How To Turn On Google Business Messaging and Get More Leads Instantly

Setting Up Your Google Business Messaging with TJ Elder

In this episode of Local SEO Tactics, Jesse is joined by special guest TJ Elder as they delve into the SEO strategy of enabling Google Business Messaging. Together, they explore the ways in which this Google Business Profile (GBP) feature can instantly boost lead generation for your business. Join Jesse and TJ Elder as they share invaluable insights and practical tips, guiding you through the process of unlocking the full potential of Google Business Messaging for your business. Tune in to this power-packed episode for actionable advice that will revolutionize your lead generation efforts.

What You'll Learn

  • How to navigate your Google Business Profile (GBP) and turn on Google Business Messaging.
  • Which settings you should enable to leverage Google Business Messaging effectively.
  • What practical tips and strategies to implement Google Business Messaging for your local SEO success

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Jesse Dolan: In this episode, I'm joined by TJ, SEO manager here at Intrycks, and we talk about the free Google Business messaging platform, tool, utility, whatever you want to call it, that's built into your Google Business Profile. Check it out. We're going to talk about what it is. We're going to give a walkthrough with video screen-sharing included on how to set this up, utilize some of the features, and go through some of the use cases. Then we're going to talk about why you should do this, what are the benefits, how to leverage this for your business, and also why you might not want to use this if you're considering it. There's some pros and cons to it, maybe, if not.

Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I'm your host, Jesse Dolan, joined here today on this episode by TJ Elder. How's it going, TJ?

TJ Elder: Good. How are you doing?

Jesse Dolan: Doing good. TJ is our SEO manager here at Intrycks. He's been on previously, so I'm not going to go through all the introductions and everything. TJ's a rockstar, knows a ton about SEO, and today we're going to be talking about the messaging feature in your Google Business Profile, your GBP. And TJ has just put out a blog post which we'll link to in the show notes on talking about this. And we thought it'd be a great opportunity to come on, talk about it on an episode here for Local SEO Tactics, explain to everybody what this is, why you should use it, how to set it up, and things like that.

So without further ado, TJ, let's kick off the topic and let everybody know first of all, what this is, what we're talking about, the chat feature, if you will, the messaging feature in Google Business Profile.

TJ Elder: Yeah, for sure. Thanks for having me on, Jesse. In the simplest form, the chat feature is just another way for people to contact your business through your Google Business Profile. There's always been the ability to make a phone call, visit your website. Now, they're adding a method or they have already added a method to be able to chat directly with the business. More and more websites have been using the chat feature to get people engaged in reaching out, and maybe a contact method that has a little lower barrier to entry. So yeah, that's basically it. You can chat or message businesses directly through the Google Business Profile. One thing to keep in mind is if you are going to chat with a business, right now it's only via a mobile phone. So you've got to be on either Google Maps or on a mobile phone to be able to send a chat message to the business.

Jesse Dolan: So you're talking about it's only on my mobile phone, TJ. Can you maybe elaborate on that for... Does that mean if you are a user looking to communicate with the business, with my business if you will, but that's only accessible to me right now as a user?

TJ Elder: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. As the customer reaching out to the business, you've got to be on a mobile phone. For the business owner, you can access the chat to reply via computer, and you can also have chats be forwarded to your mobile phone number and you'll receive them like a text message. So there's a lot of convenient options on the other end for the business to be able to answer these chat messages.

Jesse Dolan: I think this is pretty slick. Seriously nowadays, a lot of people either dread or don't want to make a phone call as the first type of communication. Getting to an email or contact form maybe is clunky. And just right off a search here, if you can just start chatting with a business, I think a lot of people are going to prefer that. Now, is this something if I'm the business owner and I reply, you message me and I reply off my mobile phone, is it going to show my phone number to this person, do you know? Or does it just come through Google, if you will?

TJ Elder: No, there's going to be a relay function at work there, so you're not going to expose your personal mobile number or anything like that. You'll be able to respond from your phone like it's a text message, but then the person will see it through the chat interface on their end.

Jesse Dolan: And I'd imagine if let's just say you and I are both tag-teaming this for our business and I am relaying this on my phone and you're plugged into the dashboard, maybe tomorrow you can see all this history then too, right? That's pretty cool if it should work like that.

