More threads by joegrape


Aug 5, 2021
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Hey Everyone,

What are your opinions about NOT turning on GMB Messaging?

To me, it seems like Messaging is more of a hassle than benefit. My biggest concern is that a customer's message, or the response to that message, will get lost in Google's notification system. If that happens, you're getting penalized over something that has nothing to do with response time.

If you instead push all initial contact through a website form or by phone, there is no concern of penalty if a response goes over 24 hours. And the messages a far easier to track.


Hi Richard,

As you kind of alluded to, I would never advise turning it on unless you have a dedicated person to manage it and respond in a timely fashion. If that's not an option I would not turn it on. But if you can do that then I highly recommend turning it on as it's a wonderful way to increase leads.
Colan, You feel it will increase leads?

My amateur assumption has always been that it will simply funnel leads into a different direction that is harder for some of us to deal with.

What I mean is that I always assumed if someone would click on the messaging then they would click to call you if messaging wasn’t there.
Colan, You feel it will increase leads?

In some cases it does yes. It really depends on the industry. For instance, we work with some businesses that have turned it on and it is getting used and at the same time their calls from Google my business have not gone down.
Thanks, Colan.

What about notifications and responses getting lost in Google's system? I've read criticisms to that effect, though they are from a while ago. So maybe it is not an issue anymore.

Has that been an issue with any of your clients?

Hey Richard,

I haven't run into that issue with any of our clients. The management of this feature seems to be better especially now that you can manage it on desktop as well.

The biggest complaint I usually hear is that business owners want it integrated with their existing systems. And more and more systems these days are including Google my business messaging as a part of their tool set.

Lead Ferno for instance does a great job at doing this Leadferno - Business Texting & Messaging App
We use this feature with some of our clients, it integrates well with the CRM/marketing automation platform that we use for them.

However, it only works well if the client is able to dedicate staff to immediately respond to the incoming GMB messages, as several people have mentioned above. Without that, it's better to keep it disabled.
I will echo that it is very industry-specific. I have a financial institution with multiple locations that have never gotten a message. I have a restaurant that only got 2 or 3, mostly related to job opportunities. I have a spa that gets leads all the time through Google messaging. If you have someone to respond, I feel it is worth testing. It is easy to turn off if you decide it is not working.
I have multiple restaurants that use it and I have to say for the most part its asking silly questions. "I lost my phone, do you guys have it?" ( um, call the restaurant ), "do you guys sell beer signs?" for a bar. "Is it busy there right now?" etc. Not great stuff. There are some that ask to make a reservation there. We direct them to the website or to call the restaurant. Not sure they would have figured that out before. Not sure we're getting a lot of "leads" from it. I have an auto mechanic that has it turned on. He gets very esoteric requests like "do you guys modify the xl283 perimeter injection end point calbrators for the N3838838V5 engine type on the honda mazda serento johnson m85" I mean, maybe thats a lead? or "how much do you charge for oil and lubes" Those could be considered leads I suppose. But overall, pretty unimpressed.
So here is a related question: does Google reward GMB listings with higher rankings IF they DO enable GMB messaging? I haven't seen any evidence of that but we always are working on so many variables for our clients that we cannot really isolate just one and measure whether or not it's making any difference.
Definitely depends on the business, but it's definitely worth a try. The "penalty" is simply that Google will turn off messaging if you don't respond within 24 hours often enough. How often? don't know.

Will you lose leads without it? No doubt for certain industries. Some folks would rather carry on a lengthy text convo rather than spend 2 minutes on the phone. Most likely they're a bit younger than most of us on this thread :)
Hi all - just chiming in here. We're currently wrapping up our GMB messenger integration so that our human chat agents can answer inbound gmb messages on behalf of our clients.

Speaking on chat overall - chat works great in some verticals but not so great in others. It really just depends on your use case. High value lead verticals where the end client/patient/sale/deal is worth north of $1000 is generally the businesses see more net leads because of chat. When on a site that meets the reqs above the business generally see a 40% increase in total leads because of chat. That said there are some verticals where it flat out doesn't work (power washing, pest control, locksmiths to name a few). So if I had to guess doing GMB messaging right will result in more leads for business that traditionally work well with chat.

On the other hand we saw that answering FB messages while often requested didn't really result in any significant chat volume (compared to website chat). We're hoping GMB messages will be different. From building this integration with GMB Messages we are suspect that Google has bigger plans for GMB Messages, but we don't predict much chat volume when we launch (despite ppl asking about it).BUT if chat gains traction with GMB I highly suspect LSA will be the next rollout and then maybe even traditional ads.
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As a Google Business Messages partner, my point of view can be taken with a grain of salt ;-) I find myself having to evaluate Google Chat all the time for both immediate and long-term opportunities:

Depending on industry, you may find immediate opportunities to leverage the "Chat" call-to-action in (still limited) SERPs. Adoption is still low, so having that "Chat" CTA can be a powerful differentiator. Consider a consumer searching for legal services from work, or with kids in tow, or after-hours? If your firm is one of the few that allows them to start the conversation without forcing them into a live synchronous call, you're going to capture leads above and beyond what you would without Google Chat.

The long-term opportunities relate to what @Tim Colling suggests above: turning on Google Chat and being responsive in chat is likely an emergent ranking factor. Though not obviously in use today, the rationale is strong: Chat provides Google virtually unspammable visibility into the legitimacy, performance and outcomes of the actual business behind a given GBP. Along with call-tracking and a few other initiatives discussed elsewhere in this forum, chat is Google's solution to GBP's spam woes.

Finally, I might qualify the comments about needing a staff commitment to turn on Google Chat with these additional points:
  • It's true that Google Chat must be touched by a human for best outcomes, not just in Google's metrics like human merchant response rate (HMRR) and customer satisfaction (CSAT), but often lead conversions and business value, as well.
  • That said, Google does encourage a healthy degree of automation in Google Chat, which you can accomplish with Google's own DialogFlow integration or third-party tools. For example, did you know you can satisfy Google's response rate requirements for chat entirely with automation?
  • Lastly, a proper "omni-channel" inbox can bring all your voice calls and messages, including Google Chat, into one place surrounded by productivity tools for reusable content, automation, etc. Combined with the greater efficiency of asynchronous conversations over live voice calls*, so please beware the false economy of "simple" phone calls.

* Source: "SMS Delivers Substantial Customer Service Benefits, Including Agent Efficiency, Call Deflections, And Higher Customer Satisfaction." SMS: Customer Service's Ultimate Workhorse by Forrester Research. November 12, 2020. Link: Forrester

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