Last week we discussed Google’s new Questions & Answers feature now available through Google Maps. This week, we delve a little deeper into this feature and how small businesses can use it to their advantage.

After all, when Google provides a quick and easy way – free of charge! – to engage with customers, it’s a good idea to take notice and learn how to use the feature.

Respond, respond, respond

According to Google, your business will receive a notification whenever a question is asked about your business, although some users claim they don’t receive notifications at all.

If your business isn’t notified when questions are asked, you can manually check for queries with the Google Maps app for Android. Tap on your business on a Google Map to see if there have been questions you didn’t know about.

Business owners like you must have already claimed their business in Google to reply to questions on the behalf of their businesses. But Google Local Guides can respond to questions even if they have no affiliation with the business.

This means questions left unanswered by you about your business might get answered “with authority” by someone who may not truly know the answer.

Do you really want your business represented this way? If not – make sure you take time to respond to questions asked by Google Maps users.

Learn from the questions

The Google Maps Questions & Answers feature is a fantastic way to find out what types of questions potential customers ask about your business. Learn from and consider their questions when it comes to your marketing efforts.

For example, if you own a restaurant and questions about whether you offer takeout options keep popping up, you can be sure of two things:

  • Potential customers are interested in takeout from your restaurant.
  • You need to get the word out that, yes, you do offer takeout service.

How Maps impacts your business

Your social media posts, including Google Posts for Business, should spotlight your takeout options for a short period of time after you respond to the questions in Google Maps. Importantly, Maps users who ask questions will be notified when their questions are answered.

Suppose you don’t offer takeout, but people keep asking about it. That’s an insight you should seriously consider because it tells you what people want from your restaurant.

Use the Google Maps Questions & Answers feature as one of many options available through Google to connect with customers. Claim your business, put out Google posts and respond to questions – all these features are free to business owners like you.

They can help potential customers find you.