Are Google Ads Messaging Extensions Right for You

Google integrated extensions into Google Ads in 2016, providing a number of new options for businesses. One option that is currently available is messaging, which allows consumers to directly message businesses right from the ad. 


This featured felt almost overwhelming to some small businesses when it was first rolled out. The idea of having to be on call for countless consumers without knowing whether or not they even intended to use the feature wasn’t what business owners thought was the best use of their time.


But it’s been a couple of years now, and maybe we can help demystify the feature.


Do I Always Have to be Available?

No, you don’t. Google is smart and knows that most small businesses don’t have the capacity to have someone ready to respond to messages 24/7. That’s why you can customize your hours on your ads to ensure that the messaging feature doesn’t appear when your business is closed. Beyond that, you can craft automated responses and email forwarding to ensure that no message goes unanswered. 


Where do the Messages Go and How Do I Respond?

This is largely up to you. You can set up your account to have the messages sent to an email address or a mobile phone number of your choosing. When you respond to a message on either platform it sends it directly back to the client. 


What Counts as a Conversion?

You can determine what counts as a conversion, i.e. how many messages need to be sent by the client before Google adds it to your list of conversions. Not everyone who clicks on a messaging extension means to, and therefore shouldn’t be counted as a conversion.


How Do I Know That My Business is Eligible for Messaging Extensions?

You can find Google’s requirements for users implementing messaging extensions here. To briefly summarize, your phone number (if you’re using a phone number) must be active, domestic, and toll-free. You have to respond to messages promptly and relevantly, so no advertising products that weren’t in the ad. Finally, you need to make sure you’re not abusing the access messaging extensions are giving you to the clients.  You are not allowed to use their personal information or data, and you’re not allowed to upload unwanted software of malware onto their device.


So, Are Messaging Extensions Right for My Firm?

To answer this question you need to look at your firm. Is there enough staff available to answer messages during the day? Does your firm provide services that can be sold easier with an immediate personal connection? Are you not planning on spamming people who message you or uploading viruses to their devices? If your answers to these questions are all “yes” then you should consider messaging extensions for your next ad campaign. If the answer to any of them is “no,” you might want to either consult a PPC expert or wait until your next set of ad campaigns to add the extension.