You likely already understand the importance of local SEO—it’s a crucial element in your digital marketing plan. What you might not already know is that one of the key parts of a local SEO strategy is optimizing your Google Business Profile page.
But how do you optimize your Google Business Profile? We’ll take you step-by-step through the process.
Google My Business vs. Google Business Profiles
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that at the end of 2021, Google rebranded “Google My Business” to “Google Business Profile.” You can still access your Google My Business services and products under this new name.
Eventually, Google plans on retiring the Google My Business app entirely. This will allow local businesses like yours to manage their listing right on Google Maps and Search. Read more about the change on Google’s Support update.
What Are Google Business Profile Q&As?
The idea behind the Google Business Profile Q&A section is pretty straightforward. Searchers can use this feature to ask about your business, and you get the chance to respond. Customers can even upvote responses that are useful and accurate.
Think of the question section on your Google Business Profile as a FAQ section that doesn’t require a visit to your website or contacting support. It can help potential and current customers better understand your policies, products, and services.
Just keep in mind that anyone can answer questions on your business profile. As such, it is smart to regularly check your page to confirm that any answers are accurate.
How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile Q&A Section Step-by-Step
Now that you understand the basics of the Q&A section, we’ll walk you through how to answer questions and optimize this section. Remember to combine these tips with optimizing other aspects of your profile, such as your Google Business Profile posts.
Step 1: How to answer questions
The first thing you should do when optimizing your Google Business Profile Q&A section is to answer customer questions. As mentioned, anyone with a Google account can answer them. That means that someone unrelated to your business may try to be helpful by answering a question only to provide the wrong information, which can sometimes cause more harm than good.
The best way to avoid this is to answer questions yourself. Luckily, the process is very simple.
→Log into your Google account.
→Go to your Google Business Profile listing.
→Click on the “Questions & Answers” section on the sidebar.
→You will see a link that says, “See all questions.” Click on this.
→Choose a question and click “Answer” immediately below it.
Assuming you are logged into your business account, people will be able to see that the answer was provided by your business.
Step 2: Forming your response
As you answer questions, keep in mind that this is an opportunity to provide more value to customers. For example, if someone asks a question about a product or a selection of products, don’t just say, “yes, we have those.” Instead, answer their question fully—you could even go the extra mile and add Google Business Profile videos or photos of the products to show off your selection.
That being said, people might ignore unnecessarily lengthy answers. Provide any extra information that may be valuable, but keep it clear and concise.
Step 3: Preemptively ask and answer questions
Pro tip: you don’t have to wait for customers to ask questions in the Q&A section of your business listing. You can preemptively ask questions and answer common questions yourself so that when local customers come searching, the answers they want are already there.
Be smart about the questions you add. Think about potential customer questions as well questions you often hear from current customers.
Step 4: Use the flag button when appropriate
Remember that anyone can post a question or answer on your Google Business Profile. Google recognizes the risks of this, so they give you the ability to flag questions and responses. Use this feature to keep your Google Business Profile listing appropriate and accurate.
You might want to flag questions or answers that are:
→Inappropriate, violent, or hateful
→Spam or advertising
Step 5: Like the most commonly asked questions
As mentioned earlier, Google lets people upvote or like questions and answers on your business listing. Upvoted questions or answers will appear closer to the top of the list.
Take advantage of this and upvote questions that you get asked most frequently. This will make the information easier for searchers to find.
Step 6: Be savvy about answers to short-term questions
When responding to questions, your goal is to create evergreen answers. So, if someone asks about this week’s specials, you don’t want to be specific to that week. Instead, you should include a link to the relevant page on your website where you announce the specials for the week.
This will ensure that the information is accurate even months from now.
Step 7: Use any insights to your advantage
The Q&A section is a tool for potential customers, yes, but it’s also a valuable tool small businesses can use to gather data and learn how to better serve their customers. For example, if a lot of people ask about your hours in the Q&A section, you may want to make them more obvious on your website and social media pages. You may even get an idea of what products or services customers wish you offered.
What’s the impact of optimizing the Q&A section?
Every business should be sure to optimize the Q&A section of the Google Business Profile. That being said, there are some pros and cons of which you should be aware.
→You ensure that customers can easily find answers to their questions.
→You can post answers from your business profile, so customers know the information is accurate and comes directly from the business owner.
→Well-informed customers may be more likely to buy from you.
→It serves as an off-site FAQ section.
→You will reduce the need for customers to contact your support team.
→You can look at the most common or upvoted questions to see if you need to be clearer about something.
→Many customers are used to questions going unanswered. By answering all of the questions people ask your business, you set yourself apart from the competition.
→Anyone can post answers on your business listing, so you have to check to confirm that the information is accurate.
→It might take a few extra minutes out of your day to answer questions but remember: it can actually save your support team time in the long run.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile Q&A section will help ensure that your customers and potential clients have access to the information they need. It is just one of many tools you should include in your local SEO strategy. Best of all, it is completely free; you just have to dedicate a small amount of time to maintain it.