If you haven’t already heard, Google Plus will slowly cease
to exist before eventually being deleted completely by August of 2019. While this
service has already been on a downward spiral for quite some time, another
feature of Google’s that is still as relevant as ever is its Questions and
We wrote about Google Q&A early in 2018, specifically
talking about its strengths and weaknesses for local businesses, particularly veterinary hospitals. To
briefly summarize Google Questions and Answers, this service works as an
open-forum FAQ for your hospital which is displayed on your Google Knowledge
panel. People online can ask—and answer—questions about your practice which
anyone can see.
There are many pros and cons to this tool—with smart usage,
it can turn into a very strong marketing outlet. But if you neglect or dismiss
it, you risk leaving your reputation on the line (more on that later). For
those that do wish to take advantage of it, the very first step you need to
take is to claim your Google Business listing if you haven’t already.
Why are we encouraging this? For one, we see that the
average veterinary hospital is receiving approximately three questions for
their listing. However, by not being engaged, they are potentially allowing
false information to float around on the internet—and as we all know, some
people do believe everything they see online.
Ultimately, Google Questions and Answers comes down to if
you are using it and how you are using it—if you are engaged, you can basically
use it as free marketing. If you are unaware or dismissive of Google Questions
and Answers, well, the floodgates are open, and a lot of different scenarios
See below, please—and brace yourselves.
First off, let’s focus on the positives. Here is good usage of Google Q&A:
For more reference, here is even more good usage:
But wait, there’s more.
Here is one final example of good Google Q&A:
Now, let’s move on to the bad, because you can’t have good
without the bad. Here are some examples of bad usage of Google Q&A:
It can get worse, however. See below for some really, really
bad Google Q&A.
Another example shown below isn’t necessarily damaging, but
it’s still bad for everyone involved.
Finally, see below for our last example of bad Google
Whenever you are thinking of the good and the bad of
anything, you always need to consider the ugly. Here is where Google Q&A can get ugly:
Jokes are jokes, but ugliness also comes in other forms. See below for more.
Here, the trend continues of innocuous questions becoming peppered with ugly, fruitless responses:
While we know that the goal of a veterinary hospital is to heal animals, it’s also important to remember that this industry is a business, which means that things can get real unpleasant real fast:
This final example shows the ugliness in two different threads, which appear to be unbeknownst to the hospital:
The Good scenarios in our above examples illustrate perfect
usage of Google Questions and Answers and they all serve as a model for how to
efficiently—and smartly—use this tool. The latter two scenarios, well, just
take a look at all of them again. Not only are they all Bad and Ugly, they
could have all been avoided had each hospital (you guessed it) just been active on Google Questions and
At iVET360, we are industry leaders when it comes to
veterinary marketing. Our specialists work closely with Google to maximize the
online presence of animal hospitals while also staying on top of things like
Google Questions and Answers, the Google Knowledge Panel
and much more.
If your practice isn’t already actively using the (mostly
free) tools that Google has available, we encourage you to contact us. As a
veterinary services company that operates on a no-contract basis, our experts
can help your practice with not only marketing, but analytics and HR and
For additional information and more details about our suite
of services, contact us today.