Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just tap on an advertisement in the search results to send a text message and connect with a corresponding business? Google has long been working on one such mobile ad format that connects advertisers to its customers over SMS and is now gearing up to launch it in coming months.
Google still has faith in the good old messaging service and believes that customers haven’t completely abandoned the same in favor of other messaging services, according to a survey. Over 65 per cent of consumers said that they’d prefer using SMS to connect with a business to get information about a service, or schedule an appointment.
Thus, Google is expanding the scope of ads to introduce ‘click-to-message’ ad extension, which has already been in testing for several months. This format will “give users an easy way to text you to start a conversation and continue it whenever is most convenient for them,” says Amit Agarwal, senior product manager for mobile search ads in the blogpost.
Since this ad format relies on SMS, this is a mobile-only offering and phone numbers for businesses won’t appear in search results on the desktop. This message extension will allows customers to see your ad, click an icon and contact you directly by text message — useful for any information and service. It is also relatively easy to setup for businesses familiar with Adwords and can be activated to align with the same keyword strategy as previous ads.
For instance, in the image attached above, when you query about ‘Westin Times Square’, the ads linked to the same business surface at the top and will now include a phone number. When you tap this number, the default messaging app on your phone will open with a pre-written message tailored to the product enquiry. But, just like plain old text, you can go ahead and edit it to say whatever you want to know about the product or service.
Mobile users have more flexibility than ever to choose how they want to connect with businesses. Through messaging, you can initiate valuable conversations with them by tapping into one of their most preferred modes of communication,
adds Agarwal in the blogpost.
Google has already partnered with a bunch of advertisers, including travelPASS Group, AnyVan, Auto & General and others to help them connect with customers and improve conversion rates — the main motive. With this format, Google could also push its — poorly named — messaging app Messenger to the front lines and advertise the ease of usage and capabilities of the same. This would, thus, elevate the customer experience and help businesses better their standing among the masses.