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Google Targets Texters with New ‘Click to Message’ Feature in Search Ads


Google has added yet another way for online users to connect with businesses that advertise in search engines—texting. The search engine has recently launched beta testing of its Click to Message extension, which allows online users to send a text message to a business just by clicking on its ad in the search results.

According to Google, this texting feature provides another convenient way for people to quickly get in touch with businesses while they’re on the go—or just when they don’t feel like jumping on a phone call. It also gives businesses the opportunity to engage with potential customers right in their moment of interest or need.

Here’s how Google’s Click to Message feature currently works:

  • Ads that used the feature show a text icon
  • The online user clicks on the icon and a pre-loaded text message opens in the user’s SMS app.
  • The user then chats with the business via text, with the option of switching over to another form of communication (such as a call) anytime.

Businesses that want collect more information can use a form that asks the potential customer to choose from different options explaining why they are texting.

So What’s the Big Deal About Texting?

According to data from the Pew Research Center (“U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015”), 97% of smartphone owners use texting, which makes it the most frequently used phone “app.” In addition to that, text messages have an overall open rate of 90% and are opened in 3 minutes on average.

Studies have shown that texting has become the communication method of choice for Millennials. According to a 2014 Gallup Poll study, 68% Americans aged 18-29 said they had sent or read a text message “a lot” the previous day, compared to 47% aged 30-49 and 26% aged 50-64.

Making Your Business More Relevant to the Texting Generation

If you want to make your business appealing to potential customers, get ready to meet them right where they’re at. Provide a path for them to connect with you the way they feel most comfortable, and that includes through texting. As Google continues developing on this new feature, you may want to start thinking about how your business or organization could potentially benefit!

Want to learn about other important AdWords changes that Google recently announced? Check out our recent post.