TJ Elder: Yeah, for sure. And then the customer can always revisit that chat message. Maybe they've got a different question later. It really makes you a little more accessible to people. And a lot of people are used to that instant answers and they just want the answer as soon as possible. I think we all know filling out a contact form on a website can feel like maybe I'll never get a response from this or something.

Jesse Dolan: And I think also important to know if you're a business owner and you're setting this up, to your point, if people are using this, you're not going to want to wait 24 hours to get back to them. They're looking to chat, to have that instant communication, and making sure that you don't just turn this on, that you're actually aware of it, monitoring it and things like that to respond to them quickly is going to be very important. So it'd be like ignoring a phone call otherwise.

TJ Elder: Yeah. And Google has actually got restrictions on that. So you will need to respond within 24 hours. And if you don't, they'll just turn the messaging feature off. So it is a little bit of a commitment to be a little more accessible than you maybe are used to being, for sure.

Jesse Dolan: And I think for businesses, that maybe, like you said, is a bit of a commitment to maybe that sounds scary to people like, "Oh man, if I don't get back to them in 24 hours, they're going to shut this feature off. "It's just like answering a phone though or an email. If you're not replying to your potential customers that are reaching out to you, if it's taking you more than 24 hours, there's a different problem there anyways. But good to underline for everybody.

TJ Elder: I will add that you can just turn it back on if they shut it off for you. So they're a little soft.

Jesse Dolan: Not in too much trouble, but yeah, a little bit of a pain in the butt to go turn it back on. Is there anything else, TJ? We're going to get into sharing the screen here and showing people. We're going to jump into a GBP, a Google Business Profile, to turn this on, to walk through this with everybody to see how you turn it on, look at some of the features. Before we do that, is there anything else that you want to set the stage for for everybody for what this is, what we're going to be looking at, or should we dive right in?

TJ Elder: No, I think let's go and take a look.

Jesse Dolan: All right, let's open up a screen share here, and we're going to be using our Intrycks Google Business Profile. Here, we've got it up on the screen. If anybody's listening on the podcast right now, if you want to follow along and see this visually, check us out on YouTube. You can either go to Find this episode. There'll be a YouTube video on there. Or if you just go to YouTube, search for our show, Local SEO Tactics, you'll be able to come across this video. And we'll also talk through it. You're not going to have to do that, but if you want to see it, that's how you're going to do that. So walk us through this, TJ. We're looking here at basically our Google Business Profile through the SERP through right now. What should we do to get going here?

TJ Elder: All right. If you're logged in with your Google account on the profile or the account that you've got ownership access or management access to your business, all you need to do to edit your Google Profile now is go to Google and search for your business. It should pop up right there on the top of the Search result page, and it should say "Your business on Google". And then you'll see about eight or nine icon-type widgets right below it. One of them says "Messages" and you can click on that. If it's the first time and you haven't set up your chat yet, you'll get a message from Google. It'll be like a little pop-up and it says "Turn on chat. Let customers message your business on Google for free and see new messages on Search or Maps". You can turn that on.

Jesse Dolan: Just the click of a button.

TJ Elder: And there's some instant gratification. Some balloons show, "You've turned on chat". All right.

Jesse Dolan: I feel gratified now that you mention it. That's very nice, isn't it?

TJ Elder: Yep. The next thing you're probably going to want to do is get alerts, and you're going to want to know when somebody has messaged your business. So if you click "Get chat alerts", that'll prompt you to set up the text message relaying, which is something I would highly recommend. Most people aren't used to getting notifications through their Google Maps app on their phone. You're probably not just sitting at your laptop all day with your GBP open. So you can set up the text messaging function by entering in your phone number there. It'll send a verification code via text, and you can just confirm that code and then that's it. You're all set up with the text message forwarding.

Okay, so for now, we'll just go ahead and click "Not now". We're not going to set up the text messaging feature. But this is going to function pretty much exactly the same, and we'll show you how the interface looks if you're on a computer.

Jesse Dolan: And like we were saying earlier, if somebody does want to get these messages to their cell phone to be able to reply back and forth like a text, they would've to do this part. We're going to skip it for visual reasons here, but this is what you would do to be able to get it on your phone, right?

