Wondering what all the fuss is about Google's latest update? Read on...
For several months, Google has been testing a new AdWords extension allowing mobile users to connect with advertisers via SMS, by tapping on a button appended to an advertiser’s AdWords ad.
When the new link is clicked within the PPC ad, the users SMS app will open and they will be able to contact brands directly. For example on an advert advertising a plumbing service, people could text asking them for a quote for a job. Similarly on a hotel ad, the customer can ask about availability.
The extension had only been available to a select few accounts, but Google has now announced that the feature will be released to all advertisers on the AdWords platform over the next few weeks.
The extension can be used alongside the long-standing call extensions, providing a more attractive option to those averse to making phone calls or being put on hold.
Use of the new message extension will be charged just like a regular click on the ads headline. Advertisers can also pre-populate the text message, down to ad group level, meaning the text can be pre-written relative to the users search and their likely interest, which will presumably lead to better engagement rates if done correctly. AdWords users will even be able to customise the call to action in the extension text.
Advertisers will be able to evaluate the performance of the message extension within the extensions tab, as well as by segmenting by Click Type. However, Adwords won’t be able to report on engagement once a user has clicked the extension: advertisers will need to create their own ways of tracking the success of the new extension.
The message extension will a simple implementation for smaller companies and sole traders, who may get a couple of texts per day, but big brands with larger AdWords visibility will have to implement a system to deal with the influx of texts in a timely manner to ensure the potential leads aren’t neglected.
Senior Online Marketing Manager