Are you familiar with Google’s Question and Answer feature? Launched in 2017, it appears that many dealers still are not aware of it or have decided to turn a blind eye. Today’s blog post will discuss what this feature is and the impact it can have on your business.
Google My Business (GMB) Questions and Answers are crowd-sourced questions and answers for local business. These questions are asked and answered through the business’s Knowledge Panel.
According to a recent ThriveHive analysis, “Q&A is seriously underutilized by business owners. 91 percent of questions went unanswered by business owners.” In another example from a study by Get Five Stars, 25 percent of locations on Google Maps have questions. This study found that auto dealerships, in particular, had a high number of questions asked.
Staying on top of these questions may be challenging, but consumers have certain expectations when engaging with a dealer’s Question and Answer feature. They expect that they will receive a response in a timely manner (within 24 hours and – ideally much less) and that the response will come directly from the dealership.
The Importance of Monitoring Your Q & A Section
Keep in mind, like many features of Google My Business, anyone can answer questions that are asked. Thus, it’s very likely that questions could be answered by people that have no affiliation with the dealership (identified as a ‘Local Guide’) who often give incorrect answers or less than useful ones, acting as the authority on your brand. The sharing of misinformation can have a negative impact on your business, so it’s very important to have your team dedicated to monitoring and responding to the Q&A.
Google has recently started sending out email notifications letting a GMB manager/owner know that a new question has been asked. However, as a new feature, it’s possible not everyone associated with your GMB account receives these emails. It’s best to manually check for new questions to ensure accurate and correct information is being provided about your dealership. Doing so will help maintain the integrity of your brand.
Additionally, Google My Business Q & A can have an impact on visibility & ranking. These Questions and Answers can potentially show up in search results. Google My Business has been shown to have a direct correlation to local SEO, which is how to optimize your website to rank better for a local audience. Google wants business owners to be active participants in their digital presence and to engage consumers.
Tips for Optimizing Your Q & A Section
DEP recommends generating your own FAQs to add to Google My Business Q & A. The dealership should determine the most common questions asked and add them to GMB Q & A. This is a great proactive step to stay in front of the questions your customers may have! In essence, you’ll be creating a FAQ section on your GMB page. Below you’ll find an example of how it could appear. *Please note this example is for demonstration purposes only. Every dealership is unique (location, market, services, brand, etc). We suggest that you work internally to determine and come to a consensus as to what your FAQs should be.