Introducing: Google My Business Messaging (and what we know so far!)

Not all of Google’s updates can be forecasted. This has been made clear by the recent introduction of the new “Google My Business Messaging” tool. Seemingly out of left field, this update allows business owners to communicate directly with their customers (and potential customers) using their Google My Business listing via text messaging.

Not much is known about this new tool, as the best practices are currently being written as we speak, but here is everything we do know now:

  • Complete US roll out, meaning everyone has access to it.
  • It is only available on Google Desktop and Mobile searches. It is not available on Maps or other Google products at this time.
  • You need a mobile number you’re comfortable with using for each location you plan to use it with (it will not be public, but it will receive text messages).
  • When texting, your number will remain private as Google will show a proxy number for your response.
  • Only one number per location.
  • You can set a “welcome message” but no other automated responses.
  • Metrics will be available for messaging, specifically: number of clicks, number of conversations and number of messages. More to come.
  • Average response time will be displayed, so take that into consideration.
  • Messaging is available 24 hours, but can be turned off manually.
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    At this time, we have no reason to believe that it will have any impact on organic rankings. We do believe that this is temporary, however, as it’s clear why these sort of metrics could be incredibly beneficial for helping Google decide which results provide the best customer experience. The question is not if, but when.

     

    The great news is we are rolling this feature out to all of our SEO clients, new and old, over the coming weeks. Of course, we understand that this feature requires more from auto shops in terms of resources and time (someone’s got to be able to text back, etc.), so this isn’t for every shop, so feel free to opt-out at any time, and there is no obligation to participate.

    Written by Charlie Needham

    Charles Needham is the Search Engine Optimization Manager for Autoshop Solutions, and has led the team since 2013. With over a decade of experience across the full-suite of digital marketing disciplines, Charles understands not only how internet marketing works at the individual service level, but also how they come together to create a stronger marketing program than they could on their own. With this knowledge and experience, he has helped hundreds of brick-and-mortar automotive repair shops and nationwide eCommerce sites dominate their competition and improve their visibility online.

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