Are you the owner of a local business? If so, there are probably quite a few things you do in a day. Besides working with vendors, talking to customers, performing accounting functions, and—you know—doing all the things that your business is actually built around, you need to be a marketer, too. That’s a lot to ask of someone who’s already wearing far more hats than they can fit on their head, but there are some easy ways for small business owners to get out in front of their customers. Of course, Google is a key player in this game, and Google My Business is the perfect accompaniment to any local business leader’s needs. With this in mind, let’s dive in.
What is Google My Business Questions and Answers?
When it comes to boosting your business with Google, the Q&A portion of your Google My Business (GMB) profile can be a secret weapon that leads more people to your front door (either virtually or in-person). With Google Q&A, any of your customers (current or future) can ask questions about any company in the world, and anyone else can answer those questions. These questions can range anywhere from parking and accessibility to times of day that are best to visit the business and the warranties offered. From there, these questions appear on the company’s GMB profile and may even show up at the top of their online listings, depending on which search query they’re displaying for.
In other words, if you have a robust Q&A section, your company has better chances of ranking higher on Google searches.
Why is Q&A Content Valuable to Your Online Presence?
For starters, your customers are already using this feature. Like many other marketing modalities, if you want to attract larger audiences, you need to meet them where they are. There are other reasons you need to have a presence on Q&A, including the fact that if you’re not monitoring this area, other people could be giving potential customers completely false information.
Here are seven other reasons why Google My Business Questions and Answers is valuable to your online presence:
1. Attract New Customers
As we stated, your potential customers are already using this service. It only makes sense for your business to be in the mix and part of the conversation so you can provide correct information and be the knowledge-source necessary when people have questions. Questions and uncertainty are barriers to entry when people are considering choosing a brand. The information you provide could be the deciding factor when they’re ready to make a purchase.
2. Show Up in More Search Results
Google’s web crawlers are paying attention to everything related to your brand. If you have questions and answers related to queries available for people who are searching for those keywords, your site is more likely to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
3. Save Time
Google Q&A enables searchers the ability to search their questions and find answers from multiple different people in a single place. This eliminates time spent on searches and makes essential information accessible to everyone. The more user-friendly and easy-to-access your brand is, the more likely you are to attract new customers (back to #1 on this list).
4. Customer Experience
Your potential customers could be searching for all sorts of information, such as hours of operation, specific offerings, or special accommodations that your location can provide. Thanks to Google Q&A, you can supply searchers with all this information and more, answering their questions directly yourself. By doing so, you also reduce the number of clicks prospective customers have to make. This makes it easier for people to find accurate information and enables your answers to be more authentic, as they’ll come straight from your Google listing.
Even when people have the best of intentions, public answers can often be incorrect or inaccurate. When you answer the questions posed to your business by your soon-to-be customers (or when you seed your Q&A profile with questions and answers that people may be asking), you’ll ensure that your business gets seen in the most accurate light possible. Whether you’re the first to respond—or you’re correcting another commenter’s post—you’ll be able to ensure that the most up-to-date information is delivered to your audience.
6. Competitive Advantage
It’s estimated that more than 90% of questions are currently unanswered by business owners on Google Q&A. By maintaining your Q&A section, you’ll be able to stand apart from your competitors and offer visitors a personalized experience. Not to mention, of course, that you’ll be able to highlight the aspects of your business that really make your brand shine. If you have a moment, take the time to meander over to your competitors’ pages. This can help you see what types of questions people are answering that may not be on your own profile.
7. Gain Insights
Speaking of checking in on what your competitors are doing, bear in mind that there will always be more questions, even if you’ve posted the most popular inquiries you can think of to your Google My Business profile. Keep an open mind to the questions that come in after you’ve posted your Q&A sessions to your profile; these inquiries will help you gain insight into other information people need when they’re deciding whether to choose your brand or go with your competitors.
Creative Ways to Use Questions and Answers to Boost Search Visibility
Now that you know some of the benefits to be gained from employing the Q&A section of Google My Business, we should talk about the creative ways you can use the platform to bolster your brand awareness. As with most things in marketing, it may take a little trial and error to get everything right, but once you have your Q&A in place, it’ll do a lot of work on your behalf.
1. Answer Questions People Have About Your Business
Even if you feel like you’ve already answered the most popular questions, don’t discount the ongoing inquiries that are sure to come in. Leaving questions unanswered can give your business a bad rap. Additionally, it’s always possible that someone else could step in and answer those otherwise-unanswered questions, and there’s no guarantee that those answers will be correct or truthful. Always answer all questions that come in so you can let your customers know that you’re actively engaged with your audience.
2. Highlight What’s Special About Your Business in an Answer
You should always be able to provide anyone with an elevator pitch about why your business is awesome and what makes it unique. Google Q&A is the perfect place to bring those pitches into reality. As you’re answering questions, interject real-life circumstances that explain what your audience is looking for. When you give real-world examples, it’s easier for people to understand how your brand can benefit their lives.
3. Ask Your Own Questions That Others Haven’t Asked
This process—also known as “seeding”—occurs when you know some questions that would be good to post on your GMB listing, but nobody’s asked them yet. These questions can be anything from the FAQs that you and your staff encounter regularly to more obscure questions that can still help potential customers learn more about your business. If you need a little direction, look at the attributes Google lets you check off for your particular category. Sure, these are probably going to be listed on your business profile, but people will still ask about them using Q&A. It never hurts to address these attributes in as many places as possible.
4. Add Locations Into Your Answers
If you’ve ever typed in a search that includes the phrase “near me”, such as “donut shops near me”, you’ll understand the value of adding locations to your answers. Google pays attention to this text and records the location information in association with your brand. The more you’re able to (fluidly) insert location information into your answers, the more likely Google will be to pick up that data and give it back to searchers when they’re hunting for the products or services you offer.
Choose Surefire Local
Need help getting your Questions and Answers optimized while maintaining an active online presence across all the channels your customers use? Thanks to our local marketing software that’s designed to make bolstering your brand easier than ever, you can relieve the constant stress and guesswork by running your marketing from one place, with one secure login for the whole team.. Get started today by scheduling a demo!