The f/stop: This Week in Digital Marketing

digital marketing updatesGoogle has been focusing a lot of its efforts on improving the user experience for mobile search. Could be due to the fact that mobile search is responsible for approximately 60% of all U.S. search query volume. What’s new in the digital marketing world and what kind of impact will it have on both businesses and consumers? Let’s take a look at the latest.

Allo, Live Chat Is Here

Last November, Google My Business slowly started rolling out a pilot run for live chat within the Google local panel for customers searching on mobile. That means when customers find a business in the mobile SERP, they can choose to directly chat with businesses online through their SMS number or via Google Allo.

Seems like things went well because Google has confirmed it’s rolling the feature out in full for businesses in the U.S. Want to get connected with your potential customers via chat? Here’s what you need to know.

  1. On the GMB home page, there is a new section for “messaging” on the left as well as an option in the middle promoting “message with customers.”
  2. After clicking, you must configure the mobile number of the Allo device you would like to connect.
  3. After verification, you can set up an auto reply to the customers who use the feature.
  4. Once set up, when users see your company’s local panel in mobile search, they will have an option to click on the “message” icon.
  5. On IOS, the customer is taken to their native messaging app and then will be able to message the business.
  6. Once the message is sent from the customer, the business will receive a message in Allo or their native messaging app.

This is how the feature looks in mobile search:

live chat mobile search

This is an example of the customer view of messaging on IOS:

Google My Business Live Chat IOS

This is an example of the owner view of messaging in Allo:

Google My Business Allo


Google Gives the Power to Swipe Right on Mobile

The testing period is over and Google has decided to officially change the sitelinks format to a carousel view in the mobile search results. This helps mobile device users with smaller screens because it allows users to swipe back and forth to other website links. Plus, it gives more SERP real estate for listings formerly taken up by sitelinks and the accompanying space needs.

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