TJ Elder: Absolutely.

Jesse Dolan: That's pretty slick.

TJ Elder: The next thing that's going to happened is you're going to be brought to the main window where your chats are. So right now, we don't have any chats in here. We just turn this feature on, but it's also given us the option to turn on web notifications if we'd like.

Jesse Dolan: What does that mean?

TJ Elder: That's basically just a browser notification if you can get a little ping and a little notification on your computer in your browser window if you get a new message. So that could be a convenient option if you've got a desktop at your front desk in your shop or something like that. You can turn that on, have a little ping sound when somebody sends a message to bring your attention in there.

Jesse Dolan: Nice.

TJ Elder: Sometimes, right now Google's not showing this, but if you were to scroll down, Jesse, where it says "No messages yet", there will sometimes be a link to the chat settings right there and that gives you a few more options to customize how this chat works. Now, if you're not seeing that, you'll see three dots in the upper right-hand corner next to the X button, and you can click that and that's always going to be there for you to access the chat settings. If you'd like, we can take a look at some of these settings here. The first one, we've got chat turned on already. Obviously that's the first thing we just did.

The next option that you'll see is read receipts. So you can choose if you want to let customers know that you read the message before you responded. I'm sure everybody's got somebody that they've sent text messages with who has that function turned on with the regular text messaging. I personally don't like to use it, though that way, you don't want to let customers maybe know that you read it and that you're ignoring them, but you might. So that's a personal preference, I would say.

Under the read receipts, you'll see the option to customize a welcome message. This is a really good feature to be able to just tell people something right up front. So you can keep it basic if you want, but you can also say something like, "Hi, we're pretty responsive during these hours, but we'll get back to you as fast as you can. In the meantime, read some of our resources here or there." So this is one of the first stops where you can customize it to your own needs here. What's something, what's one piece of information you want to give your customers right away when they're trying to chat with you?

Jesse Dolan: That's great. Do they see this TJ before they submit a chat. If they're, "Hey, I would like to chat with this business," boom, this pops up before they're even sending something. Is that true?

TJ Elder: That is. Yeah, exactly. As soon as they click to go initiate a chat, it'll open a window for them and they'll see this welcome message right away.

Jesse Dolan: And we're looking on the screen here. It looks like you have about 120 characters. You can put a message in there. Like you said, not just the default is, "Hi, how can I help you today?" But yeah, I like your angle of maybe answering a question, providing some quick resources, something beyond just initiating a chat. That's a great idea.

TJ Elder: You could even put your phone number in there too if you know that you're not as quick to respond on chat in the best way to reach you in an emergency-type situation. That's something you can communicate right there on the front side.

Jesse Dolan: You can change this later. I don't know how aggressive people want to manipulate this, but if on the weekend you want to switch to a different message versus during the weekdays, hey, knock yourself out. Or if you just want to massage to try something later, you can back here and change it.

TJ Elder: Yeah, and then underneath that is a really cool feature, just FAQs. Here's an opportunity to give even more information on some of the common things that you think people are going to be sending you a message about. We originally talked about the chat being a way for you to have another contact method for your business, maybe for people who are not as interested in calling. And here's an opportunity to not even have to respond to them to give them an answer to some of the more common questions they have. So you'll see two different types here, the Custom FAQs and then automatic FAQs. I would always suggest turning on those automatic FAQs. That way, Google can pull information like your business hours, your services. Anything that you've already filled out on your Google Business Profile, they can use that information to create an FAQ.

Jesse Dolan: Awesome.

TJ Elder: So that'll save you a little time and maybe fend off some of the more casual or easily answered elsewhere-type questions.

Jesse Dolan: I really like that. Definitely, it reminds me of Facebook Marketplace, if anybody's ever listed something. The whole, "Is this still available?" Yeah, it's still listed. It's up. You don't want to waste your time responding with it, "Yes." This is great too. If somebody who's getting, maybe you're going to get 10 20 messages a day like, "What are your hours?" Stuff like that, to your point. This is a super slick feature where you're not just going to be bogged down by people being lazy, not looking for the information, just wanting to chat. That's very slick.

TJ Elder: Yeah. Maybe you're sick of people asking the same thing every time, and that's one of the first FAQs you're going to put in those Custom FAQs.

