As a lawyer you know the questions your clients usually have. By incorporating these into Google My Business (GMB) you are giving your potential client an opportunity to work with you before they even visit your page. The FAQ becomes the bait that leads your clients to your website.
Sounds like a no brainer, right? So what are some FAQs about using the Q&A feature of GMB? (wow, that’s a mouthful of acronyms).
Where do the Q&As appear?
These questions and answers appear on your business’s Google Maps page. It’s what pops up on the right side of the screen (or up top on your mobile) when people search for your firm.
The often-overlooked Q&A feature allows you to promote your business and stay ahead of the competition.
Who asks the questions? Who gives the Answers?
Google’s Q&A feature lets anyone ask questions about your business. You can answer these questions yourself, or other people can answer them. As the business owner, you can also preemptively ask and answer questions that you think might be useful to customers.
Google My Business Questions & Answers are crowdsourced questions and answers for a local business. These questions are asked and answered through a business’s Knowledge Panel.
While you could choose to ignore the feature, that’s not a good idea – it’s best to represent your own business online whenever you can, instead of letting others do it for you.
Many businesses are not aware this review feature even exists! Often, they go unanswered by the business, or the questions are answered by everyday people who often give incorrect answers or less-than-helpful ones.
What’s the benefit of answering the Q&As?
It’s an opportunity to show off your expertise. By providing an insightful answer you have the opportunity to make sure what is being said about your practice area is accurate and up-to-date. Furthermore, you can show clients that you have the depth of knowledge to help them.
Can I opt out of the Q&As?
There’s no way to opt out of questions and answers if you have a GMB listing.
This obviously leads to some potential downsides:
- Like any other crowd-sourced information, Google’s Q&As are vulnerable to spamming and abuse. You obviously don’t want spam on any page associated with your business, even if it’s not your fault it’s there.
- If your competitors have a mean streak, it’s not out of the question that they might try to sabotage your business by planting false or harmful information in your Q&As.
- Another, more subtle downside of the feature is that it could decrease traffic to your website. If customers can get all the information they need straight from Google, they might not bother clicking through to your site. Time will tell whether this will become an issue for businesses. Right now, it doesn’t appear to be hurting web traffic.
Since you can’t opt out of the Q&A feature, you may as well embrace it. Just remember to check in on the Q&As periodically. Google also provide an option to flag spam or inappropriate posts–so it isn’t totally the Wild West.
Ok, now that you’ve decided to make use of the Q&A feature, how do you get started?
- Come up with a list of questions and answers that you think or know your customers ask (put yourself in your potential clients shoes)
- Get very specific. This can be both related to your business or to resolving legal questions.
- For example:
- Do you visit your clients or do they have to come to your office?
- What is a Qui Tam Lawsuit?
- Do you handle personal injury cases?
- For example:
- Write detailed, high quality answers
- One tip for preventing Q&A mischief: never answer a question with just a “yes” or “no.” Users can edit the questions they asked after the fact, making it look like you said “yes” or “no” to a completely different question. Provide a complete, detailed answer to prevent this from happening.
- Avoid posting spammy content. The point here is to provide knowledge, not directly sell your legal services.
- Once you have the questions posted and answered, monitor questions and answers + report malicious content
The FAQs factor into Google search results. This is good for your business! It helps people find you!
But this why it is even more important to properly manage your GMB listing. So, when you’re answering the questions that come in, it can’t hurt to include keywords where it makes sense.
Lastly, people can “thumbs-up: or “thumbs-down” Q&As, and that impacts the order the questions appear. More often than not, good Q&As will get the thumbs up!
Are you doing all you can to leverage the power of the internet to grow your legal practice and help you get the clients you want? Need some advice on building a website or optimizing your digital strategy? Schedule your free consultation and start a conversation with us today.