Google rolled out a new feature for Google Maps called Q&A. The feature allows users to ask questions about a business they have found on Google Maps and then receive answers and feedback from other users or (ideally) the business itself. Where has this been all my life?! Now I can finally ask if a restaurant does Gluten Free food when they are closed for the day. Sweet!
What does this mean for you as a business owner?
1) You do not have the option to opt out of the service. If you have a Google My Business Listing, the feature is offered to users and yourself as well.
2) It is like Reviews. It is best to keep on top of the questions to better your business rating and your customer’s experience.
3) It builds up your reputation, brand trust and makes you look even more professional.
Don’t worry, you’ve still got time to optimise your listing. Q&A is only available on Android fully at the moment. IOS has been implemented, however, some devices still don’t have it just yet; desktop devices are due to have it soon. Excellent time to get ahead of the game and your competitors!
How do you optimise your Google My Business listing with this feature?
Make sure you are logged in to Google via your business account. If not, Google will mark your questions/answers as from a user. Not you, the owner.
Come up with a list.
– Avoid technical jargon that only you as the business or industry expert would understand.
– Write the questions and answers as if you are the customer. Think how they think. Ask how they would ask the question(s).
– Keep it relevant and helpful.
– Add FAQs from your own website.
– It’s ok to include things that may not be commonly asked. As long as it is relevant.
– Advertise your USP’s (Unique Selling Points). Users may not know that you provide a product or service or that there is a special method you use. Let the world know.
– Make your answers as specific as you would like. It adds detail and informs in a well-mannered way.
– Never reply with just a simple “yes or “no”. Users have the ability to edit their questions at any time and as many times as they would like. Provide concise and detailed information. Every. Single. Time.
Stay on top.
– By remaining logged in to your Google Account, this allows you to receive notifications every time someone asks a question or responds to one.
– Be quick to respond. Just like any other platform, it is best to respond as soon as possible. This shows you care and it eliminates someone else beating you to the punch.
– Quicker response times collect what is called an “upvote”. This is a system Google uses in order to display the answers effectively. The more upvotes, the higher the display of the answer.
Lastly, if you do receive a malicious or fraudulent answer, report it as soon as. Google will do the rest.
There is no definitive SEO value as of yet on this feature, however, with any online content, having more (relevant) content is always a good thing for SEO. After all, this is a Google feature, so rest assured it will likely make a difference in search results.
The main goal of this is to provide as much information as possible so that users want to use YOUR business.