Let’s face it; we go to Google with all of our questions these days, and with good reason! By far the most popular search engine on the Internet, Google can tell you the distance to the sun, the score to the game your favorite team is currently playing, and everything in between. My wife and I will often use our Google Home device to find out where we’ve seen that actor in the show we’re watching before, and it’s so easy to do. But, questions aren’t limited to saying “Hey Google” or typing your question in their infamous search bar; Google has expanded its question-asking prowess to your business, and any Google user can ask a question. This helpful feature is great for potential customers inquiring about the specifics of your business, but there’s a caveat: anyone can answer. While that seems like a good thing on the surface and Google is certainly counting on customers responding to questions about your business with the best intentions, that’s not always going to be the case.
That’s why WebPunch is here to keep you in the know about Google’s “Ask a Question” feature and share some tips for how you can make sure you’re providing the most accurate information possible. Not only can you enhance the brand experience you’re offering to your potential customers, but you’ll also be in charge of the narrative, providing authoritative, clear, and most importantly, verified answers for anyone searching for your services.
Where do you find the “Ask a Question” feature?
Google’s “Ask a Question” feature can be found on the computer when users search for or come across your business on Google Search. It’s also found within the Google Maps app on a smartphone or tablet in a section with the prompt to “Ask the community”. Users will have the option to see previous questions or to ask their own.
The “Questions & answers” section lives underneath your business’s info section in Google Search on a computer.
Users of the Google Maps app will see this prompt and be able to view questions already asked here.
How do business owners answer these questions?
- Log in to Google using your business’s Google account and find your business on Google Search.
- This way, your answer will automatically display an image next to your name along with “Owner,” indicating that you are the owner of the business and that your business is responding to the question.
- We recommend answering questions using your computer rather than your phone within the Google Maps app, as you’ll want to have well-written responses that are best typed on a keyboard.
- This is also an opportunity to boost your appearances in Google Search results, as working in keywords related to your services will cause Google to push your business toward the top of a user’s search results when looking for your services.
- Make use of those keywords; no one-word answers here!
Why should I answer questions about my business?
Quite simply, you want to provide the most accurate information about your business and prevent any incorrect answers that might hinder you. Remember, any Google user can ask a question, and any Google user can answer. You don’t want anyone speaking for you or appearing to know more about your business than you do. It also shows that you’re involved and engaged with your customer base, enhancing your brand experience even further.
While users are still able to answer questions even after you’ve responded as the business, you have the advantage, as your response will appear “verified,” so users can trust that you’ve provided them with the right answer. Answering questions and using keywords also boosts your appearance in Google Search results. This ensures that you’ll appear to customers trying to find businesses with services like yours. The more questions you answer, the better chance you have of appearing toward the top!
Good question! Questions asked by Google users can be “Liked”, meaning that if you have a lot of questions, this particular question will appear toward the top. Essentially, this is a lot like upvoting, and liking your most common questions or ones that get asked frequently will help users find answers more quickly.
Because we were logged in as WebPunch, our response got tagged with this image and “(Owner)”, assuring potential customers that this answer can be trusted. The “Like” button will also boost this question toward the top of the list of questions, so be sure to click that thumbs up to get your most-asked questions bumped up!
BUT WAIT… MOST IMPORTANTLY; Make your own FAQ section!
As a business owner, you can ask your own questions! This is probably the most important part of the process and allows you to set up a sort of “Frequently Asked Questions” section for your business. You’ll be able to answer these questions as well; just be sure that, again, you’re logged into the Google account for your business so that your answers are verified. Anticipating what questions your potential customers will ask and writing the answers will get you ahead of the game! Take a look at other businesses in your area of expertise and see what kinds of questions they’re getting asked. Then, ask the same questions and respond to those on your own page.
One more thing…
If there’s a question that just shouldn’t be there or is inappropriate, you can flag the question and report it using the three-dot menu icon next to the question. Keep an eye out for any user-generated questions that shouldn’t be on your page. Writing your own questions and answers is the best way to get ahead of this, as Google users will feel less inclined to write anything if you’ve already got a bevy of your own questions and responses.
We hope that this look at Google’s “Ask a Question” feature has been helpful, and if you’re interested in how we might be able to assist you with all things Google, feel free to reach out to Matt Jones by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, get going on building that FAQ!