AdWords is now testing click to text message ad extensions

Google are currently in the process of Beta testing message extensions within the adverts sitelinks. And as people rely on mobile search more and more, this ties in with their “mobile first” stance.

These will essentially give the user another means of getting in touch with the advertiser as opposed to the call extension. These can be useful for searchers who don’t wish to go down the traditional means of contact such as phone calls or enquiry pages on the actual website.

How do they work?

Clicks on message extensions are charged just like a regular click on a headline or extension and Message extensions can be set at the campaign and ad group levels. They can be scheduled to appear during certain periods of the day depending on when your customer service team will be available to take incoming inquiries.

If you decide to have the text extension active out of office hours, or over the weekend, then it is possible to use a canned message to let the searcher know they can expect a response when the business is open again.

So how are they being displayed?

textextension

Users will essentially click on the message extension or card and then their phones text screen will open automatically. The message will then be pre-filled with the advertiser’s information. Users will then be able to tailor this text to their inquiry. The new feature makes adverts look more feature rich and if early trials are anything to go by, CTR’s will significantly improve.

The system also gives the advertiser the ability to pre-empt what the user may be looking for and tailor the opening message to the product or service they feel the searcher may require, which will help to contribute to better engagement rates.

Are there any downsides to using ad text extensions?

Yes, there is one main point that advertisers need to take into account when using the text extensions. Advertisers can see how many people can see and click on the message extensions, however Google is not able to track texts from message extensions as conversions. Whether this is something that will be implemented at a later date remains to be seen.

Google has also created a best practices guide for text message extensions to help get advertisers started with the new format. Message extensions will be released globally over the coming weeks.

Initial key takeaways

It has to be said that this new feature will not benefit every advertiser but early signs are that text message extensions will benefit businesses that rely on customer bookings being taken. These could be beauty salons, barbers, dentists and restaurants. Early tests have shown that where these extensions are used, 25% of mobile clicks have come from here, early signs are very encouraging for the right business.

For a PPC strategy boost or a helping hand with management, get in touch with the Marketing Signals team today.

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