Google My Business, or GMB, is a huge piece of the online presence for any local business. In fact, it is often the first impression your business will make on new prospects and potential clients or customers. There are a number of features involved in GMB, and some of them are different depending on the industry. Whitespark, a local search resource, recently did a study on GMB features that is quite interesting. Keep an eye out for their results in the near future. Some of the numbers were shared by Allie Margeson at the Whitespark Summit.
GMB Questions and Answers are an Underused Tool
Allie shared that less than 1 in 3 businesses has questions and answers on their listings. This is a positive and a negative, but any time you see many people aren’t utilizing a tool it is an opportunity. The good news is that you probably don’t have any embarrassing questions or answers on your own listings. The fact is that anyone can ask a question of your business and/or answer those questions. Since many business owners don’t even know these questions are there, this has led to some embarrassing information on GMB listings that business owners don’t even know about. At the very least, you should be aware of them and check in to make sure that you are in control of the information being shared.
GMB Q&A as a Competitive Advantage
However, you can turn this into a strength. Any information listed on your GMB is seen by Google and can be taken into account when deciding to present your listing to someone who is searching. I recommend business owners seed their Q&A with your own FAQ’s. The feature image of this post gives you a quick overview of how to do this. Google actually doesn’t do a great job in helping you monitor and work with these. For Q&A, you actually need to interact with your GMB from the front end in the search results. Make sure you are logged into Google with the account that owns your listing. Then ask your own business some softball questions and answer in detail. Ask questions that help Google and users understand your offerings. Here are some ideas of questions for you to seed in there. You can ask and answer them.
- Typical FAQ’s you get from customers
- “Do you offer” questions that allow you to point out important products and services
- Good answers to questions you see people ask your competitors
- Answer top objections you receive from potential customers with the solution
- Answer COVID related, or seasonal type questions.
Then like your own answers. The questions and answers with the most likes are the ones that are listed at the top, and you can adjust this. If you want a certain question to show up in the summer, go in and like it or get a few friends to like it for the summer, and then switch up when another question becomes the priority. Some research has suggested that getting more than 3 likes will promote the question to actually appear in the search results on your GMB page, without needing to click through. A nice piece of added advertising space.
Risks of Not Paying Attention to Your GMB Q&A
You need to have as much control of your narrative as possible. Since anyone can ask or answer GMB Q&A’s, not paying attention can leave information about your business, not always flattering, on your GMB page. I have seen instances where users have answered questions by suggesting users go to a competitor, or ask questions designed to make the business look bad. You can flag obvious violations for removal, but it is best to control the narrative and offer your own answers to these questions, whether they are genuine or ridiculous. Generally, it is always a good idea to check in on a regular basis and be aware of what is going on here.
With all GMB features, it is a good idea to interact with what Google is offering. Google tends to reward businesses for showing they use their tools and interact with users. If you need help with this, please give us a call.