Jesse Dolan: Just to reframe it slightly for a second reason, we're talking about this as a way for maybe convenience or giving good information. But Bob and I always talk about if you can answer questions for your prospects and clients before they even ask them, give them that information, the confidence that that builds, so to your second point here, is using it in some of those other ways to provide answers, common questions, that is spectacular not only to fend off your time and be efficient, but also the confidence that it gives those people looking at you like, "Oh yeah, that's what I was looking for. Awesome. Hey, this is a slick company. They're on top of their game here." You know what I mean? "They know what I'm looking for before I even ask them." And I think that definitely helps probably bump conversions, just their image of you and everything else. So this is a very cool feature, way more than just messaging and chatting here.

TJ Elder: Yeah, absolutely.

Jesse Dolan: So how does the Custom FAQs work? By contrast, would you tell people if you turn on the automatic, "Don't mess with the custom," or do you think that people are going to want to do a mix of both as a rule?

TJ Elder: For sure. I think if you're in a rush, you want to just get this going, the automatic FAQs are a good place to start. If you see that you're starting to get the same types of questions over and over again, that's a perfect time to add a Custom FAQ because you know that's not something Google is putting up there itself. I will say the automatic ones are fairly basic usually. "What are your hours? What's your business's website?" Things like that are already on the profile and other places. So the Custom FAQs, I would definitely recommend doing that to tailor it more specifically to your business needs.

Jesse Dolan: And for everybody who's just listening, the Automatic FAQs, it's literally just a flip of a switch. You just click this button and it turns it on. But then it looks like the custom ones here, you're typing that a little bit more. So to your point, if you're in a rush, it doesn't get any easier than turning on the automatic ones. So do we want to walk through setting up a custom one to show what it looks like? Or is it self-explanatory, do you think?

TJ Elder: I think it's pretty self-explanatory. You just click on the Custom FAQs. You'll see a button that says "Add a question", and then you've got two fields, the question field and then the automated response.

Jesse Dolan: Do we know yet, TJ? I know we probably haven't tested it. I haven't come across any information that says that answers my question here either. Maybe you do, maybe you don't. But the automated response, is there any SEO benefit? Just notice in here on the screen, the question can be 60 characters, the response can be 500 characters, which is pretty good. Do you think there's value in keywords, your products, your services? Maybe questions about service area or towns. Is this an opportunity, maybe like business profile description or your services where we can do a little keyword stuffing or optimization? What's your thoughts on that?

TJ Elder: I actually don't know the answer to that question. I got to say that my instincts would be that for one, it can't hurt, right?

Jesse Dolan: Right.

TJ Elder: As long as you're providing-

Jesse Dolan: At the end of the day.

TJ Elder: Yeah, right. You're providing more information about your business. Whether it's Google being able to understand you better, I doubt that it's going to be a direct ranking factor for your business, to tell you the truth. But I feel like just setting up this stuff, putting effort into your profile, it's going to be better for your users. And those are the kind of things that Google is looking for when they're deciding to show a business.

Jesse Dolan: I like the way you phrase it too. Maybe it's not a direct ranking factor, but it can't hurt. That's the impression we have on most features of your GBP or Google My Business as it used to be called is, you know what? You're going to fill this out. You're entering this information straight into Google. Do with some intention, use your keywords. If it doesn't have any ranking factor or relevancy now, maybe it will down the road and what do you have to lose? You're going to type this in anyways, right? So put your SEO hat on, use your keywords and stuff when you're doing it, but also maybe make sure you understand you're typing this out for a human being to read. Don't just 78 keywords in a row, that's not the point.

TJ Elder: Yeah, I would definitely agree with that.

Jesse Dolan: Right on. All right, so we're not going to actually make one here. Just walking through it on the screen. That's the FAQs, which is very slick. What other features do we care about here within the messaging? Or is that end our tour there?

TJ Elder: Yeah, I think that's the main chat settings that we've got. And if you go back, it'll bring you back to the main chat window. All right. So we've finished setting up the settings. We did the FAQs. We decided whether or not we're going to turn Read Receipts on, and we left the settings and now we're looking at the main window where the chat interface lives.

