In this series, Binary Fountain offers its staff expertise to answer common questions about online reputation management.
In this post, Binary Fountain Product Manager Jeremy Lowry tackles questions related to managing Google Q&A tools for Google My Business listings at the enterprise level.
What’s the importance of the Q&A section in my Google My Business Profile?
The Q&A section is a prominent feature on Google My Business (GMB) profiles and factors into search engine visibility, so the more robust and accurate this section is, the better. Additionally, this feature cannot be turned on and off like some other GMB elements. That said, you can still exercise some control over your Q&A info by carefully monitoring its activity and responding to every question and answer posted by customers. After all, if people leave inaccurate information, this can greatly impact your business and mislead potential customers.
One of the most common points of confusion, especially for healthcare providers, involves incorrect business hour information. Someone may ask when you open via Google Q&A and a customer might jump in and say “9 a.m.” when the correct response is actually “8 a.m.” This seemingly small error may cost you an appointment or sale.
Who can post questions, and who can answer?
For better or worse, anyone can post questions and answers for your business. Fortunately, Google makes it clear who is posting this information. For instance, if you own the business, Google will clarify your position in parentheses. Or, anyone who signs up with Google’s Local Guide benefit program will have a little star and the text “local guide” next to their name.
Q&A conversations are also ongoing, like a thread on a message board. Once the question is asked, answers can continue to pile underneath. This is why continual monitoring is key for businesses, even for older, seemingly stale questions. Google now features the most recent question at the top of your GMB profile, so staying up to date on new questions and answers matters, too.
Does a business owner have the ability to flag inappropriate content in Google Q&A?
Yes. Google’s Prohibited and Restricted Content guidelines apply to Q&A forms as well. While you cannot remove the content yourself, you can request for it to be taken down by Google if you feel it violates these rules. This includes content that is off-topic, fake/spam, offensive, sexually explicit, etc. Click here for more information.
How do users know when a business owner has responded to a question?
As mentioned previously, Google will tag you as the “Owner,” helping to identify your answer as the source of truth. As the business owner, you must verify this information before receiving this title, however. Neglecting this feature is a missed opportunity to steer potential online customers in the right direction.
Can you solicit questions to answer?
Yes, and in fact, seeding common questions is recommended for businesses to get a leg up on the types of inquiries customers will likely make. Some examples of these common questions include details about business hours, parking and location info, specific services and products, and appointment reservation requirements. If you are struggling to come up with questions to answer, take note of questions you get asked over the phone and in person and include them in your Google Q&A section. If one person wants to know something, chances are that others will, too.
How does Binary Fountain’s new Google Question and Answer product make monitoring and responding to Google Q&A easier?
The main benefit of Binary Fountain’s Google Q&A product is in consolidating every important piece of this feature into a single platform. Our product sources data from Google and allows you to receive real-time alerts whenever a question or answer gets posted on your page. This allows you to quickly jump in and answer questions directly as well as set the record straight by correcting wrong answers and flagging inappropriate content.
What are some best practices for using this product?
Broadly speaking, the best way to get the most out of Binary Fountain’s Q&A product is by maintaining awareness and staying engaged with every aspect of the feature. More specifically, you should respond to every single question to provide an authoritative answer for potential customers. You should also anticipate questions users might ask in the future and post them along with the answers to get a head start. All the while, be on the lookout for content that may violate platform rules. Also, treat your Q&A section like your review section by providing clear and concise responses that address the concern, reaffirm your values, and redirect customers to more information.
Are there reporting capabilities, and what does it track?
Yes. Our product will give you a quick snapshot of the total number of Google questions per location/provider, including the number of unanswered questions. This information shows up immediately, which is important seeing as your engagement with Q&A (among other things) impacts your SEO rankings.
Is this a stand-alone product or does it augment an existing product?
This product is integrated with Binary Fountain’s Social Compass and Health Analytics features as an additional source. While it is not a stand-alone product, it does not count against your overall reviews or include Natural Language Processing (NLP). It is simply a response and sourcing tool.
How are existing Binary Fountain clients able to access this?
All Binary Fountain clients can access this feature at no additional charge. They must simply enable it as an additional source in their dashboard.
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