Google Q&A Resource Guide
Table of Contents
Google Q&A FAQs:
How many times can I answer a question?
Once. There is only one answer per user (Google account), If need be, you can get around that by using different Google accounts to respond.
How do I get my answers to the top?
This is entirely based on how many consumers have given your answer a “thumbs up.” The answer with the most thumbs up is placed at the top (this is called the “up-vote.”
Is there a downvote/thumbs down?
No, but you can flag answers if they are inappropriate. Google will then determine if the question or answer is in violation of its guidelines and remove the question and/or answer if it is.
Once a brand submits an answer does it stop all other answers?
No, it does not. However, we often see consumers stop adding answers once the “owner” of the listing gives an authoritative answer.
There’s no correlation to Local Guides answering a question having more impact than a standard user. Only upvotes impact the answer rankings. Local Guides may receive notifications that unanswered questions exist on businesses they’ve visited, directly from Google, so they could be the first to respond.
Is there a character max per answer?
Yes, you cannot exceed 4,096 characters per answer.
Can I add hyperlinks in my answers?
No, there is no functionality to add hyperlinks.
Can I add images in my answers?
No, there is no functionality to add images.
Can I add an email address or phone number to my answer of a question?
Having an email address in the answer field is against Google’s policy. Having a phone number in the answer field is allowed, as long as the post comes from the “owner” profile.
How do answering questions impact local rankings?
At this point in time, it’s unclear of the exact impact responding to questions will have on local rankings. In 2018, GMB signals made up 25% of the local ranking factors. We’ll keep an eye out for more information. In the meantime, it’s a best practice to not only listen and respond to each question that comes through, but it’s also important to proactively publish FAQs on your GMB pages.
When did Q&A launch?
August 2017. It became available in their API in November 2018.
What types of questions should I ask?
See “Best Practices” and “Top 10 Questions to Ask About Your Brand Immediately” below.
Google Q&A Best Practices:
- Quickly respond to all questions to be the authoritative source and to minimize additional users needing to provide answers. Even if a consumer already responded, your business should still respond, confirming accurate information.
- Respond with more than a yes/no, or “see website.” This is an opportunity for your business to strategically place important information that consumers will see in an authentic way. In addition, by responding with a thorough answer, you can prevent the same questions from being asked over and over. Take advantage of the 4,096 character limit.
- Think about the upvote when responding to questions, and publishing FAQS. Upvotes increase the likelihood your answer will show up at the top of the Q&A, minimizing the same question from being asked and answered by another user.
- Be proactive by asking and providing answers to commonly asked questions through publishing FAQs.
- Flag inappropriate answers. Ensure that your business if following Google’s Q&A policies, including not using Google Q&A for advertising, off-topic Q&A, or impersonation.
- Use a tool to monitor all GMB pages/Q&A. We offer the ability to listen, monitor and publish FAQs within our Social Suite.
- Read our blog post for more tips, tricks, and examples.
Top 10 Questions You Should Post About Your Brand Immediately
Publishing common FAQs to each of your Google MY Business location pages allows you to proactively engage with consumers. The consumers that are asking questions on a GMB page are high-intent buyers that are asking buying questions. Google Q&A is the perfect place to provide those high-intent buyers with information that influences their path to purchase. Below are the top 10 most common questions we see being asked in Google Q&A and are a great place to start with your strategy.
1. What are your regular hours?
Across all of our customers and their varying industries, this is the most common question asked. Even if it feels redundant, it’s best to get ahead of it because consumers will ask.
2. Is your business ADA compliant?
This is applicable across all industries. People will want to know about parking, drop-offs, and accessibility.
3. Is your business kid-friendly?
This question is seen across all industries. Include information about amenities provided to children, even if it’s as simple as a coloring book in the waiting room.
4. Is your business pet-friendly?
Many people want to bring their dogs with them wherever they go. Let people know if they can bring dogs and what restrictions there are.
5. Do you have Wifi?
On just about every business there is a question about Wi-Fi access. Don’t share the password in your answer, we recommend informing consumers where they can locate the password at your business.
6. Where is the best place to park?
This is the second most popular question we see across our customers. Be as detailed in your answer as possible to prevent further questions around parking.
7. What is the quickest way to get there?
Any transportation information is helpful. This could cover a nearby bus stop, the closest freeway exit, or even when the best time to visit is.
8. Pricing information about visiting your business.
This could cover entrance fees, popular product pricing, average spend.
9. Information about the amenities of your business.
Questions of this type would essentially take the attributes you listed on your GMB page and turn them into question form.
10. Information about new products or services.
This is a chance to inform consumers and potential buyers of new offerings at your business.
Utilizing Google Q&A For your Broader Marketing and Voice Strategies
Google Q&A is a vital marketing tool to have in your arsenal. It also goes beyond engaging with consumers and brand control. Start your Google Q&A strategy by simply answering the questions that come in. Once you have a process in place for that, start experimenting with publishing your own FAQs. Begin with the 10 most common questions people ask through Google Q&A. Build upon that strategy by publishing questions and answers that are relative to your current marketing campaigns.
Google is indexing the questions and answers the same way it indexes business information, reviews, Google posts, and more. Use this knowledge to your advantage and publish questions and answers to further your marketing campaigns.
Utilize keywords within popular Google Q&A responses to enhance your voice strategy and grow your local search rankings. Brands can utilize Google Q&A to positively impact local keyword rankings, featured snippet selections and voice search results.
Have a new product launch, sale, or store opening? Enhance your marketing campaign by filling your current locations with information about the promotion.
Whether you have questions to answer or need to make them on your own, you’re now equipped to answer all your Google Questions with confidence.