Google My Business’s Q&A feature is an excellent way for multi-location businesses to directly connect with their consumers and answer any questions they may have about specific business locations. With COVID-19 causing many companies to reduce hours or alter their services, monitoring your business’s Google Q&A is a must. If you don’t already have a strategy in place for managing your Google Q&A, it’s time to make one. If you already have a Google Q&A strategy, is there any room for improvement? Let’s find out! 

Set up a strategy across business locations 

If you aren’t already familiar with Google Q&A, it’s an added feature on Google My Business that allows any Google user to ask a question about any business. Google Q&A also allows any user, not just the business that receives the question, to answer the question. Google Q&A was created to crowdsource information about businesses that have GMB profiles. 

When thinking about strategy, the first thing you want to ensure is that you have local GMB profile pages set up for each of your business locations. Claiming local pages on GMB is critical. Because hours and information may vary across different business locations, it’s crucial to have Google Q&A sections for each site. 

Once you have your GMB profiles set up for each business location, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to monitor the questions your local businesses receive. Whether it’s from the corporate or local side, you want someone to be in charge of monitoring the questions on your profile frequently, preventing questions from going unanswered, or receiving incorrect information because someone other than your business answered the question. 

Respond to questions promptly 

You can decrease the likelihood of someone else answering a question on your Google Q&A profile by responding to the questions quickly. Ideally, your multi-location business would respond to a question within one day. The sooner you’re able to respond, the better. If a consumer has questions about your business hours or service offerings, it’s important to quickly provide them with that information. For instance, during COVID-19, a question may be about whether your business is requiring masks inside or about capacity restrictions. To keep your consumers informed, you must respond efficiently. 

While the response to a question from your multi-location business is essential, the tone is critical. Make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to responding to questions. For questions that you may receive frequently, corporate could create templated responses. Are there specific phrases that you want to include in your answers, or should be avoided? This should be discussed when determining your Google Q&A strategy to avoid any uncertainty in responding to questions.

How Google Q&A can help your multi-location business 

Once you have your Google Q&A strategy in place or updated, you will begin to see the benefits of your efforts. If your business responds with useful information to all of the questions it receives, people will start to build trust with your business. They will begin to feel as though they can come to your business with any questions they may have, and you will respond. If consumers feel as though they are heard and seen, they will remember your business when making a purchase decision. 

Also, Google Q&A can save you time in other areas of your localized marketing strategy. We all know that COVID-19 has put stress on many marketing teams. Your multi-location business can avoid receiving countless questions through emails and over the phone if the answers can easily be found on Google Q&A. If someone searches for your business and your GMB profile is one of the first things that appears, they can get some of their most pressing questions answered through your Google Q&A feature. 

Getting started with Google Q&A 

If you need to be convinced further on the importance of Google Q&A, SOCi has the data to back it up. Data from our 2020 Localized Marketing Benchmark Report (LMBR) found that Google Q&A and Google Posts were the most underutilized areas of localized marketing. Results from the 2020 LMBR also indicated that the average multi-location business has 2.6 questions posted per-location, but almost 96 percent of questions go unanswered. Of the answers that are getting responses, only seven percent are coming from the business owners. 

This data shows there is considerable room for improvement in a Google Q&A strategy among multi-location businesses. Having a well maintained Google Q&A section can help your business show up higher and for more search results. The information in these questions is often the deciding factor for many customers. The more answered questions a customer can see about your business, the more confidence they’ll have in visiting your business. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get started on your Google Q&A strategy today! 

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