Jesse Dolan: Google business profile questions and answers. We’ve talked about this before. If you’re not using it on your GBP right now, you should be. We’re gonna talk about why is that important? Why do these signals matter? And things like that. Check it out.
Welcome back to local SEO tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan here today with Bob Brennan, Sue Ginsburg. How are you two doing?
Bob: Good, doing good.
Sue: Just great.
Jesse Dolan: See what kind of questions are we gonna answer and problems are we gonna solve today in this episode.
Sue: Um, this one is an, a question from a listener, which we always love and appreciate and encourage, and it comes from a listener, Shauna Carpenter asking, how does engaging with my GBP and Google maps in this case with your Q and a help my SEO great question. And I’m sure that she is not the only one that has this question so thank you we appreciate that. Quote of the day today is there is only one boss the customer and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else. Sam Walton, I think he needs no explanation everybody knows who he is. I love this quote. Anyway. Customer is king.
Sue: So on your GBP, engaging with your GBP in Google Maps, our SEO experts always stress how important it is to complete the basics of your Google business profile. Some of the areas that we’re often adding to are choosing the right categories and services, making sure the phone numbers and address correct and matches what is on your website and elsewhere, and more. All of these work to show Google that you trust them with your precise and accurate business information, so they will show trust in your business and rank you higher than your competition. More specifically on the Q&A part of your GBP.
Here’s a real life example of how important the questions and answers are and how they can help your business and help you make efficient use of your time. We have an attorney client in Atlanta who was continually getting messages and phone calls asking about a service that they do not provide. In this case, do you do civil litigation, which he does not. After some research, we made a new question for the Q&A part of his GBP asking precisely that. Our question was, do you do civil litigation? And we answered, we do not do civil litigation. No, our law firm does not do civil litigation. This is listed where visitors can see it and can cut down on the number of calls asking for help with civil litigation, which is not an area that our client offers. On the Google side, Google read our answers and trusted us as we kept up the profile consistent with the message that, no, we don’t do civil litigation and talk more about the services that he does provide. Therefore, Google stopped showing our client as often or not at all, eventually not at all, for those keyword searches that we said we don’t do, which was. In this case, do you do civil litigation? This saved our client lots of time and energy as he now gets less or none of these inquiries through calls and texts. And he can focus on the inquiries that he gets on the services he does provide and he does want to work on. So that’s how, from both the Google side and the visitor side, the people who you’re trying to attract, putting Q&A and questions and answers in on your GBP can help you, your visitors, Google. It’s good all around for everybody. So that’s my real life example I can share. Let’s see what Jesse and Bob have to say about this. The importance of having a GBP that visitors can engage with. And then the specific question of this listener, the Q&A part of your GBP. What do you guys have to say about it?
Jesse Dolan: I think that word, the engaging part is the thing to underline here, right? That’s, that’s where this I think has the most weight, the whole questions and answers part of the GBP is because. Users, anybody in the public really can ask a question and this kind of scary. Uh, we talked about this in, uh, episode 33. If anybody wants to get a bigger primer on the questions and answers feature itself, how to use it properly, how to set it up, we go pretty deep. Um, We talked about it can be a little scary too, that anybody can ask and answer a question on your business, right, in your GBP. So number one, like as a business owner or the marketing manager controlling your GBP, you’re gonna wanna pay attention to the questions and answers and we want you to actually participate and control them, but you have to be aware of them because right now has somebody asked and answered a question on behalf of your business that is accurate or not out there? Who knows, right? So that’s a scarier, but that’s a real thing out there.
And because it is so user generated, it’s a real big signal to Google, right? If the community is engaged here, they read this information in Google. They understand it and they can parse it out just per your example, Sue. That being said, before we dive a little bit deeper into some of the technical parts of the questions and answers, Bob, from the business owner’s perspective, I would love to give you space to talk a little bit. I know one of your favorite topics is providing answers to people, right? Answering, answering that question before they ask it because as a business owner, you’ve heard it 15 times or a hundred million times already. So you should be prepared for that answer. Would you mind sharing that to everybody? The importance of that and being aware of what people are asking and just how that can fit in your marketing broadly. And then we’ll bring it back to this particular feature and the GPP.
