In an effort to help connect customers directly with businesses, Google has upped the game yet again.

Google is already known as the premier search engine on the internet and they’re consistently working to deliver an even better product. Their newest addition – messaging through Google Maps – will not only further Google’s online dominance but will also help your business make more money.

How the New Feature Works

For now, this is still in the testing/pilot phase. However, if everything goes according to plan, this could be integrated into Google’s Maps feature relatively soon.

The program works like this: when customers find a business profile on Google Maps and want to get immediate information, they’ll be able to click a “Message” button on the business’s Google listing and will be able to submit a chat message directly to the business.

The message will then come through via SMS on the business owner’s phone or can be routed through Google Allo. Businesses will be able to respond in real-time, of course, and can help eliminate some of the hang ups that prevent customers from converting.

Below is an example of one of the businesses participating in the pilot program.

What This Means For Your Business

As a business, this could be a huge benefit to help increase your revenue from your Google listing and website.

Say, for example, that you’re a local pet-grooming business and you don’t have a large enough budget to really focus on advertising like Google AdWords. Adding this feature to your Google listing would allow potential customers to send you a quick message to ask about services, prices and any specific questions without cutting into your marketing budget.

Let’s face it: in 2016, a huge majority of customers would rather just shoot off a quick text or instant message than actually call a business they don’t know. That doesn’t seem to be a trend that is dying off anytime soon.

Incorporating this messaging feature into your Google listing can help your close ratio increase, drive you more traffic and make your business more accessible. As Google officially rolls this – and other features – out to the general business public, be sure to check back with us here at Citywide for more updates and any help that you may need in increasing your online presence and digital marketing.

In the interim, for more information about this particular Google feature, feel free to check out their help document here.