Last month Google launched a beta release of “Google Question Hub” in a few countries. The implications of what this will do to the ecommerce digital marketing game isn’t lost on Answerbase, as we know the importance of Q&A content for ecommerce merchants and have case studies of how our customers have used the publishing of Q&A content to double their overall traffic and quadruple their overall traffic to their ecommerce store. What Google is doing is making it much easier for ecommerce merchants (and the digital marketing agencies that services them) to recognize content creation opportunities right on the cutting edge of the information demand from searchers.
The Internet’s Content Deficit
Did you know that Google recognizes that about 15% of the trillions of searches done per year, don’t have sufficient content available to fulfill that demand for information? When asked how many searches Google manages, in 2016 Google communicated that it was at least 2 trillion searches. Since then….they’ve just communicated “Trillions”. But let’s do some math there, let’s say they are still processing even just 2 trillion (we use “just” lightly there, and its almost certainly expanded from there as Android continued to increase its market share since then, etc.)…..with 2 trillion searches that means that over 300 billion searches per year don’t have content in place to effectively fulfill the demand. That’s astounding, isn’t it? It’s both astounding and a huge opportunity….that they’re capitalizing on through Google Question Hub.
Of course…this content gap and the need to fill it isn’t new…Answerbase has been helping to fill the content gaps for years through more efficiently managing ecommerce customer questions in an SEO friendly way. But, what’s interesting about the Google Question Hub is that Google is privy to is what searches are just bubbling up to the surface where the searches are brand new….never been seen before. That is content that isn’t yet available, because the demand for that content is just popping up. There’s an opportunity out there for merchants who can effectively use these new tools.
This content deficit is certain to not go away, since there will always be new questions asked about brand new products, brand new services, etc…but the efficiency of filling that content gap will certainly improve…and Google’s helping to do that in a major way.
Google Question Hub Identifies Brand New Questions Needing Content
For these brand new questions that are on the cutting edge of what people are searching for….Google is providing a way for users to submit their queries for the world to know about so the content gap can be filled. See a screenshot of how this is playing out in the regions where Google has started to collect these queries….
Then…as they’re collecting these queries Google’s Question Hub allows publishers you to see those questions that are posed through Google…where Google just doesn’t have sufficient content to present a good answer.
See some screenshots of how this is currently displaying for publishers:
There are other screenshots that show that Google will let publishers know when the questions have been asked multiple times, further supporting the demand for that content…and therefor as the recognition of that demand grows it further justifies it may be worth taking a look at.
How Google Question Hub Impacts Ecommerce Content Marketing?
The simple answer to this question is having more data to make better decisions with content strategy…in order to service customers that will purchase your products with great content they actually want. With all the other tools that digital marketing departments and agencies use to formulate their content strategy, Google Question Hub has the potential to be an important part of that decision making.
The value is simple, you’re able to quickly identify what new questions that your current customers (or potential customers) are asking about the products that you sell and having that known demand shape what you post content about. This is obviously very early as these questions are just bubbling up to the surface….but but as they gain some traction that becomes interesting because if it is a question that will be repeated then you have the opportunity to have a great answer of a question related to products you sell…and lead them to your online store where they can purchase from you, grow your remarketing list, grow your email marketing lists, etc. For digital marketers who are consistently asking the question “What do we prioritize next?” when it comes to content strategy, this can help answer that question.
Google Question Hub & Answerbase
As mentioned earlier, Answerbase is helping ecommerce merchants to fill in the content gaps (and create better content for searches that do currently have results) as ecommerce merchants have a monetary incentive to provide great answers to questions that their customers ask through the Answerbase product page Q&A widget. Those answers on average receive a 96% positive rating by customers…and those Q&A combinations are spawned into landing pages which we’ve seen increase organic traffic to their ecommerce stores year over year as it better fulfills the content demands. Most of the time these are questions that have been asked before (for some of our customers over 60% of the questions are answered through existing content), but most of the time that content is being held/managed in emails or other support ticket systems in a way that isn’t SEO friendly…and therefor there is a deficit in the information being made accessible in a way that Google can actually use to fulfill the customer demand.
But…what Google Question Hub allows Answerbase customers to do is to use any additional resources to start addressing relevant questions that are just bubbling up to the surface from customers through Google. Answerbase customer can post that new Q&A content through Answerbase as well, to continue to add to it’s valuable knowledge base and be automatically fed into the sitemap, which will allow them to stay on the bleeding edge when it comes to content creation to service their customers and potential customers.
If you’d like to learn more about Google Question Hub and it’s implications for ecommerce digital marketing, or how Answerbase will be utilizing this data, please Contact Us and we can schedule a call about how it can help your ecommerce content marketing strategy.