20 Mar Why Traffic Is Decreasing [ The Importance of Google Q&A ]
Have you been paying attention to your site traffic? Did you notice that it might have become heavier or lighter than usual? Google’s consumer-facing feature, Google Q&A, might be the answer to the change you are seeing.
Thanks to this feature, the users can now post, reply and review your business on Google search. Because of this, potential clients can also see this content when your business comes up on a search result. And surprise, surprise! The businesses that have more positive reviews will most likely get more visits and see an increase in site traffic than those who don’t.
The main problem is this: if users can get all their answers without actually clicking into your pages, your traffic is bound to decrease dramatically.
Sounds simple enough? Let’s dig a little deeper.
Think of Google Q&A as a frequently-asked-questions section that shows up on your business info panel.
Typically when we do a local search for “Greek Food Near Me”, we would see a result page of different Greek restaurants and vendors in our area, but with Google Q&A added, we can also see their customer ratings, reviews and now, pictures and as of today, even video.
In the screen-grab below, you could see that Artopolis Bakery, Cafe & Agora has one question under “Questions & Answers” but it’s not being displayed. Google allows business owners and customers to interact by also providing a vote button. The question or answer that gets the most thumbs-ups will show up on the info panel. If no questions or answers have a vote, they will be hidden away and you’ll have to expand it by clicking “See all Questions”. In addition to users voluntarily leaving questions and comments, Google also solicits comments from past customers who have previously left a review for the business, though it is unclear how they select the reviewers.
So why should we care about Google Q&A?
Because reputation is important.
More often than not consumers make a decision to buy based on what they find on Google.(1) Google Q&A helps provide insight about the business by letting the users and business owner interact through questions and answers. This is where you could turn Google Q&A into a golden marketing tool.
Then how do we manage Google Q&A?
While providing good services is one way to guarantee great reviews, responding to comments and criticisms constructively in a friendly manner also helps. To increase the visibility of your brand, it also doesn’t hurt to post questions and answers relevant to your business. Just don’t overdo it and make sure that the information is useful for your customers.
Another good tip is to bring up your lesser known services in the Q&A. If you have loyal customers, point them to your website and encourage them to leave you some reviews.
As much as great comments can boost your business, a few negative reviews can hurt it too. Since the Q&A is entirely dependent on users, which includes competitors and unhappy clients, you can’t control the content. And the downside is that you can’t turn it off. However, you can manage it.
Instead of ignoring the bad comments, ask follow up questions and be understanding. It’s advantageous to show that though you may have made mistakes, you still care to make things right for your valued customers.
Google has also provided guidelines for managing user-generated content, which you can adopt to work the Q&A feature to your benefit. For example, you could report spams and comments that violate Google’s guidelines.
Remember, search is now all about content discovery. You need to solve a problem or help people accomplish a goal. If you can connect with peoples issues and solve their problems, your content will rank and better serve readers. So how do you begin building a solid presence online? Invest in high-quality content on an ongoing basis.