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Talking With Customers Using Click-To-Message Ads

Matt Brady
#Digital Marketing, #SEO
Published on November 4, 2016

The new message extensions in Google AdWords let customers send you a text message directly from your ads. Learn how to set up this new feature.

In today’s crowded digital marketplace, you need to be able to do everything you can to stand out. This means not only following search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, but also utilizing pay per click (PPC) advertising to make sure people can find you when they are searching for terms related to your business.

Google has made a number of changes to their PPC ads in the past year, including rearranging how ads are displayed in search engine results pages (SERPs) and introducing extended text ads (ETAs). They’ve also added new features and functionalities, and today, we’re looking at the latest of these: click-to-message ads.

Instant Customer Communication

One of the most powerful features that Google AdWords offers to advertisers is ad extensions, which let you include additional information in your PPC ads, such as location information, customer reviews, or call extensions. The newest feature that they’ve added, message extensions, provides advertisers with the capability to let customers send them a text message directly from the ad.

Since today’s connected consumer is able to do so much from their mobile devices, it’s important to be able to meet them where they are. Click-to-message ads allow you to communicate directly with people who are interested in your products or services in an easy, effective manner. If they have a question about whether a certain product is in stock or want to book an appointment, these ads will allow them to reach out to you immediately and get a quick response.

Setting Up Click-To-Message Ads

Within Google AdWords, navigate to the Ad Extensions tab and click the +Extension button:

AdWords Ad Extensions

Select the campaign you want to add the extension to and click the +New Message Extension button. You’ll be prompted to enter the following information:

New Message Extension

  • Business Name (25 characters): The name of your business or organization, which should be recognizable to the people sending you a message.
  • Text Phone Number: The phone number that people will be sending text messages to.
  • Extension Text (35 characters): The text which will be displayed in your PPC ad, such as “Send us a text message!”
  • Message Text (100 characters): This is the message that will be pre-populated in your customer’s text messaging app; they will be able to edit it before sending the message. You can use this to help customers begin a conversation with you through messages like “I’d like to schedule an appointment” or “Please send me more information about your products.”
  • Advanced: This provides some additional options, including setting start and end dates for the extension, as well as defining a schedule of days and times during which the extension will appear. This allows you to only display the extension during the hours when you will be available to answer any messages that your customers send.

Once you’ve entered the information, click Save, and click Save again to add the extension to your campaign.

Meeting Your Customers Where They Are

As with the other updates that Google has made recently, this newest feature is designed to provide more power to both advertisers and searchers. Organizations looking to connect with their customers online have more options than ever, and click-to-message ads are a great way to provide the value that people are looking for.

If you’re interested in implementing this new feature, or if you have any questions about how to ensure that your PPC and SEO strategies are effectively connecting with your customers, please feel free to contact us, and we’ll work with you to build a strategy that will increase the ROI of your online efforts. If you have any other questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!