What is this new button?
Google has added a new feature – the “Request a Quote” button. This button enables searchers to directly request a quote for your services, directly from the SERPs. It’s there to be more seamless, reduce friction between users searching for your business, and answers the no.1 question – “What will cost?”. So, what does this button mean for your SEO, and how do you get it?
How do I get Google’s request a quote button?
The only way to get the feature is to turn on the messaging feature in Google My Business. Here are some instructions from Google on how to turn this feature on and what it means for you. The messaging feature is where users will communicate with you in order to request the quote and discuss further details.
What does it mean for my own SEO?
The new button could be a blessing or a curse, depending upon your perspective. One of the top queries for a user when looking for a top product or service, is the cost. This button removes the need for customers to click on your website, navigate to a “contact us” or “pricing” page in order to find out the costs associated with your product or service. Great for customer service, not so great for website traffic. As referenced by Search Engine Journal and in our article about Google stealing traffic, it is yet another piece of functionality that negates the need for the searcher to visit a website. Having said that, whilst you may see a decline in website traffic, you may see an increase in conversions.
It should be noted that Google My Business information appears differently for mobile when compared to desktop. On mobile the GMB information appears appears directly beneath the search result, whereas on desktop it appears on the righthand side and somewhat removed from the results. Furthermore, that we have seen instance of ‘message’ the business as well as a larger ‘request a quote’ button. Either way, it seems as though this messaging function is set up primarily for mobile which is unsurprising considering Google’s mobile first index.
Example of GMB on mobile:
Example of GMB on desktop:
Reduced friction or reduced qualification?
We understand why Google has implemented the request a quote button. The reduced friction may result in faster completion of a searcher’s intent, which may in turn increase the amount of leads a business receives.
However, this instant interaction could also result in a reduction in qualification. What do we mean by this? Well, your website should include key information for prospects which, in turn, should also filter out those that do not fit your buyer personas. Perhaps the product or service is not quite what they are looking for, or the price doesn’t fit. With Google’s request a quote button, your website may no longer be as effective in filtering out these unqualified leads, increasing costs associated with customer service.
Searchers will still visit websites
Let’s get one thing straight. This button could be great for certain businesses, and certain searchers. To think that this will result in your website traffic hitting zero though, would be wrong. We believe that only a portion of searchers will use this button, both in order to get a quote and also to gain further information. Other searchers will still want to visit a website to gain more information prior to contacting the business. We actually believe that the former will be by far the smaller portion.
Customer service will be key
Presuming that you have activated the request a quote button and are searchers are using it, what are other factors to take into account. Clearly the standard of customer service will be key in building your relationship with a prospect. Your beautiful website may have been visited previously (and instigated this request via a branded search), but it will be up to your customer service to convert the prospect.
Ensure that the messaging is set up correctly and that a team member, or members, are monitoring the messages. Brand relationships can be damaged through untimely or even non-existent responses via messaging platforms so having clear internal processes for responses is critical in making the most out of this button.
The request a quote button will only appear for branded searches. For example, searching for a generic industry term won’t prompt the button to appear. You’ll need to search for a brand specific term i.e. the brand name in order to display the business listing on the right hand side of the SERP for the button to show. Who knows, in the future this button may become a factor in whether a prospect contacts your business, much like secure websites, reviews and social presence influence buying decisions nowadays. At the moment, the feature is too new to be able to discern its role in on the first page of Google, but it’s definitely one we’ll be keeping our fingers on the pulse of.
For now, it will add fuel to the flame of Google stealing traffic from publishers. All the time whilst Google is continuing its mission to provide more information directly from the SERPs and make the searcher’s experience more seamless …as long as that is facilitated by the big G.