In the past year, I have been coaching a lot of businesses to update content using FAQs. Also known as Frequently Asked Questions. If they needed an idea to update website pages, adding FAQs seemed to be easy content to come up with. Why am I pushing this? Because FAQs are good for websites. Here are two reasons why.
#1 Reason – FAQs are Good for People
Potential customers come to your business website to check you out. They are at some step in the process of deciding whether or not to do business with you. They have questions. If you can proactively answer some of these questions, it speeds their decision. Part of why FAQs are so easy to write is that your customers practically write them for you. All you need to do is, after your next sales call, sit and write down the questions asked during the meeting. Write your answers to the questions and you have just created a whole new batch of website content.
FAQs are an easy way to show your website audience that you are listening. You can’t help but talk about them if you are answering visitor’s questions.
#2 Reason – FAQs are Good for Search
There are a couple of common sense reasons why FAQs are good for search. Google is emphasizing FAQs. They have added the “People Also Ask” section to the search results page. Where does that content come from? FAQs on your website.
Let’s face it, answering questions are what Google is all about. So it only makes sense that answering questions in your content would be valuable to them. Getting answers is why people use search engines in the first place. The official statistic is that 8% of users type their search in the form of a question. Something starting with “how” or “what”. But be honest, what search isn’t someone looking for an answer to a question? Isn’t that why you are searching in the first place? Adding this content to your site makes it more search friendly.
Where do I put FAQs in my website?
How can we add this type of content to our webpages? The goal is to add the information to improve your existing content. Without requiring a major redesign of your webpages. Here are some options you can use to format your FAQs.
Stand-Alone FAQ Page
Create a brand-new page on your site to contain all your FAQs. You can add a link in your menus to the page and continue to add new questions as you think of them. Try to get at least 10-15 questions or about 500 words to start your page. This will make sure the content is robust enough for search.
You can call the page FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions. Other ideas could be a Customer Service page or a Self-Help Center. Don’t be too cute so visitors don’t understand what it is. For example, if the intended audience of your page is new sales, I would not call it a “Customer Service” page. Stick with FAQs.
The tricky part of doing a single page will be how to organize the content. It’s OK if the page gets long and you need to scroll. But it’s not OK for the visitor if the question you are looking for is the 20th question on the page. Here is an example of a good design for a Stand-Alone FAQ page. It’s from YouTube, and since someone from Google designed it, it might be a good one to copy.
Add FAQs to Your Product and Services pages.
The next option would be to add an FAQ section to each of your product or service pages. This is my favorite option. First, because the questions are contextual. For a customer looking at a specific product on your website, the questions are right there. They don’t have to sort through a whole list. Second, the list will be more readable because it will be shorter and all on the same topic. Finally, we know this is search-friendly content. FAQs will improve the SEO of your product and service pages.
We have an example of a service page on our Cybervise site that will give you an idea on how to do this.
Use FAQs to create a Hub or Theme page
I was first introduced to the idea of Hub pages a while back during a webinar by Duct Tape Marketing. It’s an SEO technique and if you have good content, it really works. The idea is to create a page on your website built around a theme or a topic. Google refers to them in their Webmaster Guidelines as Navigation pages. Use the body of the page itself to introduce the theme. The rest of the page becomes a directory of references for the visitor to learn more on the topic. Pull in existing content on your website like blogs or product descriptions.
This is also a great spot for FAQs. Either add them to the body of the page or pull in related FAQ blogs. Or both. The theme of the page helps you organize the questions and keeps the list shorter. The list of questions will be focused because you filter questions only for this topic. Very user-friendly for visitors.
Create Blogs Based on FAQs
One of my favorite options. Some of our most successful blogs are when we have a title in the form of the question and the body of the post is the answer. Avoid using a yes or no question as a title. If you can answer the question in one word, that pretty much kills your word count. I also recommend avoiding anything too “salesy” if you are going for an FAQ blog. There is an expectation that if you are going to answer a question, you are about to teach someone something. Answering FAQs is a way to build credibility. You loose some of that if the only answer to the question is a sales pitch.
Databox.com did a study of blog headlines. Headlines in the form of a question had a click-through rate between 40-45% higher than other blogs. Google loves questions. Google has always liked blogs. Its a winning combo. And they may turn out to be the easiest blog posts you have ever written.
Feature on your Homepage
Your FAQS will be more successful if they are easy for the user to find. What is easier to find then on your homepage? You could have a section of your homepage that highlights a few key questions. If you are doing FAQ blogs, you could feature the latest blog post here.
This could be tricky to get right unless you do your research. What questions are so key that they need to be on the homepage? The only way to know that is to know your audience. This may be a good time to brainstorm with your sales team. I am sure they have a good idea of what the most asked questions might be. Key sales questions would work well here.
Another approach would be to use this as an opportunity to capture attention. Instead of highlighting the FAQs prospects are customers are asking, what about the questions they should be asking? This could be an opportunity to differentiate yourself from your competitors. By bringing up issues no one else is talking about.
Add FAQs to your Company or About Us Page
The About Us page is the second most visited page on your website after your homepage. If its appropriate, and works within the context of the page, try adding FAQs here. It is a very visible location. Format the questions in the same way as you do on a service or product page. Try adding a little humor or human touch to these questions. Create a section like the “Top Ten Craziest Questions People Ask About Us”. How about “Trivia Questions About Our Company”?
Error Pages or Thank You Pages
When a visitor lands on an error page or a thank you page, they typically didn’t choose to be there. Error pages, like 404 errors, show up because the visitor was trying to find content that is no longer there. An old link sent them to the wrong place.
Thank you pages pop-up once visitors complete an action. Which can mean it will be the last page visitors see before leaving you website.
Either way, error pages and thank you pages can be a dead-end for visitors. You don’t want to crowd these pages with a lot of text. It needs to be obvious to visitors that their action has failed or succeeded when they land on an error or thank you page.
A couple of timely FAQs in these locations, could prompt ideas of other help you could offer. Especially if there is a way to track what content they just came from and match the questions to what they were looking for. It may convince them to stick around and look at more stuff.
Schema Markup for FAQs
Google started adding questions directly in the search results pages back in 2018. Searchers don’t have to go to web pages to get answers to their questions. The answers are right there on Google’s search page. Where does this content come from? Business websites like yours. How do you get your content on a page one search? First you need to write your FAQs in the form of questions and answers. Then you need schema markup.
Schema markup is extra code you add to your webpages to help search engines read the content quicker. And help Google format the questions into their question and answer section. Google provides examples on how to implement this.
You may need to enlist your webmaster to help you with this. But it would be worth the investment. The results would be more search traffic and better website performance. And yet another reason why adding FAQs to your website is an excellent strategy.
To learn more about how to professionally style website content, check out our webinar archive “Professional Website Content Styling“.