What makes it difficult for most Singapore businesses to keep their Google My Business Page updated is the amount features that Google regularly releases. Recently, they added videos, photos, booking, business, reviews, and descriptions. And this means that it’s essential that Singapore marketers ensure that their listings remain optimised.
However, there is one Google My Business Page feature that many tend to overlook–and that is the questions and answer feature, also known as Q&A. The Q&A feature is similar to the Google My Business reviews because they are crowdsourced by real people. In fact, in many cases, these questions come directly from potential customers who are looking for answers from the business itself. There are a lot of Singapore business owners who don’t yet realise this feature exists. So these questions usually go completely unanswered or are answered by other customers who give incorrect answers.
Unfortunately, this can have a negative impact on the company. This is especially the case if you have several unanswered questions waiting for a response. Even if the customers do answer for you, the response may not be as detailed as needed. So it’s important that you start integrating Google My Business Q&As into your digital marketing plan.
Google My Business Q&As: What Is It?
Google My Business Q&A’s are questions and answers that have been crowdsourced for local businesses. These questions are answered and asked through a company’s Knowledge Panel. While many people are familiar with the concept of crowdsourcing content (i.e. Amazon book reviews and etc.), Google is taking it to another level with user-generated attributes.
What are user-generated attributes?
Whenever the public answers questions about a company in a way that it helps to complete the company’s local business profile, this is what is referred to as user-generated attributes. The public sees linked questions such as “Know this place?” in the business’ knowledge panel. Once they click, they are shown questions that they can either answer or skip through.
In this way, Google can get a better idea of what the business offers and is all about. And it also helps Google to determine how relevant the business is to certain search queries. It knows that this information comes from an unbiased source. Google My Business Q&As is similar to attributes in that users can ask the questions they need answered about a company and wait for them to respond. Studies show that it’s especially important that big name brands, keep track of and answer their customers’ questions.
Using the Q&A feature to your advantage
Whether shopping online or offline, the average Singapore consumer does a significant amount of online research before they make their final purchases. They are often curious about the company and their prices. Many of these people are bound to turn to the Google My Business Q&A feature to get the answers they are looking for. However, this means that Singapore business owners need to vigilantly monitor their Q&A’s before other customers answer the question for them.
Unfortunately, you may not always know when you have new questions, even if you’re logged in to the Google My Business dashboard. Sure, Google sends out email notifications to the Google My Business manager, but not everyone that is associated with your account will receive these emails. So it’s a good idea to check manually. In order to check, you will either need to search for your company name on your desktop computer, install Google Maps on your device and then check for notifications, or search for your business on your mobile device.
When you check be prepared to see possible complaints. You see, most people understand that this feature is for asking and answering questions. Unfortunately, it also leaves room for people to review their experience with your brand, which may not always be pleasant.
Create an FAQ
The good thing about the Q&A feature is that you can always go in and create your own frequently asked questions and then answer all of these questions yourself. This gives you the ability to create your own FAQ section on the listing. The advantages of creating your own FAQ section is that you can get ahead of your customers and your business will also look extremely helpful to those who are searching for more information about you. Also, it’s a good chance that your competitors will not think of doing this so you will definitely stand out.
Things to ask and answer
If you are unsure about what questions your potential customers will ask about your business, then you can always look internally. Speak with your sales and customer service team. These individuals are always interacting with your customers so they are very familiar with what they’re concerns, complaints, and questions are. They know what feedback and insights they’re looking for. Your team should be able to provide you with an endless list of questions.
Call a meeting and create a relaxed environment. Set up your whiteboard and do a little brainstorming about all of the things customer typically ask. Once you have finished the official list of questions, then you should work together to come up with accurate and detailed answers for them. This way, not only do you get a list of questions and answers for your FAQ, but you also get great documentation that your sales and customer service team can use with customers in the future.
Showing up in the search results
Another important thing to note about the new Google My Business Questions & Answers feature is that they can actually show up in the search results as well. And this makes it even more of a priority and adds a different element to the mix. Not only should you make sure that your potential customers are getting the answers that they need, but when answering you should also consider using your targeted keywords. Keep in mind that people also have the ability to give your Q&A a “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down.”
When things go wrong
No matter how optimised your Q&A is or how helpful and detailed your answers are, there is bound to be someone who abuses this particular feature. And in the case, you need to check out Google’s guidelines. Before addressing the issues, you need to make sure that the offender is truly violating these guidelines. If you find that they are, then you can always flag them and tell Google why you feel that the question goes against their rules. If Google doesn’t respond even though it does go against Google’s guidelines you can get in touch with Google’s Google My Business support team.
Further changes to Google My Business Q&As
If you faithfully monitor your SEO, then you know that Google is famous for constantly making changes. So you should not be surprised if its Q&A feature gets a few tweaks here and there in the near future. For example, you may find that they eventually add a text feature which texts you a notification each time a new question is asked or even answered.
The Google My Business Q&A feature presents the perfect opportunity for Singapore businesses to get more exposure online. However, with this opportunity comes a significant amount of responsibility. The best strategy is to create your own FAQ so that you can stay ahead of all of the questions that could be asked. It’s better that you answer them yourself rather than risking a customer answering for you.