Last Updated: April 22, 2022
Launched in August of 2017 the Questions and Answers section is vastly underutilized by business owners. If you are not monitoring this and responding as a business, it can result in misinformation about your business, irrelevant/off-topic questions, or worse create reputation issues as this is a crowd-sourced feature and any user can ask questions and provide answers. The idea is to provide searchers with even more details about a business and help influence their decision to make a purchase or book an appointment.
What you need to know about this feature:
- This feature has prominent placement in a branded Knowledge Panel.
- As a business owner you can only access the feature from your branded Knowledge Panel in search results on desktop or mobile. This means it is not possible to manage questions and answers from within your GBP dashboard.
- To ask a question and to respond to questions as the business owner, your business profile has to be verified, you have to have Manager access, and be logged in.
*Note: There is currently a Q&A section bug that sometimes causes managers of profiles to not show up as the business owner when either asking or answering questions. Google says it’s something they are aware of, but there hasn’t been any update into when this will be completely fixed.
- This feature is designed to crowd-source information, which means you can’t control what people ask or what other people say in return. However, you can write responses from the business. Google moderates the questions.
- It can become a reputation management issue as some users can spam questions, use it to complain about business or share grievances, and there’s always the risk of Internet trolls.
- Google will suggest answers to questions users are asking as they type. The suggested answers that show up are sourced from customer reviews. This is a pretty big deal, what your customers are saying is at the forefront over any company responses. As a business owner it is critical to create your own list of top questions with corresponding answers to address your audience’s questions before they even have to ask.
- Questions can be “liked” and voted up – so if there are really good questions that you want potential searchers to see, you should “like it” as it can influence its position. Pro-tip via Greg Gifford: “If a question gets 3 upvotes, it will appear in the GBP profile panel.“
- For businesses without any Q&A, there’s a prompt in Google Maps to ask a question.
- Questions & Answers has more prominent visibility in Google Maps.
What You Need to Do as a Business Owner:
1. Monitor & Respond to Questions
You should be monitoring these questions. Make sure you check off the option in your settings to receive email alerts about Q&A’s.
Our Reputation Builder software provides Google Q&A monitoring as well: business owners receive an email alert when new questions and answers are added. You can manage your questions and answers by updating the status to open, closed, or reported, see all the answers, and click to view/respond to a specific question on your listing. Watch our video that goes over Google’s Questions and Answers feature and see how our Reputation Builder monitoring feature works.
Respond to the questions – provide answers to users, even if someone else has already given the correct information. Seeing a direct response from a business owner will help validate the other responses, and it’s an engagement opportunity with a potential customer.
2. Report Spam, Inappropriate, or Off topic Questions
If you are getting spam, off-topic, or inappropriate questions, report them. The only way to help keep your profile clean is by maintaining it.
3. Address Complaints & Comments
If a user has left a complaint or comment about the business rather than a question, you can approach this the same way you would a negative review. Users have the ability to edit or remove comments, so there’s a chance that once you help in finding a solution the comment/complaint could be removed.
4. Create Your Own FAQs
Get all your FAQs into your business profile. If you already have a list of frequently asked questions on your own website, add them to your business profile. Source the questions and answers in advance and have them there for searchers.
You Have Questions, We Have Answers. More Q&A Resources!
Learn how to identify missed opportunities and what steps you need to take to distinguish your business from the local competition.