When you run a campground or RV park, social media may not be one of your top priorities. You may encounter people every season who are trying to step away from technology. However, many more of your customers are people who found your business through an online search. In addition to the basic information that is part of your Google My Business profile, Google Questions and Answers is a powerful tool for marketing your business.
What is Google Questions and Answers?
Google Q&A is a section of the business profile that appears when people do a Google search of your business name. On desktop computers, this profile shows up on the righthand side of the search results. On smaller screens, it is above the results list. The first section of the profile shows information from your Google My Business account, like your physical business address, hours of operation, and contact information.
Questions and Answers are the next section. It is a public forum where Google users can list and answer questions about your business. You might see questions about the amenities at your campground, questions about accessibility, or general questions about the local area. Other users provide answers to these questions, so it is essential for you as the owner to make sure the information is correct and appropriate.
Who Can Ask Questions and Who Can Answer?
Any Google user can ask questions about your business, and any Google user can answer those questions. Google Maps users are sometimes asked to serve as Travel Guides for Google. When they visit a location, the app may prompt them to answer a question. Other questions will arise as potential customers seek additional information.
Does Anyone Verify the Answers?
Part of the reason that it is critical to pay attention to this section is that the information in the answers may not always be correct. If someone says there is no playground at your campground, it may be that the guest never saw the playground or was not looking for one. One of the best acts of customer service you can provide is working to correct misinformation.
Another issue with open forums is inappropriate content. Some users may add joke answers for fun. Someone who had a negative experience at your location may express themselves in a way that puts your business in a bad light. While you cannot pull down answers yourself, you can notify Google and flag the information. They will then review the answer and decide if it should be deleted.
Can Business Owners Answer Questions?
One of the advantages of this feature being open to all users is that business owners can both ask and answer questions for their own business. When you log in using the email address that is associated with your Google My Business profile, any question you answer will have a special label. This way, other users know that your answers should have greater weight. It also reflects well on your attitude toward customer service when users see the owner actively replying to customer questions.
Not only can you answer questions, but you can also ask questions about your own business. If you find that you are getting frequent calls or emails about a topic related to your RV park, you ask the question and answer it in the Google listing. It is another way that you can get people the information they need to choose your business.
Promoting Your Campground with Google Q&A
These days, almost every new customer who pulls into your facility has found information about you online. Even folks who are just pulling off to break up a long drive probably searched for information about your location on a cellphone. With a little extra attention, you can turn your Google listing into an even more powerful marketing tool.
The questions and answers that are found within this section could be used now or in the future to decide where you rank for specific search results, how people discover your campground through voice search or any number of other things.
Keep Checking for Questions
Currently, Google does not notify you when there is a new question about your site since Google Q&A is not officially part of your profile. Some services will pay attention to this for you, but the easiest thing to do is to perform a daily search for your business on your own. As the owner of the business, you should be able to answer most questions quickly.
Like Your Answers
If other users think that an answer is correct, they can like it. The answer with the most likes will be at the top of the list. Sometimes, a single like is all it takes to bump your answer to a higher place. There is no rule against liking your own answer, so use this feature to your advantage.
Clean Out Bad Information
If a user thinks a post is inappropriate or incorrect, he or she can flag it for review. This does not guarantee that Google will take it down immediately. However, the review process can help you remove information that is out-of-date or has other issues.
While marketing and technology may not be your focus, it is an essential part of doing business today. When you or one of your members takes the time to answer questions, potential customers will see a business that cares. The more information people can find out ahead of time, the more likely they are to spend a few nights enjoying your campground.