posted under Compose Your Most Important Website Pages
Does your website have a Frequently Asked Questions page? If so, is it working for you? If you have a website, and it doesn’t have a well-written FAQ page, you’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity to improve the effectiveness of your online marketing.
FAQ pages rank in importance with your Home and Order Now pages. They’re an integral part of good navigation and product presentation for most websites, if only because visitors have come to expect one. They know they can click that FAQ button and quickly get an overview of your company’s product or service as well as answers to their more specific questions.
For many people, FAQ pages are often the first page they go to after Home. The right questions and answers can be instrumental in advancing potential sales. The value FAQ pages bring to a website is well worth the effort in writing them.
To write an effective FAQ page, simply think of the questions that new customers ask most often. Do they ask about your products features? Do they request proof of credentials? Are they seeking directions to your store?
Whatever it is that your customers want to know, you should incorporate into your Q & A. Not only will these FAQs be helpful to your visitors, they could also save you and your staff time, as they’re likely to reduce the number of pesky inquiries you get asked about routine matters.
You could also consider adding FAQs that pertain more to your industry than to your individual product or service. Your answers will position you as the authority on the subject matter, and that credibility can go a long way toward gaining a prospect’s trust.
When organizing your FAQs, place the most common questions at the top of the list. The more complex questions should then come further down the list.
If you find your FAQ page is becoming a bit long and might perhaps overwhelm the reader, then break it into sections. Group like questions and answers together and then place them under an informative subhead. That way, visitors can quickly scan the FAQ page to find the parts that are most relevant to their needs.
Another option to keep the size of the page manageable is to list only the questions and then have links to the answers. At the end of each answer, provide a ‘return to top’ link so they can easily return to the top of the FAQ page.
One of the best reasons to create an FAQ page is for the search engines. Want your site to rank high on Google and Bing? Then you need good content and lots of it. An FAQ page is a perfect place to provide an abundance of information in an interesting way.
It also allows you a chance to use your keywords, the words that help searchers find you. Let’s say your website is promoting your flower shop located in Orlando, Florida. Your main keywords are probably something like “Florist Orlando Florida” and “Orlando Flowers.” Now all you have to do is design questions and answers that use those exact phrases. You’re likely to see a boost in your search engine rankings when you do it right.
According to Authority Marketing, if you use keywords as anchor texts for some questions, “you can help these questions appear on Google’s SERPs of your product or site. A reader might not be searching for answers specific to your company, but they might still see the answers you posted on the FAQ page via Google search, especially if those questions are keyword optimized and applicable to your market and not just your product.”
People go to the internet for information. They really don’t want to be sold to. They want to learn. They want the facts. And that’s just what an FAQ page gives them. Use the opportunity to reiterate key selling points, features and benefits.
An FAQ page also gives you the chance to show prospective customers you care about their experience with your company. You want to be positive and helpful.
You might even consider creating opportunities for readers to add questions, answer questions posed by other readers, or rate an answer.
According to Autogrow.co, “Frequently Asked Questions are an opportunity to advance the conversation with customers and put their fears (aka objections) at ease so they are ready and willing to buy from you.”
You can provide heaps of data in nice bite-size Q/A pieces. The material will be easy to scan and a pleasure to read. And, most importantly, it will help you convert visitors into customers.
A good FAQ page can answer those questions that otherwise might go to your salespeople or customer service representatives, taking up their time unnecessarily.
A credit union in Washington state recently invested in creating a lengthy, detailed FAQ page with multiple sections to answer the many basic questions their customer service department was constantly fielding such as:
By adding that information to its site and including detailed instructions, the credit union was able to reduce customer service calls. And for those calls that did come in, often the representatives were able to direct callers to the website’s FAQ page for answers, reducing the length of time on the call.
If your visitors can learn about your return policy or your hours of business, that’s a call they don’t need to make. In this way FAQ pages function as a key component in consumer education.
FAQs are a great place to answer any sales objections and convince cautious buyers. Let’s say one of the objections you hear most often about your product is that it costs more than competitor products. Use a question and answer to explain why your product offers more value than your competitor’s.
Differentiate your product. Point out all its great features. Just ask the questions that show off your product’s unique qualities. Not only can you provide a great deal of information here, you can also brag about your company in a way that’s not obnoxious. You’re not selling; you’re educating the consumer so that she can make an informed decision and not one based solely on price.
Sometimes a picture is a better way to explain a concept. For example, if you’re giving instructions for executing a specific process, include screenshots on your FAQ page.
Photos, charts and graphics can also increase comprehension and break up big chunks of text.
FAQs give you an opportunity to promote some of your main pages and some of your more obscure ones too. Simply write a question that targets those pages and then include a link in your answer. The links will drive traffic to those pages and will also help the search engines to find them too.
