Someone may be publicly asking questions about your brand at this very moment. Or someone asked it two weeks ago and got an answer (but not from you) and now this thread is ranking for your brand name.
Few people are buying from a company without trying to find the answers to their questions first… How reliable is your service? How fast is the delivery? What are the alternatives?
You should be there to answer those questions! Or better yet, all those questions should already be answered on your site for your potential customers not to have to search for the answers elsewhere.
The following research will be quite helpful in both of these scenarios:
- For competitor research (For you to be aware of their problems and to be able to avoid them or offer their clients better solutions)
- For your brand reputation trouble-shooting and monitoring
1. Research if Question-Related Google Features Appear for the Brand Name
Google is paying more and more attention to immediately guessing and answering users’ questions. Thus, they currently have two search features they are trying to accomplish :
- Featured instant answers: A box featuring an answer to the query showing above organic search results (More on that here).
- “People also ask”: Google is showing which questions users tend to type in the search box using the current query or before / after searching for that
Both features are worth looking into for competitor research and reputation management purposes.
The easiest way to do that is using SERPstat, a newer tool that has Google’s special features integrated into their keyword filters. Just type the brand name into their search field, navigate to “organic”, open the list of filters and select “Answers” and “Also ask” filters:
The search results will indicate queries triggering those chosen features with the icons:
From there, you can scroll through the brand-related search results checking the actual search featured elements to see which opportunity or challenge they pose for you or your competitor.
2. Research Which Brand-Related Questions Users Type into The Search Box
Google Suggest is your invaluable source of brand-related queries you need to be keeping an eye on:
Luckily there are tools that make finding and extracting question-related queries much easier. SERPstat does have that option too:
Another tool that makes this research huge fun by visualizing it is Answer The Public (Which I described here). Just type the brand name into their search box and the tool will find tons of questions containing that name:
Here, I am showing part of the visualization for you to easier see the beauty:
Now export these search results and start sorting them into “Create a FAQ page”, “Forward to the customer support team”, “Forward to the product development team”, etc.
Tip: There are lots of FAQ WordPress plugins which you can use to easily add a separate section covering all sorts of niche-related questions. Installing plugins is easy, so there’s nothing stopping you from moving forward with this idea immediately!
3. Monitor Brand-Related Questions on Social Media
Google queries only scratch the surface: Google and related tools record only most popular queries. User-generated content and real-time search will uncover more problems you should be handling.
Here are a few ideas:
1. Search and archive Tweets containing brand-related questions.
The search query to use:
“brand name” ? -infilter:links -http
? filters out tweets containing questions
-infilter:links -http excludes tweets containing links to only keep real conversations
Cyfe is a great way to create an archive of these search results to effectively collect them and use for customer service training or content inspiration.
Cyfe will start archiving tweets once you create a widget, so the earlier you do that, the older your archive will be.
Cyfe allows an unlimited number of widgets per dashboard, so you can monitor and archive questions around your brand as well as your competitors.
2. Bookmark and monitor niche-related reviews sites
In most niches there exist partially user-generated sites collecting user reviews and ratings. Examples:
- [In SaaS niche] G2Crowd and its FAQ section on the listed service page
- [In hosting niche] Sitegeek and its user q&a section on the listed hosting page
- [In traveling] TripAdvisor and its q&a section on the hotel or restaurant page
I cannot stress enough how important it is to monitor these sites and engage with the community. You need to be monitoring both your brand as well as your competitors!
Are you incorporating questions into your reputation management and competitor research? Please share your tips here!