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Maximizing Keyword Research with Google Business Profile’s Q&A Section

Questions & Answers (Q&A) are one of the best and most underused keyword research tools.  Why? Because the Q&A is localized, meaning you are going to find and see how questions are asked in a particular local market.  You will also see what kinds of words are used and it gives us really important frequently asked questions (FAQ) that tools may overlook because they don’t register a high enough search volume.  We can use these on the FAQ page as well as on FAQs that you nest on other core pages.q&a research How to Prioritize the Questions?

We suggest prioritizing the questions that get the most upvotes.

This is real-time feedback from other potential customers in the market.  The upvote shows which questions are the most helpful to users and would be the most useful to include in your content.

More Than Just Frequently Asked Questions:

This information can be used for more than just FAQs.  You can also see individual keywords and the way people are referring to things in that market. Keyword data research is very important to determine which pages to optimize and what to optimize them for.  Pairing the GS Location Changer and Keywords Everywhere Chrome extensions will give you local keyword data,  but Q&A keyword research takes that “local” and “relevant” keyword research to the next level.

In the example below, this person is asking this children’s hospital if they have a “holistic pediatrician” on staff.  So, this makes for a great opportunity to optimize the content on the site for a “holistic pediatrician,” if they do in fact offer that service.

This can also serve as a research tool for local location pages or city pages’ content.  You may notice that people ask about something specific at one location but not so much at other locations.

In the example below, this person is trying to schedule autism testing for their child.  We noticed this location received this question a lot.  This lets us know that we should optimize for this at the location that is getting that question.

Challenges with Sourcing Q&A:

There are a lot of businesses that don’t receive a lot of questions.  In this case, you can look at competitors’ listings to see what questions they are getting asked.  You can also look at someone in the same industry but in a different market.   You can pull up a list in the local finder and cycle through all the Q&As by clicking on the pins on the map.q&a sourcing

Determine Services Customers Think You Offer:

Another great use is to use the questions to determine what services customers think you offer, but you actually don’t.

In the example below, this children’s hospital does not offer dental services for children, but they are consistently getting asked in the Q&A section about dental services.  So, if you notice a consistent pattern like this, you can use things like Google Posts to let customers know you don’t offer this service.

You can see in the example below, yet another example of how this hospital is being asked about dental services.  So, we need to find a way to get this messaging out to the community.  This will take a lot of pressure off the front office staff as they are fielding these inquiries both online and on the phone.


Additional Tips:

  • Make sure you turn on the notifications settings of your Google Business Profile (GBP).
  • GatherUp has a nice dashboard to help manage the Q&A.

This blog post is part of my LocalU advanced presentation from November.


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Colan Nielsen

Colan started in the local SEO world back in 2010 and is also deemed a product expert by Google as a Top Contributor on the Google My Business Forum. He is a contributor to Moz’s famous Local Search Ranking Factors survey and is a former Google MapMaker Regional Lead. Read Colan's full bio here.

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