Over the past few years Google has really be emphasising their “mobile-first” approach, as more and more people perform searches on a day to day basis from their smartphones. Perhaps the biggest shift towards their mobile-first mantra was announced only last month (Oct 2016), when they stated that they will no longer be determining how a website ranks from its desktop version, but instead from it’s mobile version. This change hasn’t been rolled out yet, but it’s a big one and I hope to do a blog post soon to cover the implications this might have, so stay tuned. Getting back to this article though… recently, Google announced the imminent arrival of “click-to-message” ads as part of their “ad extensions”.
What does the “click-to-message” extension let you do?
Put simply the “click-to-message” extension lets users on mobile devices tap on your ad to send you an SMS text enquiry right from the SERP (search engine results page) itself. Mobile users are often in a hurry, so this addition makes perfect sense, however it’s not available to use just yet, but will be rolling out soon.
Who would this extension benefit?
The obvious candidates would be tradesmen, who often do business via their mobile phones. Imagine a household heating emergency where the customer Google’s “heating engineer dorset” from their smartphone if their boiler’s on the blink. Before they’d need to click your ad, navigate to your website to find your number and then give you a call. When this click-to-message extension gets released, they’ll be able to tap your ad and send you an SMS text message directly from the SERP (search engine results page). To make the process even quicker, you’ll even be able to choose to pre-populate the SMS message itself if you’d like to. But It’s not just tradesmen who can benefit though. Here are some other industries who could get a lot of mileage from this change:
- Hotels & B&Bs – for room reservations
- Hairdressers / Salons – for appointment booking
- Restaurants – for table reservations
- Health and fitness professionals – for training / class enquiries
- And anyone else who is happy to conduct business through their mobile phone
Scheduling is probably the biggest consideration
If receiving SMS text message enquiries is good for your business, then the most Important consideration will be to make sure you set a schedule on your ad extensions so you don’t get texts at all hours of the day.
The one big downside of message extensions…
For you (or the person running your AdWords campaign), there will be no conversion tracking. You’ll be able to see how many people view and click on your click-to-message extension, but you won’t be able to track the actual number of SMS texts you receive or their content – so a bit of a downside there.
Is it worth trying “click-to-message” SMS ads out on your campaign?
When they become available, I’d say definitely yes, if you’re happy to do business using your mobile it makes sense to make the process of generating enquiries as simple as possible, and this goes a long way in doing that. Want some proof of the potential benefits? In another article on this topic, the company in question saw a 50% increase in clicks (taps) over normal mobile ads when they ran click-to-message extensions for their clients. So based on that I’d recommend testing click-to-message ads out on your AdWords campaigns.
Interested to learn more about AdWords for your business?
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