When people are interested in visiting a church, they usually have lots of questions like:
- What time are worship services?
- Is there child care or a children’s program during services?
- How do people dress for worship services?
Google wants to make it easy for churches and all kinds of local businesses and organizations to provide the most reliable answers to people’s questions, so they have introduced a new feature to Google My Business listings called Questions and Answers.
According to Google, Questions and Answers offers these new ways to engage with potential church visitors:
Add frequently asked questions to your listing so that mobile users who find your business on Google Search and Google Maps can easily get the answers to your customers’ most common questions.
Answer questions from potential customers on Google Search and Google Maps on your mobile phone. If you have Google Maps on Android, we‘ll also send you a push notification when a new question has been asked about your business so you can post an answer instantly.
Highlight top responses. Beyond FAQs and your own responses, customers are also able to answer each other’s questions. You can highlight the most helpful answers from your customer community by using the thumb to bump them up to the top of the list.
Here are some screenshots provided by Google:
How Can Churches Use Google’s New “Questions and Answers” Local Listings Feature?
FAQs – Hopefully your church already addresses the most frequently asked questions on your website. Answering them on your Google My Business listing makes it even easier for potential visitors to get answers to their questions. It could also make people more comfortable visiting your church when they see you have made this extra effort to answer visitors’ questions.
Answer questions – Responding to questions posted by potential visitors gives them the information they’re looking for. It also shows you care about them, you’re listening, and your engaged.
The bottom line…
The more complete & accurate your local search listings, the more likely a person is to visit your website & your church.
How to Manage Google Questions and Answers
Currently there does not appear to be any way to manage Questions and Answers when logged into the Google My Business management system. To answer questions, you have to search for and go to your local listing like any other visitor.
To add frequently asked questions like Google suggests, you have to go to your Google local listing like any other visitor, post questions to your own listing and then answer your own questions. Seems like a strange way to do it to me, but Google just announced it yesterday. Maybe they will add it to the Google My Business dashboard later.
Special thanks to Barry Schwartz for writing more about this and chatting with me via Twitter.
If you’d like more help with your church SEO, contact us to schedule a call.
What say you?
- What do you think of the new Questions and Answers feature?
- Have you gotten any questions yet?
- Will you be adding FAQs?