Over the last few years, it’s become common knowledge that Google have been driving their mobile-first mantra – more and more people use their smartphones for search.

Now, they’ve started to put their words into action. In 2016, Google completely overhauled the cluttered search engine results pages to look more mobile-like. More in-line. Removing the right-hand side Ads completely (apart from Google Shopping) meant that the search results pages on desktops and tablets looked cleaner and became easier to navigate and find the right content.

They also gave AdWords advertisers more control of their tablet and mobile bid adjustments. Mobile price extensions were also introduced, allowing advertisers to add pricing for different products and services right within the ad. This was a great innovation which improved the look and feel of ads that show up in mobile search, also improving performance.

But in the last few weeks, Google have revealed one more mobile ad extension… message extensions.

What are Message Extensions for AdWords?

Like other ad extensions, Message Extensions are eligible to appear alongside an ad on the search results pages, generally making them appear larger, giving more prominence over rival ads, and making them more feature rich. All of this should increase that all-important CTR.

AdWords Message Extensions

Message Extensions in Google AdWords ads

So what’s new?

As you can see from the above image, Message Extensions give the user the ability to click and text a business directly from the Google search results page!

An advertiser can also include some pre-written text for the message, to make starting the conversation easier for mobile users. It also makes it easier for an advertiser to understand the intent behind a text message when it arrives at their end.

Why is this good?

From a cost perspective, the advertiser will be charged the same CPC amount when a user clicks on a Message Extension as if they clicked on the ad’s headline or any other ad extension. This makes sense, as an advertiser is paying here for a guaranteed interaction with the business, which a normal website click would not be able to offer. Mobile search shoppers

The power of mobile advertising should not be underestimated, as the above statistic from Google demonstrates. Micro Moments, as Google call them, are ways in which people interact with search every day during times when they need solutions to a problem.

Check out the Micro Moments video below:

How do people feel about it?

Below is a quote from Gabe Thayn, the Director of Search Marketing for TravelPASS Group in the USA, who has been one of the lucky few businesses to trial the Beta of message extensions:

“Click-to-message ads have proven to be a great way to help prequalified customers start the hotel reservation process in a way that is convenient and easy for them. The conversion rate on message extensions is 41% higher compared to other ad extensions. ”

Sounds good, how do I start using it?

You can’t. Well, not yet anyway. At the moment Message Extensions aren’t available in many accounts, but this will increase as Google rolls it out across the wider AdWords network. Google promises that they’ll be available to everybody in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, you can check your own AdWords account to see if it’s available for you, by following these instructions. 

We’ll let you know as soon as we’ve had the opportunity to test Message Extensions, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you’d like to find out more about using Impression to manage your PPC campaigns. don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Nic Shacklock

PPC Manager

A Google-certified PPC expert specialising in Google Search, Display and Shopping advertising for small & medium sized businesses, with over 5 years in the digital marketing industry.

  • Nic,

    You rightly pointed out that mobile is a much larger and critical medium for search marketers.

    Now the message extension is widely available. But, currently, Google does not provide any conversion tracking via message extension, which makes it harder to measure results from text messages.

    Here’s a solution that enables conversion tracking for message extension.

    http://www.karooya.com/track-messages

    Additionally, businesses can now start a conversation with customers via text messages, without a physical phone to send/receive text messages.

    Shashi
    Co-founder, Karooya