You’ve Got Text Messages: A New AdWords Extension

Google recently released a new mobile AdWords extension offering businesses another method for connecting with potential customers. The messages extension, like all other extensions, is prominently displayed as part of your regular ad increasing the chances of an interaction.

The unique feature of this extension allows ad viewers to connect with a business via text message without navigating to the website or using other AdWords extensions like “call”. And as more people use mobile as the go-to platform for all things web-based, the messages extension is a clever way for businesses to reach consumers and vice-versa.

How much does this extension cost?

Businesses using the messages extension are charged the same CPC fee when a user clicks to text as if they interacted with the ad in another way. Effectively, you’re getting more bang for your buck since a potential customer messaging you is worth more than a random web visitor.

So how does this new extension work?

Advertisers can create a messages extension in the ad group or campaign level of AdWords. From there, advertisers input the mandatory information – business name, text phone number, extension text, SMS message text – and begin a dialogue with the customer-to-be. While you’re free to customize the text of the extension (within reason, there’s a limit of 100 characters and it’s best to be clear in your ask), it’s wise to use simple “Message Us” or “Text Us” CTA’s for the extension text to ensure your potential customer knows what to do.

Does it work?

While this extension is new there are still some early performance indicators. We’ve seen significantly improved click-through rates, up to 50% higher CTR compared to interaction with the mobile ad alone. Like all extensions, AdWords Message Extensions can increase your ad’s relevancy and Quality Score resulting in a better average ad position for the same or lower cost-per-click. So if your business is advertising via mobile the messages extensions may be worth considering.

There is one downside with the messages extension; while you are able to track impressions and conversion rates with all other extensions, Google is currently unable to track texts generated as a result of a user viewing your ad. So if your business is already offering text as an established communication method with customers, you may want to use a different phone number for your messages extension to track how often it is used. If you’d prefer to keep the same number, Search Warrant already tracks text messages on its dashboards and can do so for your business.