AdWords Message Extensions For Real Estate: Click-to-Message Ads

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If you haven’t heard already, AdWords has a new mobile-friendly feature. We’ve known about this update since it was introduced in the late fall of 2016 but didn’t want to get too excited until it was rolled out and we could see where Google was taking it.

So, why are we telling you now?

There has been and will be a major push toward mobile-friendly advertising and you must be ready for it if you have AdWords accounts. In a statement made by Google, they cite:

65 percent of consumers said they would consider using messaging to connect with a business to find information about a service or product.

Come February 2017, you need to be ready for some changes. If you have an AdWords campaign, you will be receiving, or may have already received a message like this:

Dear AdWords Advertiser,

This year, mobile search engines are predicted to drive nearly 33 billion clicks-to-call to businesses globally, almost 19% more calls than from mobile landing pages alone. Using Google call extensions, you can get more calls by making it easy for people to call you right from your mobile search ads. See how other advertisers have succeeded by generating more phone calls from search.

What’s changing?

You’re receiving this message because your AdWords account (customer ID: ###-###-####) contains ads that take users to landing pages prominently featuring a phone number. Starting February 6, 2017, call extensions will be automatically added to these mobile search ads using the following phone numbers from your landing pages:

Phone Number(s)
+1 ###-###-####

You’ll be able to get detailed reporting insights about your calls performance (including call duration, call start and end time, caller area code) and whether the call was connected. You can also set up call conversion tracking to see which parts of your campaigns are driving the most valuable calls.

If you do not want to receive phone calls from your mobile search ads, please indicate this in AdWords in the Ad extensions tab before February 6, 2017:

• Select “View: Automated extensions report”
• Scroll down to “Automated extension options (advanced)” and click on “Edit”
• Uncheck the option for “Automatic call extensions” under “Do not use specific automated extensions in this account”.

After February 6, 2017, please follow these steps if you’d like to opt out from having Google create additional automatic call extensions in the future. You can also update call extensions yourself directly in AdWords to use different phone numbers or remove them from specific campaigns and ad groups.

If you have any questions, please visit the Help Center and don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Sincerely,

The Google AdWords team

Google’s Recent Advancements Towards Mobile-Friendly

Google has been pushing towards a “mobile world” as more and more people rely on and search from their phones. In 2016, they put their words into action.

Google started making big moves in early 2016 with the change to a new search engine results page layout to be more in line with mobile. Search pages now feature four ads at the top and three at the bottom. Eliminating the right sided ads.

They also gave advertisers more control to adjust their mobile and tablet bids.

And, in a mobile and desktop move, eliminated standard text ads and replaced them with the new expanded text ad format.

What Are AdWords Message Extensions For Real Estate?

Message extensions, like all other ad extensions, are eligible to show alongside your ads on the search results page, generally making them larger and more feature-rich while increasing CTR.

Ad extensions can make your ads more benefit driven and bigger, therefore increasing your click-through-rates.

Message extensions give searchers an opportunity to click to text your real estate business directly from the search page. There is an option to create a pre-written message to get the conversion going between you and the potential lead.

Message extension clicks are charged the same cost-per-click fee when a searcher clicks as if they had clicked on the ad’s headline or another ad extension.

adwords message extensions

Image Source: Inside Google AdWords

How to Set Up Message Extensions in Your AdWords Account

From the ad extensions tab, click Message Extensions:

message extensions for real estate

Creating a new message extension opens the following:

real estate message extension

Next, you’ll be prompted to add a New Message Extension:

message extension for real estate

The following will pop open:

click to message extension for real estate

Message Extension Structure

You’ll need to enter the following information about your real estate business:

Business Name (25 Characters): Provide your real estate investing or agent name.

Text Phone Number: Provide the number where you would like to receive text messages.

Extension Text (35 Characters): This is the text that will appear on the search engine results page alongside your ad.

Tip: Use clear call-to-actions like “Text us now!” or “Message us now!” within this extension to make it clear that they will be sending you a text by clicking.

Message Text (100 Characters): Use this message to help your visitors begin the conversation with you or your real estate team. Specific messages like “I’d like to get a cash offer” or “I’d like to hear about an offer in ” will help you answer these texts or conversations and ultimately close more deals than generic messages.

Start that convo and you’ll ultimately be on the right path to close more deals.

Will Message Extensions Generate Leads?

It’s a little too early to tell what impact message extensions will have on lead volume. Speaking with members of the Google AdWords Team, message extensions in certain industries could take a little bit more time to catch on and become visible.

Like with all ad extensions, AdWords message extensions should improve your mobile click-through rate. Five separate WordStream Managed Services clients using this feature in beta saw CTR improvements from message extensions, averaging 50% higher CTR than the mobile ad alone! These message extensions even rivaled the success of call extensions.

Downside: No Conversion Tracking… Yet

As of late December, there was not a 100% way to track conversions.

For now, all we can do is see how many clicks the extension gets (segment your data by “click type”).

Hopefully, AdWords will release an option to add these as conversions soon.

Stay Tuned…

As soon as we have solid data as to the effectiveness, we’ll be passing it along. This will require more and more real estate PPC accounts to begin testing the message extensions and Google finding a way to have better tracking.

Let us know if you’ve already been taking advantage of message extensions for real estate and how it’s going!

Actual Results [Proof in the Data]

We needed some solid data, so Adrian Nez from Carrot (and Investor) started running click-to-message ads for two of his campaigns at the beginning of August. Here are the results so far so good.

Stats August 1-September 12, 2017:

  • Deals closed: 1
  • Texts: 41
  • Impressions: 314
  • Cost Per Lead: $31.77
  • Conversion Rate: 31.71%
Data from August 1 through September 12, 2017
adwords click to text message example
How an AdWords Click-to-Text Message Appears

AdWords click-to-message example
AdWords Click-to-Message Example

Check out our other real estate PPC resources:

Real Estate PPC Report
10 Must Bookmark Real Estate PPC Marketing Resources We Use
How to Tell If My Real Estate PPC Campaign Is Working
20 Steps To Optimize Your Google PPC Marketing Campaigns – Real Estate Investors and Agents

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40,934 Leads Last Month

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