Bob: Yeah, you know, as a business owner, if you find yourself in a space where you’re, quote, annoyed with your customers because they keep asking this question, that that’s the question you need to answer. And it’s like Sue mentioned earlier, it’s just huge if you can answer it before they even ask it. And so I do a lot with the folks that I work with. In terms of recording calls. And I don’t do it, everybody’s like, well, you’re a micromanager. Well, maybe I am, but I really listen for the voice of the customer. And that’s more important than how my team answers the phone. Now, you still need to coach your team, but the bigger part of that is listening. What is the customer asking? Can you answer it? before they even ask it. And that can be done through GBP, right? And it can be done on the website. But it takes that deal. Now, if you’re a business owner and you don’t have time to listen to calls or whatever, then buy a pizza, sit down with your team, find out what questions are being asked of you that annoy you or you’re finding yourself having to repeat the same answer. And that’s obviously great for topics, keyword topics or just content on your videos and anything else that you can communicate better.
I thought I heard, as Warren Buffett said a long time ago, you know, if I had to start over or had to improve one thing, it would be communication. And at the time, you know, I really didn’t know what that meant. And now as I get older, it’s like huge. And that’s what this is all about, communicating everything. Now, if you’re just starting out or would have you, what I would do is I would get on Facebook, join a forum of the topic that, let’s say, we just talked about somebody that had a charter business in Thailand, I would say, join the forum of all the charter business owners on Facebook, and you’re going to start to hear a lot of the same things, a lot of the same questions in that business. And you can now put that on your new website or your new business and kind of get a jump on everything, even though you don’t have years and years of experience. There’s all kinds of ways of getting to that point. And that also includes ChatGPT to some degree. But just be creative there and find out how to serve your customer well with those questions. And then you’re on your way. So.
Jesse Dolan: I think it’s important to broadly because with the internet, right? With Google, we’re looking for information, right? So you, aside from just the conversion factor here, why this is important for, for what you’re saying, Bob, uh, to now put this on your GBP and put this on your website to provide the answer. We know people are looking for, um, that really positions you as the expert, as the one with that answer, right? Uh, when nobody else is putting it out there, when they’re just grumbling and being annoyed that they’re getting asked the same question.
So, okay, so what do we do with this information, right? So Google’s questions and answers part of the GBP is very important because it does facilitate this question and answer kind of public forum, if you will. But also this is a tool put out, I should say this is a module within the tool put out by Google. So we’re communicating, you know, as business owners or the managers of the GBP. You’re talking with your prospects directly like on Google’s platform. Right. So they’re aware of the entire conversation that you are engaging, that they are engaging those signals right there. Those real signals that you’re a business that people are interacting with you that, that carries some weight within Google directly and even indirectly for SEO, right? All things being equal, I kind of go through these exes all the time. If, if Bob and I are competitive, uh, competitive GBPs.
If I’ve got people interacting on my GBP and he does not, I should outrank him. Right. Just cause Google sees that I’m attracted to people they’re interacting with me. Um, so putting these questions into your GBP to then be answered is, is a great place to start on this now as a business owner or the manager, the GBP, uh, you can ask questions, right? So anybody can ask a question on your GBP, including you, um, you couldn’t also answer anything. We definitely recommend to populate your questions and answers area. Even if it’s just with a few of them, you can do this ongoing, but even if you just do it one time as an optimization, put your most popular questions and then the answers right there as the business owner. And then you can also thumbs up or like, if you will, your answer just to if other people answer it as well, that gives you a little bit more traction and visibility. And then check into this often. You should be jumping into your GBP once a month, once a quarter, something like that, even once a week. Um, and this is an area you’re going to look at. Are there new questions? Are there new answers? Is there anything you need to add yourself? Um, and then Bob mentioned this as well. Do the same stuff on your website that we’re talking here from the question is about GBP, um, but you should have FAQs on your website. Um, You can, they don’t have to match up exactly here, but these are just great kind of repositories for back and forth. Right. If you’re not sure. If you can’t think of any gripes, you know, like Bob’s example that your clients keep asking you, you know, do you have FAQs in your website? Or do your competitors have FAQs? That’s just a great spot to kind of find some questions. And then again, whatever you’re putting in your GBP, if you inversely don’t have FAQs in your website, this is, this is a great question and answer. Content also have on your website.