So the first thing you'll see there is just a message from Google giving you the example of how your chat's going to look when you receive it from a customer. They're going to say that responding quickly is the key to keeping that message on and then give you a link to learn more. In the upper right, you've got a little trash can and you've got a little exclamation point button. One of the potential downsides, and I think we'll get into that in a little bit, but one of the potential downsides is this is also another avenue for spam messages to come through, but they do have a tool for reporting spam and then just cleaning out that message and deleting it all together. So if you get somebody who's not legit and they're reaching out to you, you can block them so they're not going to continue to do that.

Jesse Dolan: Like you said, that will happen. It'll just be real. Spammers look for any crack and this one will be used too. Shouldn't discourage you, but... And do you off the top have any advice on people whether they should or shouldn't delete these messages? Is that just a personal preference if you want to keep it tidy or if you want the archive to build up? I don't think there's any limit to messaging at this point, is there?

TJ Elder: Yeah, I think that's another area where there's a personal preference. Are you the type of person who cleans out every email in your inbox or do you just live in chaos with 1,000 unread messages at all times?

Jesse Dolan: Can't do that.

TJ Elder: So yeah, I think there's not really a reason you might want to refer back. And if somebody comes in person, you can be like, "Oh, what was that person asking for a quote for or what kind of information were they looking for?" Gives you the ability to better serve your clients and have... With a phone call you might forget or somebody else in the shop might have been the one to talk to somebody originally. I think for most people, it's going to be valuable to have a little bit of that conversation history preserved.

Jesse Dolan: That makes a lot of sense.

TJ Elder: So Jesse, on my end, I've got the Business Profile pulled up on my phone here and we did not customize that welcome message. So it says, "Hi, how can I help you today from Intrycks?" Even though you're not seeing it on your end, I'm already seeing that. And then I've got three automated questions from Google. So just like we said earlier, simple to begin with. What are your opening hours? What's your website? What's your phone number?

Jesse Dolan: That's awesome. And so everybody knows too, TJ. Sorry to interrupt you, but we're doing this in real time. However this looks on YouTube or sounds on the podcast when you're checking us out this episode, we didn't edit this all together. So literally in the last couple of minutes, we've turned this feature on. I'm in Minnesota. You're in Colorado. You're on your cell phone pulling up our profile on Google, and this is already turned on and you're engaging with it in a matter of minutes, so there's no big lag time here. I just think that's pretty cool to point out to everybody. It's you turn this on, it's on.

TJ Elder: Yeah, for sure. So I'll just click on one of these automated FAQs. If we had the Custom FAQs, those would show up as well. So you got a bunch of different things you can just click on to match up with maybe the question you had in mind. All right, so I just clicked. "What's your website?"

Jesse Dolan: So everybody's seen on the screen here or maybe even heard the ding come through because I still have the chat open on the screen. I'm driving the screen sharing part here. You sent that message, or I'm sorry, you interacted on the messaging asking what the website is. You got the automated response, right?

TJ Elder: Yeah.

Jesse Dolan: I see that on our end in the feed. That's really cool to know that you're interacting with that and we didn't have to do anything here back at the headquarters, so very slick.

TJ Elder: Yeah, exactly. From my end now, I can see more FAQs if I want or I can just start chatting a message.

Jesse Dolan: Hello, TJ. So TJ just sent the message. "Hi, Jesse." I sent back, "Did you like our website" I think that's interesting. So even if somebody is completely engaging just with the automated FAQs or the Custom FAQs, but just I should say engaging with the FAQs, not actually engaging with the person on the other end messaging, as the business owner, I can see that and I can proactively chime in and prompt a question to you or maybe give further answer to some FAQ answer that you're provided. This is really cool how they show all this in the conversation for the business owner in the dashboard. So very slick.

TJ Elder: Yeah, absolutely. Maybe the automated FAQs have it handled, but you still want to go ahead and chime in and say, "Hey, saw you chatted. Let us know if you need anything else."

