Update: October 31, 2019

Google My Business is moving from SM texts to accessing messaging through their free app as of November 15, 2019. To continue receiving messages from customers through your local search and map profile, you’ll need to:

  1. Download the Google My Business app
    Get on Google Play * Download in Apple App Store
  2. Log into your account
  3. Select the “Customers” tab
  4. Hit the “Messages” tab
  5. Select “Turn on messaging”

Now you be able to receive and respond to all messages via the app. Be sure to customize your welcome messages and add employees to help to respond quickly to you clients/customers. You’ll also be able to create posts, update business info, respond to reviews and add photos just like you can by desktop.

Why not make it easy for your customers/clients to reach you in any way they choose? Customers can now message you directly when they find your business listing in Google Search, Google Maps or when they see your AdWords Ads in search while on their mobile phone. Messaging features are only designed to show to people on mobile devices capable of sending and receiving text messages such as a mobile smartphone. This service can help you grow your business by giving people another option when trying to contact you. All you need is a phone number that can receive SMS text messages and make sure to have that phone readily accessible to respond to your customers or clients.

Google My Business
Your text messaging phone number will not be revealed, and you can turn off this feature at any time.

To get started, sign in to your Google My Business account and look for “Messaging” under the Home menu. Turn chat to the On position and then add your SMS text-enabled phone number. A verification code will then be sent to your phone and you are set to receive messages from your customers!

The Google Messaging Chat feature even allows you to add a welcome message that customers will receive when they start a conversation with you.

Google AdWords
Once you setup your message extension in AdWords, people will be able to click on an icon attached to your ad and contact you directly through text messaging.

When someone contacts you by text, their messaging app will automatically open with a pre-populated message that you create. As for the charge? Just as if they had clicked on your ad to go to your website, you are charged for a click. No other additional cost is involved.

You can add message extensions at campaign, ad group or ad level allowing you to set them up for your specific needs. You’ll have access to detailed reporting about message exchanges allowing you to see the performance of this feature.

Text Messaging Quick Tips

  • Respond in a timely manner. People hate to wait especially if is during your listed business hours.
  • Don’t provide or request sensitive information. Keep personal and confidential information safe!
  • Don’t start spamming them. After you have answered their immediate request, it’s okay to offer further service, but don’t hound them or send texts out of the blue.

The Google My Business and AdWords chat feature provide customers and merchants with an easy way to communicate. To ensure the best experience when interacting with each other, please be sure to follow Google’s Text Chat Guidelines.

As the Internet continues to grow in the mobile arena, we highly recommend you consider adding this feature to one or both services.

It doesn’t have any real downsides other than a less straightforward conversion rate. You need to keep track on your end what messages convert to your ultimate goal. But did that stop you from providing a phone number for people to call you? No? Then that shouldn’t hold you back from offering your customers the easiest way to reach you.

Besides, if you don’t like it, you can always turn it off!