A lot of times you can grab a featured snippet or show up in Google just based off that. Not as easy as it used to be, but very relevant still. Okay, a couple other points just to kind of reinforce outside of the technical like engagement on Google, why this is important and the question submitted kind of hints at this a little bit too, why the questions and answers area particularly is important beyond just the signals.
For the community that reads the answers, kind of like you’re saying, Sue, if a question is put out there to help say what you do or what you don’t do, that’s then there for the broader community to see when they do a Google search or when they’re investigating your profile. Now, if they’re seeing that you have these questions and answers, that’s one thing. Now, if they see that you’re active in it, right, in participating, that builds a level of trust that’s above and beyond just the fact that these questions and answers exist, right? that shows that you’re real, that you’re legitimate, that you’re engaging. And that’s very important, again, not just for Google, but for the actual human beings who are considering if they should interact with you even on the front side, right?
Jesse Dolan: Hey everyone, just a quick message about our free SEO audit tool on localSEOtactics.com and we’ll get right back to the show. If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, go on out to localseotactics.com, slash free SEO audit, or look for the yellow button up in the top right corner. Click that and it’s gonna take just a couple seconds. You enter in the page that you wanna optimize what you’re looking for the audit to score against. Enter in that page, enter in the keyword you’re looking to get optimized for and enter in your email address. Click the button and it’s gonna take a few seconds, and then it’s gonna sen d you off a PDF report via email.
It’s a great report. It’s gonna kind of give you an overall score of some vital SEO areas for that page and for your website at large, even though it’s auditing this page. That’s gonna tell you some of the good things that are happening, some of the bad things that are happening too, and give you basically a checklist of some things that you need to shore up and what you can do to improve your SEO for that page, for that keyword that you’re auditing. Now you can use this as many times as you want. You can do multiple keywords, multiple pages, multiple keywords on the same page. You can even use this to check against your competitors, right, if you wanna do a little reverse engineering, see how they’re scoring for a certain keyword, what they may be doing good, that you’re not, and some things to improve there. So lots of different ways to use it, completely free. Again, go on at the localseotactics.com/freeSEOaudit, or look for the yellow button in the top right corner of the website.
Sue: I have a question for both of you. You touched on this, Jesse. Does it matter or is there a best practice for the Q&A on your GBP and the FAQs on your website? Should they be the same? Should they be slightly similar, totally different? What would both of you have to say about that?
Bob: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know how they correlate between the two, but I would think, you know, it’s got to be helpful. I don’t see how they have to align, you know, because to me that seems a little bit unnatural. But I think what the point is, you know, what’s good for one side, and we know natural search is different than the Google My Business search, you know what I mean, is probably good for the other, but it doesn’t need, I don’t think it needs to line up. I guess the other question I have for you, Jess, is not that you would coach or architect this, but is there statements in the reviews where people would say, you know, I had a question about the slipping transmission and they were able to tell me that you could get fixed in two days or something of that sort. Does any of that tie in with anything in terms of reviews?
