits from Message Extensions? Everyone!
The ability to directly message a business seems like a long overdue addition to Google AdWords, especially when 67% of consumers have been turning to Facebook and Twitter for direct customer service for years now. So does that make the message extension any less valuable? Certainly not!
Customers will begin experiencing the benefits of the new extension right away. Aside from the obvious benefits of speed and ease, the ability to text a business removes many of the frustrations that traditional customer service provides: Being placed on hold, listening to a list of menu options, or waiting to get transferred. And if the company representative is tied up? No problem! There’s rarely a time when staying on hold to speak with someone is better than dropping off a text and freeing yourself up to do other things during the interim. All of this creates a much better customer experience.
And – let’s be honest – some people just prefer to text.
33% of American adults prefer to text over all other forms of communication, according to 2015 research published by the Pew Research Center, and it is the most used form of communications by American adults under the age of 50, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. Whether due to personal preference, lifestyle, or simply “phone-phobia”, the text extension will allow businesses to generate leads and increase their conversions that may have otherwise never happened.
Simply put, text extensions are a win-win for both customers and businesses.
That doesn’t mean Google AdWords won’t come at a cost. Businesses will pay for each click on their message extension, just as they do now for clicks on their headlines and phone extensions. And, of course, this latest option adds an additional layer of consideration and testing when designing an effective strategy for Google AdWords. But Google seems to be making the implementation of message extensions as inviting as possible, promising the ability to easily apply extensions across an ad group or campaign at – perhaps, most importantly – no additional cost to the business.
Still not sure if you want to add message extensions to your Google AdWords campaign? Even if you don’t, you can be sure that your competitors will. In markets where competition is fierce, the need to connect with your customers and to be relevant to their needs will undeniably determine your success. Message extensions provide you with both of those.
Message extensions will be here very soon. Have you started your plan?