Google Wants Users To Message Businesses Straight From Local Results

By Steph Von der Heyde | The 1 Thing

Jan 11

Google is giving the ‘message this business’ feature a boost this January; encouraging more customers to make use of it.

The new interface (pictured below) has a more prominent placement and colour for the ‘message’ button, in order to prompt more users to try it out.

The old interface looked like this:

Why Should You Care?

Google’s promoting of the use of the messaging feature in the local panel is part of their drive to make it as easy as possible for users to contact businesses (without having to leave the SERPs).  

The feature could potentially result in more leads (by reducing the amount of effort it takes the user to contact you). The quality of these leads, however, is another story.

On the other hand, if a lot of businesses begin using it your customers might expect you to use it as well; adding another item to your ever-expanding do-list. You do have the option to deactivate messaging but if your competitors are using it this could put you at a disadvantage.

Maintaining and managing the message option within Google My Business (GMB) can be done using the new GMB app, via the GMB web portal or your phone’s messaging app.

How to turn on GMB messaging:

  1. Open the Google My Business app.
  2. Open the location you’d like to manage (f you have multiple locations).
  3. Tap Customers.
  4. Tap Messages.
  5. Tap Turn on.
  6. Done!

Once you’ve turned on messages, you can return to Customers > Messages to see all messages in chronological order.