Jesse Dolan: And I think to your point earlier about as a business, let's just say you're a florist. Somebody comes into the shop, you need to reference something in that chat history. You can pull it up if you saved that. Another creative feature for this from the sales side is if you know TJ did not come into your flower shop three days later right after engaging in chat, you could just like an email or phone call, ping TJ through chat again a couple of days later like, "Hey, were you going to stop in? Is there a good time for you? Should we set up an appointment?" It's a way to be proactive in that outreach too from a sales standpoint. Okay, well, so this is live. We're doing a walkthrough. What is this? How does it work? We're setting it up, using it back and forth. You think that gives a pretty good tour for everybody or is there anything else we want to showcase?

TJ Elder: No, I think that's pretty good. I think one thing I'll just note is it's giving you the option right there on your screen to add that question and answer to your FAQs. So you don't even need to go back to the chat settings window. You can just click on that and that'll pull the window right up and give you the opportunity to add it in there.

Jesse Dolan: This is slick. And just so everybody... As you're talking through that, I clicked the button to explain to everybody what we're seeing is your question, "What's your website?" You did get the automated response, but then I chimed in and said, "Did you like our website? "Just a silly follow-up question. So you wouldn't want to really use that. But basically your question and then my answer to it, it skipped over the automated answer.

So my actual answer I typed in your question, could with a click of a button, turn into an FAQ for the future. Getting back to the whole point earlier about if you can put these questions on the front side for your clients that they're going to ask, it's very impressive. Builds a lot of confidence. This is a very easy way to build that library and put those questions out there for people. Even if you went through as a brainstorm and said, "Here's the 10 questions I get asked the most." You come across one a few times through this chat, boom, look a few buttons and here you go. You added that to your FAQs. All right, cool. Anything else we want to highlight, TJ, before we move on to the next chunk of the topic here?

TJ Elder: Yeah, I think there's two other things that I'm seeing on my end on the phone that I think would be valuable to talk about.

Jesse Dolan: Sure.

TJ Elder: One is the ability to send an image through the chat. So picture a repair service or something like that where I can actually show the business a picture of the issue I'm having. Maybe it's your phone's broken. Or maybe that's a bad example because you'd be using your phone, but maybe it's something in your car that's broken and you're wondering if the shop can fix that type of part or they've got the part to fix it. "Here's a picture of my broken thing. Do you have that?" It can save time for both people without me having to go visit the business. And if you're there to be able to tell them yes, you're going to close that sale probably quicker than somebody who's not doing that.

Jesse Dolan: And on the business owner dashboard side, we've got it highlighted here for people. Watching down in the left right next to where you type the message, there's also that same option here where it looks like I would be able to pull a photo from my computer too. So that that's a two-way street and again, another way that's pretty dang handy for whatever the usage is you could think of there. So what else you got?

TJ Elder: The other thing that I've got in the top right of my screen is a little phone button, and I can click that and then call the number that you've got on your profile. So it's not going to be like a FaceTime or some kind of call through the chat interface, but it is another area where if you need to have somebody call you for this particular issue, you can tell them that and then they'll have that button and make it really easy for them to get in touch that way.

Jesse Dolan: Pretty well-thought-out actually. If you're looking to convert somebody, if the chat's becoming complicated like, "Hey, just click that button Call. Let's talk here. We're chatting in real time, let's just get on the voice here and make this quicker." That's got to tell you, the more we walk through this and go through these use scenarios, I think this is a pretty cool feature for everybody. Maybe not a perfect fit for everyone, I know we're going to talk about that here in a little bit, but this is pretty impressive. And again, through your GBP, free via Google. Not bad man, not bad.

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It's a great report. It's going to give you an overall score of some vital SEO areas for that page and for your website at large. Even though it's auditing this page, that's going to tell you some of the good things that are happening, some of the bad things that are happening too, and give you basically a checklist of some things that you need to shore up and what you can do to improve your SEO for that page, for that keyword that you're auditing.

Now, you can use this as many times as you want. You can do multiple keywords, multiple pages, multiple keywords on the same page. You can even use this to check against your competitors. If you want to do a little reverse engineering, see how they're scoring for a certain keyword, what they may be doing good that you're not, and some things to improve there. So lots of different ways to use it completely free. Again, go on at the or look for the yellow button in the top-right corner of the website.

