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Google Q&As, Description, and Services
Easy, Early Bird Opportunities to Stand Out with Google


By: Mitch Ortenburg, CSR Manager & SEO Specialist, May 16, 2018
There’s been an unprecedented level of development in Google’s ‘Google My Business’ (GMB) tool over the last 18 months. You can now book tables directly through Google. You can know if there’s free WiFi at that hotel you’re considering and whether they’re pet-friendly …all kinds of different things. It’s even got some cool stuff for Contractors!

Today, we’re going to touch on three things that are newer—one of them brand-spankin’ new—that are super helpful for your business.
Questions & Answers
Google’s Q&As is a pretty handy tool for consumers. (Who would have thunk – Google actually made something that made our lives better?!) It’s designed to allow any Google user to ask questions about a business and get answers from other Google users. Furthermore, people can ‘up-vote’ both questions and responses to increase their specific level of prominence. You can use this to your advantage.
Here’s the great thing about Q&As, any Google user can submit a question or a response. You can field questions that you think that your customers could have and proactively respond. How cool is that?

If you search for us directly (click here), here’s what you’ll see, for example, just above Reviews from the web - >
Think you’ll have a hard time thinking of what questions to “ask”? Don’t let that hold you back. It’s easier than you think. Ask your CSRs to come up with a handful of basic questions that customers ask. Next, ask yourself which of those questions you would be happy to answer publicly on the web. Those are your questions! Start with 3-5 if you’d like and keep it simple. Help Google educate your prospective customers rather than sitting back and potentially allowing your competition to give it a shot. Also, remember to ask the questions as a general user would (in the third person). For example: use ‘Do they offer…’ instead of ‘Do we offer…’.

To help you brainstorm, here’s a few questions for you to consider asking (and answering) for your own business:
  • What kind of guarantees do they offer?
  • Do they have 24/7 emergency services?
  • Do they work on {insert object here}? (Water Heaters, Window AC Units, Wells, Water Softeners, Septic Systems, etc.)
  • Pro Tip I: It’s not be a bad idea to ask a question that you can say “yes” to, but that your competitors cannot.
  • Pro Tip II: Don’t include an email address in the answer to a question unless you want to test your email’s spam filtering.
It’s also a good thing to check often to see if anyone asks you questions, since unanswered questions are not the best message you want to send about your company’s responsiveness.
Description
The Description that Google allows you to put into your GMB listing is quite a helpful feature for you to share what sets you apart from your competitors and makes you their best choice. We don’t know if it’s going to be a ranking signal yet (but we are testing it). You can share information about your background, services, and anything else you’d like to share with a prospective customer. Think of it as your ‘elevator speech’ for selling your business and its services

Here’s the path to get to it once you log into your Google My Business account:

Google My Business Dashboard > Info > Description

As seen in the image, if someone searches for you directly, you’ll find this info below your Google-generated review excerpts.
Google Services
This is Google’s way of allowing you to serve up exactly what you offer directly through your Google My Business listing without someone ever having to visit your website. And, yes, I find that notion a bit troubling myself. It’s something they now offer, so you can choose to do it or abstain, if you think that’d be better for your brand. This is virgin territory as it is absolutely brand-new. So new, in fact, that it doesn’t even show in the Google Knowledge Panel yet.

We're observing the effect it has on individual listings and doing some testing to find the best way to use it. For now, you should look at the Services section as a menu of the services you offer. If you want to play with it, the path to get to it from your Google My Business account is as follows:

Google My Business Dashboard > Info > Services ‘Add or edit items’ >
  • Section Name
  • Item Name (and price, if you’d like)
  • Item Description
Google Going Forward
From Q&As, Description and Services, you can see that Google is going to great lengths to keep your customers captive. This is the same concept they’re starting to execute with Google Local Services. Google wants to be the one-stop shop for everyone’s needs.

We’re experimenting with all three of the new features we’ve looked at today to see what kind of an impact they may have on ranking. Once we have come to a conclusion, we’re going to start implementing our findings across the board. We will be reaching out to our customers to discuss custom-tailoring these features this summer. We’re seeing early indication that leads us to believe Google will reward participation with these new toolsets!
Please address all comments or questions regarding this or any other articles in our newsletter to articles@online-access.com.
 

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