Earlier this summer, Google released a highly anticipated new feature on their MyBusiness platform. This new feature, “Posts”, allowed for businesses to post messages that appear in their businesses knowledge graph section of the search results page. Go here to learn how to take advantage of the Posts feature from Jeff Norsen at Cazbah.
Since then, Google has released another great feature that is especially useful for localized small to medium sized businesses. Currently available on Google Maps for Android (soon coming to all mobile browsers as well), the question and answers can be seen by users who view your business listing on Google Maps.
Google and local search expert Mike Blumenthal says “essentially the product is designed to allow Google to offer additional FAQ type content via the Knowledge Panel that answers consumers most frequent and ‘long tail questions about a place.”
Designed to be a crowd and business sourced question and answer solution, this feature will look to provide further value to Google’s Knowledge graph for users in search results as well.
Like just about any new feature Google releases, it’s best to get in on it early. If you’re not already, start keeping track of the most common questions customers ask via contact forms or when they directly call your business. Take the most common ones and post them to your business listing. This will allow you to establish the section, provide instant value, and also hopefully show other users that is a place where they can get real answers from.
Getting some legitimate questions and answers on your listing early on will also give those answers a better chance to be upvoted over time and remain some of the first answers users see. Unlike other Q&A platforms, users will not be able to down vote the comments, making it more important for you to get ahead of any less helpful or spammy questions.
So far, the only real complaint the feature has received is that business listing owners can’t control the questions and answers provided by other users, aside from answering themselves. Notifications for this feature are severely lacking as well (for now), so be sure to at least check your listing and see if there has been any activity to date.
Talk with your Internet Marketing Consultant about this feature and other ways you can take advantage of it.