Google recently rolled out a new feature that’s already gaining a lot of brownie points with online users by enhancing their experiences and the performance and accuracy of Google My Business. While knowledge panels are very informative by listing the hours of operation, location, and contact information, sometimes users are looking for more in-depth answers. The solution to that was to provide a text box in which users could easily ask questions and patiently wait for a response from other users.
Now, Google has taken that feature a step further by providing answers or suggested answers in real-time. How does it work? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
The Importance of GMB’s Question and Answer Feature
To begin with, GMB is the main window of communication between your business and prospective online customers, so you need to include as much information as possible. Most customers nowadays tend to read through reviews before purchasing products or services. The Google Auto-suggest answer feature provides users with answers to their questions in real-time.
Originally, users would ask a question and then patiently wait for a response from either the business owner or another customer. Sometimes, questions were answered quickly. Other times, users had to wait a long period of time or never received an answer at all. Understandably, this can get very frustrating considering we live in an age where expediency is no longer a luxury; it’s an expectation.
Rather than forcing potential customers to wait for an answer, Google has streamlined the process by providing suggested answers that are derived from previous reviews or existing Q&A answers. That way, users will get the answers to their questions almost immediately. Using word and phrase-based sentiment analysis, Google tries to find the most relevant answers to each question.
Of course, since this is a relatively new form of artificial intelligence, there are still a few hiccups here and there that need to be worked out. For instance, some of the answers might be derived from negative reviews, incorrect existing answers, or they might be provided by your competitors in an attempt to sabotage your business. That’s why it’s important to keep track of all of the questions you receive and answer them to the best of your ability before someone else does.
What Types of Questions Are Asked?
Users are usually interested in finding out as much information about your business as possible. They’ll most likely ask about product features, pricing information, the types of services you offer, whether you have locations in their area, how far you’re willing to travel to render a service, etc.
Digital marketers and SEO experts have become adept at predicting what types of questions prospective customers will ask. Using this information, they create helpful FAQ pages and other types of content that directly address these questions to help users find exactly what they’re searching for. This is the essence of implementing strong and effective SEO strategies for your business. Local SEO focuses mainly on attracting prospective customers within a specific location or service area.
How Google Is Implementing Auto-Suggest for Q&A
Currently, Google is implementing the auto-suggest feature by crawling through all customer reviews and existing answers to present the most relevant information.
But what happens if your business doesn’t have any existing answers?
Then Google will scan through all of your existing reviews in a matter of seconds to try to find the most relevant answer to the question. In this instance, you lose a semblance of control over the answers users receive because the answers are based on customer reviews.
However, it’s possible to gain some of that control back by simply responding to every review. Make sure to reaffirm positive reviews by thanking customers and letting them know you appreciate their feedback. Politely responding to negative reviews and correcting misinformation is also a great way to mend a potentially broken relationship with a customer while also providing the correct information about your business. Always be gracious when responding to reviews, no matter how scathing they are. Remember, this is a reflection of your business values, integrity, and how much respect you have for your customers.
You should also focus on anticipating some of the most asked questions in your industry and provide both generalized and specific answers yourself. That way, your customers and users get the information directly from the horse’s mouth rather than a third-party source that may or may not have the best interest of your business in mind.
Why Should You Care about This Feature?
As a business owner, it’s always in your best interest to save face as much as possible and present a professional company image to the world at all times. Providing direct and informative answers to online questions is a great way for you to maintain control of the information people receive about your business.
You have the power to discredit or remove false information about your business. On top of that, providing the answers in real-time encourages more people to purchase your products and support your business.
The longer users have to wait to receive an answer, the more indifferent and agitated they become. And this also makes it easier for your competitors to come swooping in and scoop up your potential customers by providing the answers to their questions. Convenience, speed, and quality customer care are all the name of the game and Google auto-suggest answers are designed to help you deliver these things.
Advantages of Updating Google Q&A
Aside from effectively streamlining the delivery of information to your customers and providing accurate answers to their questions, one of the biggest advantages is that you can now have greater control of the content online users have access to about your business.
Numero Uno Business Growth Specialists can help you build and maintain the strong online presence you’ve been striving for. Through the use of effective online marketing and local SEO strategies, we can help put your business over the top and attract your ideal target audience while also expanding your customer base. To learn more about our services and how we can help you grow your business, please contact us!