All right, so we've, just to set the stage for everybody, reset quick. We've talked about what this feature is. It's the messaging through your GBP. We didn't say this earlier, TJ, I don't think, but just to be explicitly clear to everybody, you have to have your GBP set up. If you're listening to this, you're like, "What are these guys even talking about? Google Business Profile. Google My Business, Google Profile, G B P." If you don't have one for your business already, you need to get one. It's free. This is how you show up in the map, pack in those local listings. Getting the reviews right, seeing the score. We've all seen this if we use Google. If you don't have that for your business yet, set that up. It's free. We can help you. You can check out some of our previous episodes. We'll link a couple on the show notes for the how-tos that we did a while back, but this is built into that. So you got to have the GBP, which is free. Within that, then you can turn on this messaging feature.

So that is what the feature is. We just showed how to enable it, use some features. Again, if you're listening, go back later. Watch it on YouTube. We walked through it all in the screen share. Now, let's talk about, TJ, I know you've got some points lined up why businesses should use this. What's the advantage? Why do we think this is a benefit for them? Let's talk about that a little bit.

TJ Elder: Yeah, I think the biggest benefit is it's just providing another quick and convenient communication option to reach more customers. More and more people, especially the younger generation, are used to being able to text to communicate with each other, and it's just giving you that ability to text with a business where that wasn't really easy before.

Jesse Dolan: And I'm going to give an opinion here, maybe even opinion/ prediction, completely unfounded, just going off the knowledge of how Google's worked over the years and everything else. I'd bet that if you're in a niche where a lot of people have messaging turned on, just that's the business you're in and you don't have it on, and if they're using it and having a lot of interactions, a lot of user-generated signals are happening with Google for those other businesses. If you don't have yours turned on, I bet that impacts your exposure in Google Maps in the rankings. At the end of the day, Google has just an intrinsic desire and need and function to provide the best results to all of us that are searching. And if they've got a tool here, to your point, making it easy for people to interact and engage, Google wants that. You know what I mean? That's the whole concept here.

And if your competitors are using that and crushing in it and yours is turned off, that doesn't take a whole lot of analysis to see which one of those Google would probably prefer. Maybe that's not happening now, but I could definitely see that be in a direction. And even if Google isn't, as users start to know that this is a feature and we interact with it. Much like when Google Reviews and stuff first came out, it's not everybody was getting them, but now it's like a must-have. I think this is something that will probably evolve and be more widespread than it is now. And again, not a ranking factor, but maybe a conversion factor, maybe a bit of an exposure factor. Who knows? But this is not a simple thing that's fairly sophisticated with Google. They put some horsepower behind it. I think it's a good reason to use it too with that. So what other reasons do we have?

TJ Elder: Yeah, I think one thing is people might be more likely to do a chat when they're not quite ready to engage with your services, but they're still in that deciding phase. And if you can answer their question and get on their radar earlier in their buying journey, then you can be the one that they think of first when they are ready to buy. So it just lowers that barrier to entry for communication and gives you that option there. And the third thing I feel like is the automated FAQs. It's a really good place where you can optimize your profile even further than you might have already, and it doesn't lead to that much work on your end after it's set up. You're going to be able to answer a lot of people's questions through those automated FAQs and just gives you access to that feature that you wouldn't have otherwise.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, I think you're right. And I do think that whole part and the psychology about having that stuff populated from a consumer standpoint, the confidence that gives me in that brand. And then especially like you'd said earlier, if I'm shopping around to somebody else maybe as a second option or third and they're not having that, now you stand out even more of really, pardon the French, but you got your shit together as a business. And they will come back to you. They're not going to search any further if experience was good. So why would people not want to use this though inversely? Is there any reasons?

TJ Elder: I think the main thing that comes to mind is if you're super busy already. If you're so busy that you're not able to answer the phone when it rings, you might just not want that extra communication. Then the person who's calling you and you haven't gotten a chance to respond to them, they're going to contact you on the chat and it might just overwhelm you a little bit. So if you're in that position where you feel like you're not able to stay on top of things as they are, you might not want to open up that extra communication option. I will say it could be something where maybe somebody tries to call and then they go to the message and they see that FAQ that answers their question. Just on the flip side, if you're really busy, it could help fend some of those questions off. So I think people really need to try it out and see if it's going to work for them or not.

