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Using Message Extensions in Google AdWords

Click to message ads, or message extensions, have been available in Google AdWords since the end of 2016 although are not widely used by many advertisers. However, Google’s research indicates that 65% of consumers would consider messaging a company to get further information, or to schedule an appointment. Now Google has announced more detailed reporting for this type of extension.

Starting to roll-out in the number of countries, including Australia and the UK, message reporting is designed to provide advertisers with more information and insights to assess the effectiveness of the message extensions with AdWords adverts.

The new reporting will include a number of performance metrics, including:

  • Chat rate – how often users start a conversation with you (“Chats”) after seeing your message extension (“Message impressions”).
  • Chat start time – the timestamp for when a user sends you a message to initiate a conversation. Advertisers could use this insight to help schedule their message extensions.
  • Messages – the total number of messages exchanged between you and a user within a single chat. This insight could be used to evaluate which campaigns are driving the longest or most in-depth conversations compared to the average.

The most common uses for message extensions might be for advertisers whose potential customers may want to make fast contact, but may not want to talk to someone directly. They can start a new contact channel which should be responded to quite quickly and puts the emphasis on the advertiser to provide more information and to encourage further exchanges with the enquirer.

Message extensions could be used as a mobile equivalent to a live chat option on the website, but starting from the advert itself, and the advertiser can start with a strong text message in the ad that relates to the search term and encourages a first contact to be made.

Google provides a ‘best practice’ guide to using message extensions and this should be tested by advertisers if they think their customers may want to communicate in this way. The new message reporting should also help advertisers assess the response and effectiveness of this ad extension as they develop the conversions from their campaigns.

If you’d like to know more about message extensions and how it could be used in your AdWords activity, please contact us now for more details.