In the next couple of weeks, all advertisers are going to have access to the latest mobile-first innovation by Google – Adwords Message Extensions. These new extensions, which are only available on mobile devices, will allow users to send an SMS text to a business.

These new ad extensions will also help advertisers to capture even more real estate in mobile SERPs – but it’s important to bid high and have a great quality score to be in the prime positions required for these extensions to show.

mobile_ad_extension_message_ad

via adwords.googleblog.com

The great thing about these ads is it doesn’t matter if you are a one-man band or a multinational. Providing the ads are eligible to show these extensions, anyone can get leads or requests for more information sent directly via text message.

The bad thing about these extensions is that at present, there is no conversion tracking available. You’ll be able to see clicks on the extension in AdWords, but there is no way of determining whether these clicks resulted in conversions. If these ad extensions prove to be a popular way for users to get  in touch, you could end up seeing a drop in conversion rate as they move away from using click to call, or visiting the website.

How do I set up Message Extensions?

Once the new feature is rolled out, you’ll be able to find it in the ad extension tab.

how-to-use-adwords-message-extensions

via wordstream.com

To complete the ad, you’ll need:

Your Business Name (25 Characters):
This one is pretty self explanatory!

Text Phone Number:
This is the number that people will be sending texts to, and the only requirement here is that this number can receive SMS text messages.

Extension Text (35 Characters):
This is the text that will appear alongside your ad. It’s a good idea to make it obvious in the call to action that clicking will text the business, so include ‘text us’ or ‘message us’ in the ad copy.

Message Text (100 Characters):
After a user clicks on your extension, Google will populate this message in the text field of their native messaging app. You can customise this to say whatever you like, whether it is prompting users to request further information, or to enquire about booking a service. Make the copy as relevant as possible; if you are selling tickets for Donny Osmond at the London Apollo, it’s a good idea to include this so that the user has confirmation that they are getting in touch about the right thing.

Advanced:
As with other extensions, you can set the times and dates that you wish for the extension to show. This is very important, particularly if your ads run all hours and days of the week, as it is unlikely that you or your customer service team will be available to respond around the clock!

How do customers use the Message Extension feature?

Once you’ve set this up, (and providing that your ad is shown in the top positions) customers searching on their mobile device on Google for keywords relevant to your campaign will now be able to see a little message icon alongside your ad. When the customer taps it, their default SMS app will open with a pre-populated message (one you have already decided upon), with the option for the customer to edit the text themselves to suit the nature of their enquiry.

It’s still very early days, but we’re looking forward to getting this set up for our clients in the upcoming weeks and can’t wait to see the results.

What do you think? Could this new feature benefit your business? Let us know!