Did you know that your Google business listing has a questions and answers feature that lets any user ask -- or answer -- questions about your business? If not, you’re not alone. Google’s Q&A feature is frequently overlooked by merchants. However, when it’s monitored and used correctly, it can be a valuable tool for staying ahead of the competition.
Google’s questions and answers feature is crowdsourced, which means anyone can ask a question by visiting your local listing and clicking the “Ask a question” button. Questions are asked, and answered, through the Knowledge Panel.
Unfortunately, many business owners find it difficult to keep track of which questions they have been asked. That’s because questions and answers are not shown to business owners in the Google My Business dashboard; just like ordinary users, business owners must check the Knowledge Panel and answer questions there.
Luckily, Google has started sending email notifications letting the owners and/or managers of Google My Business accounts know when new questions are added. If you don’t have notifications enabled, it’s possible for notifications to go unnoticed and for questions to go unanswered. To ensure you never miss any questions posted through Google’s Q&A feature, you should make sure the proper notifications are set up in your Google My Business account, and, as a failsafe, plan to manually check for new questions at least once each week.
To find out if your business has been asked any questions, follow these steps:
Step 1: Search for your business name and find the Knowledge Panel. Make sure you’re logged in with the same credentials you use to manage your Google listing.
Step 2: Scroll down to the section titled “Questions & answers,” and then click “See all questions.”
Step 3: If you see any questions you haven’t answered, answer them. You can do this even if another user has posted an answer as well. Your answers will show up as “From the business owner.”
If you believe someone is misusing the Q&A feature for example, posting reviews instead of questions or being abusive -- click “Report This Question.” You can review Google’s guidelines to determine what is considered prohibited content in the Q&A section.
Additionally, if you are looking to get a jump start on answering common questions, Google will allow you to pre-populate your Q&A with frequently asked questions and answers. Supplying the answers to common questions will make your listing more useful and help it stand out when potential customers search for your business online.