As a small business owner, local search is an essential part of your digital marketing plan. To optimize your local presence, you need to optimize your Google Business Profile (GBP) page (formerly known as Google My Business). While you hopefully are already using this FREE digital marketing tool, once you claim and complete your profile, there are several GB tools you can leverage to improve your SEO.
For example, the Q&As allow you to share more details about your business, so customers don’t waste time with calls or searching through pages of your website. Here we look at the often-ignored Q&A section of your GB profile to show you how you can use it to optimize customer experience and conversions.
How Do Google Business Profile Q&As Work?
While your website FAQs provide a static question-and-answer resource, the Google Business Profile Q&A section is more interactive. Customers can post specific questions you can respond to, creating an ongoing conversation with users. As a result, there is no need for customers to contact your support or customer service team and can hopefully make a quick decision to purchase.
Not only can you answer questions, but your customers can also respond based on their own experiences. The downside to customers being able to both ask and answer questions is that you might find some customer-provided answers are either negative or incorrect. Therefore, you need to check this section daily and “flag” incorrect information.
Customers can also click the “Like” icon to show they liked the answer, which then upvotes the question to the top of the Q&A.
Your GB Q&As allow you to create a highly effective, constantly evolving form of FAQs readily available at the time of their search query.
What’s the Impact of Optimizing the Q&A Section?
Optimizing your GBP Q&A section ensures both existing and potential clients easily access the information they need. It is an important aspect of your local SEO strategy that takes very little time to maintain. As a free tool, it makes sense to take advantage of its capabilities and collect data on the questions customers actually ask.
Each question provides a valuable tidbit you can apply to your marketing, whether it is making your hours more prominent on your social and website pages or something more meaningful that provides inspiration for blog posts or creating more robust service and product pages. You can prioritize information more effectively with a better understanding of the types of questions customers want to be answered.
5 Steps to Optimize Your Google Business Profile Q&As
There are five steps to optimizing your GB profile Q&As:
Step 1: Answer Questions
Obviously, questions need answers. Because anyone with a Google account can answer questions, you need to be the first to do so if you want the information to be accurate. To answer questions, log into your Google account and go to your GB profile listing to click the “Questions & Answers” on the sidebar. Select “See all questions,” where you can add an answer by clicking “Answer.” You can then post the answer, which will be credited to you so people know your company is responsive and the answer can be trusted.
Step 2: Keep Answers Simple & Informative
Be sure to answer the question using easy terms your customer will understand and check for any typos. You want to appear professional. This is an opportunity to bring value to customers and build on the information you share. You want to avoid pat answers like yes, and instead provide a short, sweet, but informative answer. If someone asks if you carry Gucci bags for example, instead of saying “Yes” expand the answer by saying, “Yes, our spring line just arrived, and we actually have a clearance on our winter purses.”
You can also craft your responses to get more mileage out of them by creating evergreen content. For example, for the question above, you could say something more generic like, “Yes, we do, along with Chanel, Guess, Birken bags and more.” This keeps your answers relevant, bringing more value no matter when someone reads it.
Step 3: Add Your Own Questions
The beauty of the Q&As is that anyone can ask questions, including you. This is a great opportunity to get a little FAQ section going, providing answers to questions you get asked often. This makes it even easier for customers while limiting the answers provided by random Google accounts. We’d recommend asking questions from a personal account and not one from your business.
Step 4: Monitor & Flag Inaccurate User-Provided Answers
Check in daily to look for inaccurate user-provided answers and flag anything that is misleading or questionable. Use the same process in Step 1 and click the flag icon for anything that is:
- Inappropriate, violent, or hateful
- Spammy or advertising
For example, it’s possible for a competitor to pop right in and answer a question, saying “Actually, you can get that Gucci purse cheaper at Bob’s Purse Emporium.” You just lost a customer. Keep up with answers to avoid all the negative possibilities, including free advertising for competitors.
Step 5: Use the “Like” Option
As mentioned earlier, Google lets people upvote questions by liking them to move the answer up. You can use the feature to make the questions you feel are the most important more prominent so users see the most common questions first.
By optimizing and monitoring your Google Business Profile Q&A section, you conveniently provide accurate information to avoid customer-generated responses. You also ensure inaccurate answers are flagged and can generate an FAQ section that appears right in search results. In fact, you can then use those Q&As to build up your website’s FAQs.
Leveraging the Q&As for insights, blog ideas, and understanding your customers’ needs allows you to create far more engaging and results-driven marketing. Ultimately the time spent optimizing your Q&As is offset by less demand on your customer support team, improved SEO, and, hopefully, more conversions.
The Q&A section of your Google Business Profile may seem insignificant, but it can be a resource that really drives your SEO strategy. With the right marketing partner, your GMB can start converting leads like never before! If you need a little help with this, we’re happy to chat