Jesse Dolan: And for that point you're making of why you wouldn't want to use it, you can also not use it temporarily. When we were showing the setup, it's just the flip of a switch. If you are hitting a spot in your business where, "Oh my God, Dave quit. We're going to be crazy busy the next two weeks and we're already busy, but now it's going to be real busy, shut it off and then you can go turn it back on later." That's an issue I think businesses will have sometimes where you get too busy. I think any business has been there. And if somebody's looking for instant support, instant communication, and you're not able to provide it, yeah, shut it off quick. But to your point, I don't think you should do that probably only as a last resort because the point you just made about hey, man, your FAQs, all these other information is still out there, and you may not even have to do anything by keeping it on.

And maybe you can craft your initial message being like, "Hey, we're extremely busy right now. Please check out our FAQs. If there's anything here in the resource." Some kind of message there instead of shutting it off, I guess is what I'm trying to say. Maybe you can do something like that temporarily. But at the end of the day, I think our recommendation, correct me if I'm wrong, but to our clients, is to turn this on. This isn't something where we are not on board with it by any means. This is something you particularly have been bringing up recently saying, "We really got to roll this out. The more we learn about it, the more we use it. It's pretty great too." And yeah, that's why we want to share with everybody here. So do you have any other closing points, thoughts, comments, tidbits anybody needs to know, TJ?

TJ Elder: No, I think that's probably it for the most part. One idea I did have as we were talking here, Jesse, is if you're going back and forth with your customer on Google, you know they've got a Google account. And then when it's time to ask for a review, you can go to that chat, send them a link to your review. You know they're already logged into Google, so it kind of gives you a little more of a leg up for afterwards when you're trying to get that review like, "Hey, I know that you seem very satisfied with the result here. We'd love to help other people. Would you mind leaving us a review?" So it can be another good way to ask for reviews.

Jesse Dolan: I think that's a genius point. If everybody's listening, if you made it to the end of this episode, that right there was worth your time invested into it if nothing else was. And I'll take that a step further even, TJ. You can take your review link and just drop it right into that chat. Maybe we like you to ask them in person. We always coach our clients. Ask people in person. But what a great, easy thing to do once a day, once a week, whatever your discipline would be at your business, have a pre-templated copy, paste that you can drop into that message like, "Hey, boom, here's our link to get a review." Your point is very smart that they've got a Google account. The barrier for them is going to be pretty dang small. They're probably just going to have to click on it. They're probably already logged in. Boom, now they're leaving your review, and that is definitely worth the trouble to get a review. Those are very important.

All right, TJ, we can probably wrap it up. Great topic for everybody. Easy, free. This is going to just take you a few minutes to set up. We took way longer walking through it to explain it than it's actually going to take you if you jump into your profile and set this up. But if you need any help, this is what we do all day, every day here at Intrycks. You can reach out to us, we can do this for you, maybe give you a couple quick pointers if it's easy. But if you're looking for help for your company, this is what we do. We provide these services to companies all day long. Check us out TJ, thanks for coming on. Thanks for the amazing topic, and we'll chat again in the future, man.

TJ Elder: Yeah, thanks for having me, Jesse. See you soon.

Jesse Dolan: Take care, everyone. Adios.

All right everyone, I hope you love that episode with TJ. There was a lot of great information that we dropped in there. If you're not using the Google Business messaging feature yet, you're going to want to turn that on, save this episode, reference your notes, whatever it is, turn that thing on and you're going to start to get more leads for your business instantly. If you're not yet on Google with your Google Business Profile, reach out to us. We can help. Or check back to some of our previous episodes. Like I mentioned earlier, check the show notes for this episode,, and we've got links to some of those resources, including a link out to the Google official resource for Google Business messaging.

Also wanted to mention that during the episode as we're recording, we failed to mention, TJ and I, that when he sent the message to me, I also received an email automatically. So if you don't have this set up on your phone or if you didn't turn on the web browser alerts like we showed in the session here, you'll also get an email to whatever it is, your laptop, your phone, whatever it is. So you're not going to miss these messages if you don't turn those things on. You'll still get alerted in your email. Likewise, TJ received something as the customer, the prospect, the end user on the communications when it was coming at him too. So forgot to mention that part as we were talking on the fly so wanted to clarify there as well. So again, hopefully this was a good episode for you, and I'll catch you on the next one.


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