If you’ve written a blog post on a topic relevant to the FAQ, add a link to it. The detailed information in a post could be just what the visitor is looking for.
If any of your questions and answers reference a specific product or service you offer, include a link to it. That link could help move a visitor along in your sales funnel, increasing potential conversions.
Depending on the complexity of the products or services you’re selling, you may want to consider having individual FAQ pages. Each product or service can have its own FAQ page. With dedicated FAQ pages, you can go into a much deeper level of detail.
Additionally, you can still have a global FAQ page that encompasses ALL the FAQs in one place. Just be sure to organize them into sections so users can easily find what they need. On the global FAQ page, you can give brief answers and include a link to more detailed answers on the relevant product FAQ pages.
Let’s say there are some questions your company is asked only occasionally. They’re not the norm, but you know the answers could prove helpful to some of your customers and perhaps also could speak to your expert knowledge in the field.
In that case, create a Q/A page for infrequently asked questions. You can link to the page from your main FAQ page. Visitors who want to know everything they can about your product, service, company or industry will appreciate the additional information.
There’s another benefit too. Remember, search engines love sites with great content. If your Infrequently Asked Questions page is filled with interesting, original, detailed information, it could bump your site up a notch in Google’s eyes.
Your FAQ page should complement information that is readily available elsewhere on the site. Look at it as a secondary search-for-information tool, a catch-all for the pertinent facts.
Since every visitor is unique and may therefore take a different path as he travels through your site, your key points should appear in several places. That way, no matter which route the visitor takes, he’s bound to get the information you most want him to have.
“Checking a company’s FAQ page is a little like peeking into a family’s kitchen during a dinner party,” according to the Content Marketing Institute. “It reveals the personality of the household: smooth and organized or neglected and disheveled.”
Your FAQ page should be one that you update on a regular basis. If a customer poses an interesting question you haven’t heard before, add it to your FAQ page.
Got a new product you want to promote? Introduce it on your FAQ page and then link to it in your catalog or on your product page for photos and more detailed specs.
If you put new information on your site that you’d like to highlight, use a question and answer on your FAQ page to drive traffic to it. Over time you’ll accumulate a wealth of information for your visitors. Make your FAQ page dynamic and it will become a valuable part of your website as well as an effective knowledge asset and promotional tool for your business.
Adding questions and answers will enhance the value of your FAQ page. But don’t forget to also delete Q/As that are no longer relevant.
You’ll lose credibility with your visitors if your information appears dated. Check all links to make sure they’re current too.
Like any page of your website, your FAQ page should communicate your quality and professionalism. Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation.
Write in a conversational tone that makes reading interesting, not tedious. You can even consider injecting a bit of humor to further keep the reader engaged. Let your brand’s “personality” shine through.
Find a happy medium between brevity and overwhelming the reader with details. Avoid answering questions with just a ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Most readers will appreciate a more complete response but resist the temptation to ramble. For subjects that require detailed explanations, include a link to another page on your website that’s dedicated to that topic.
Bullets are a great way to provide list-like information. Keep paragraphs short, no more than 4-5 lines. One idea per sentence makes text easier to digest.
One of the newer trends on FAQ pages is to include videos answering specific questions. Video offers the ability to have a “conversation” with prospective customers. And it can be an effective tool for creating trust.
Having someone provide information face-to-face establishes a connection in a way that the written word can’t do. It reveals the real people who are behind the company’s website.
Let visitors know that if you haven’t answered their question on this FAQ page, they’re welcome to contact you directly for additional assistance. Include your contact information — both an email address and phone number are best — to make it easy for them to get in touch. You can also include a link to your Contact page.
At the end of the FAQs, make sure one of your last questions is a call to action. Tell the prospect how he can get more details, talk to a sales representative or buy the product. After reading all that great information, he should be ready to take the next step, so be sure to guide him along.
Once you’ve written and posted your FAQ page, you’ve done the hard part. But don’t post and forget. In a few weeks, you should check the analytics of your site to see if the FAQ page is getting traffic.
Are visitors going to the FAQ or are they overlooking it? If it’s not getting traffic, you may need to add some suggestions/links onto your site to better direct people to the page.
Once visitors get to the page, how long do they stay? The more time they spend there, the more likely it is that they’re reading all your information and finding it useful.
Where do visitors go after reading the FAQ page? What path are they taking? If they’re going deeper into your site, that’s a good sign. If they’re leaving your website, you probably need to rework that FAQ page.
Checking analytics on a regular basis will help you to fine tune your FAQ page as well as other pages on your site.
Need help writing an FAQ page for your website? Contact Susan Greene today!