Jesse Dolan: Yeah, I think so hearing you say that makes me think just that’s another spot to pay attention for Finding the questions that you need to answer Now if people are making comments like that in reviews You know that has the potential to show up as a snippet in the map pack Right like underneath if it’s related to whatever your search trim is and get a little extra highlight there. I Think the same can happen out of questions and answers to I’m kind of fuzzy in that. I don’t remember exactly yeah, I think, I think for sure paying attention to every spot that you have customer interaction where they’re giving feedback, right? Phone calls, like you’re saying, maybe emails are coming in, leaving reviews wherever you can get that voice of customer to hear the questions, hear the gripes, you know, hear the situations, uh, to turn that into content and yeah, a hundred percent agree with you. This doesn’t need to match up exactly to Sue’s question on website versus GDP.
More so that if these questions are important to be answered, that you provide this information wherever you are interacting with your clients. Like if you’re a retail store, this should be maybe some posters and some bulletin boards, right? Or like some kind of guide, like they’re going to have these questions. We’re talking here about putting them on GBP because people see them in this space, put them on your website because they’ll see them in that space. Um, but yeah, I really like this topic just cause Bob, again, this is something you’ve preached for years, just.
You’ve got to pay attention to that voice of customer. You’ve got to hear their problems, their pain points. You’ve got to make sure you’re telling them you’ll solve them or that you have the answers to them and things like this. And that’s outside of signals for SEO and ranking factors with keywords, a big part of this, and again, back to the question actually submitted, is there’s a lot of equity and trust building that you’re doing as a business when you are doing this as well. So great area, great topic, and helps your business in more ways than one, I think.
Sue: I would also think that if you have different questions, FAQs on your website than you do in your Q&A of your Google business profile, you’re just offering more information for more people with different questions to get answered, understand, and think well of your business because you’re helping them.
Jesse Dolan: Right. Let me tack on one more thing, Sue. Just cause I have said FAQs on your website a lot. Bob has mentioned the website. I want to let everybody know, I’m not saying like just FAQs, right? You can answer these questions through blog posts, through creating new pages on your website. You know what I mean? Like just making a video. FAQs are just a great way to have a bunch of questions and answers on your page, on your website, maybe a particular page, but really broadly speaking, pay attention to these questions, provide the answers in whatever ways seem best, and then absolutely take advantage of the Q&A part of your GBP. Don’t sleep on that. All right, you two have anything else to add? Any other tips for this one?
Wanted to read a real quick review we got from one of our listeners. This comes in from Cripp’s Home Inspection. Reviews five star review says home inspector. This has been great information. Really needed, really appreciated. Thanks for that. We appreciate it. And we appreciate you. All of you listening or watching right now, if you like what we’re doing with the show, you’ve been enjoying the content. If this is your first episode, or maybe you’ve gotten through a couple hundred of them, whatever it is.
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I will begin to wrap up and say, if you remember one thing and one thing only, remember this. Having an optimized GBP is important for SEO from two perspectives, both visitors engaging with your business, your GBP, and for Google to see and better understand what you’re doing, what you’re not doing, and the services that you offer more specific to the listener question asking about the Q&A, yes, it’s important, a very important part of your GBP for SEO. And I hope after listening to this you understand why. So thank you, Shauna, for this question, really good question. And I will say the quote of the day again, there is only one boss, the customer and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else. Thank you, Sam Walton for that great quote.
Jesse: That’s a good one. Yeah, thanks, Shauna, for the question. Everybody else listening or watching, if you’re watching on YouTube, if you have a topic, a question, a comment, whatever that you want to share with us that you’d like us to talk about on the show to dive into or to answer, speaking of question and answers, going out to local SEO tactics.com, scroll down to the bottom, click the link to submit a question. We’d love to hear from you. We will use it on the show. And if we do, we’ll send you off a water bottle and a T shirt for your participation. We’d love to hear from you, localseotactics.com. Bob, thanks for hanging out. Sue, thanks for hanging out. Everybody else, thanks for joining us too. We’ll catch you all in the next one. Take care.
Bob: See you guys.
Sue: See ya.