One of the most important decisions you and your web design team will make about your website is deciding which pages to include.
The very best websites highlight your product or service from several different angles, understand visitors’ search intent, and make it easy for users to understand your business. So the pages you choose should both help your site rank well in search (to attract first-time visitors) and move users through the sales pipeline (moving from first-time visitors to loyal customers).
A FAQ page can help with both of these main goals. But there’s more to an effective FAQ page than a generic list of questions and vague answers. In this blog post, we’ll dive into some of the things that set great FAQ pages apart from the crowd. Read on...
Even if you’ve thoroughly explained your services and products elsewhere on your site, chances are you can still benefit from a FAQ page. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the benefits a FAQ page brings so you can more easily decide whether your website should include one.
Think about the customers who call your business just to ask a question. For every person who does call, there are likely countless others who visited your website, couldn’t find their answer, and decided to continue their search elsewhere.
Adding a FAQ page can help you keep those potential customers on your site and make their user experience much more convenient. And if you think online convenience is a small factor in a user’s perception of a brand, remember these customer service statistics:
In light of numbers like these, it should come as no surprise that more than 60% of consumers say that their go-to channel for simple inquiries is a digital self-serve tool — like a FAQ page on a website. Most businesses can’t be fully available 24/7, 365, so including an easy-to-find page on your website that clearly answers those burning questions goes a long way toward how users feel about your brand and how likely they are to convert.
Over the years, Google has consistently shifted its algorithm away from keyword-based queries to focus instead on user intent, which is signaled by longer phrases and questions. Google even encourages users to ask questions rather than type in keywords, which you may have noticed when the search bar predicts your query and formats it as a question:
This is especially true as voice searches continue to rise in popularity. An early 2019 survey found voice search to be the second most popular choice for mobile search (after mobile browsers), while another 2019 survey found that 48% of consumers use voice search for “general web searches.”
And according to a voice search survey by BrightLocal in 2018,
So, let’s say that you own a bank in Miami. Users are now far less likely to open up Google on their desktop and type “bank miami fl.” Instead, they’re more likely to ask,
Now, this doesn’t mean that keywords aren’t important anymore. They can still help signal to Google what your site is about, and they should still be an integral part of your SEO strategy. But now, in 2020, they are far from the most important content factor. While your competitors are still stuffing their websites with “bank miami fl,” “miami bank,” “atm miami fl,” and the like, you can use your FAQ page to target highly specific terms and answer the long-tail questions your users want answered.
If you can outsmart your competition who’s still stuck in the old ways of SEO, you can earn more visitors to your site while making those visitors happier by answering their questions.
If you do decide to include a FAQ page to your website — a decision that an experienced web design agency will gladly help with — there are a few steps that will make it much more successful. We discuss them below.
We don’t recommend going with a generic FAQ page with 5-15 “catch all” questions. Rather, the best approach is to develop a strategic list of very specific questions that you know your target market is asking.
Not sure which questions to answer? You may need to spend a little time researching first. We typically tell our clients to:
To go above and beyond, you can even write an in-depth blog post for each question and then link to the post in your answers. This approach provides endless, helpful information to your users, plus it stacks your site well above your competition for its large amount of pages with naturally SEO-rich content.
Most FAQ pages simply list the questions and answers. This is likely what your site visitors are most used to seeing, so the layout will be familiar and comfortable to them.
However, this means users will need to scroll through your entire list to see if you’ve addressed their concerns or not, and that takes up precious seconds or even minutes that your customers don’t feel they have (remember that stat about valuing their time!).
Together, we can improve their user experience by listing all of the questions at the top of the page, with anchor text linking to each answer farther down the page. So rather than one long list, your FAQ page might look something like this:
Alternately, you can group the questions by category or topic to help site visitors more easily find the content they’re looking for.
Your FAQ page is not the place to write marketing jargon. It should be easy to read, clearly answer the question, and cover the whole issue. Choose facts over marketing, but do think about how you’re portraying your company’s values in each answer and make sure those come across accordingly.
We also recommend writing from the perspective of your customer, using first-person pronouns like I and my. This can help them connect with your brand and feel as though their questions and concerns are truly heard.
Your FAQ page may be the last place a customer stops before making a decision about your product or service. Add a clear call to action that prompts them to move forward in the sales pipeline, whether that’s a link to your contact page, the option to download a helpful PDF, or the ability to join your email list for product updates. If you need help, we compiled everything you need to know about compelling calls to action in a recent blog post.
The best FAQ pages are proactive and show that you really listen to your customers’ concerns. Don’t let your FAQ page become stagnant — keep it updated with new questions, accurate information, and useful content as your business evolves.
Your initial FAQ page may have 10+ questions with anchor text and bold-format questions. But as you continue to grow the questions and answers on the page, make it easier for users to sort through it with things like separate sections, collapsible content, and maybe even separate, topic-based FAQ pages.
One mistake businesses often make with FAQ pages is to think, “We answer that question on the FAQ page, so we don’t need to talk about it throughout the site.”
Think of your FAQ page as the opportunity to expand upon helpful content that your site consistently provides, as well as another avenue for people to discover that great content. Don’t limit yourself to written content, either — videos are now the top-performing content across every major social media platform, so consider how incorporating them into your FAQs might enable you to spread your message even farther online.
The only way to know whether your FAQ page is truly successful is to track its performance. Along with measuring page views, read times, and bounce rates, track the types of questions you receive on the phone. If you continue to receive the same question even though it’s answered on your website, it may be that it isn’t easy enough for users to find the answer — or your answer may not be clear enough.
FAQ pages certainly aren’t the only kind of page that can be helpful to users. The idea of writing long-form, topic-specific content to both help your customers and boost your search rankings is something that every business should consider — and it can be accomplished in many different ways.
In place of, or in addition to, a FAQ page, you may want to consider providing one of a combination of the following:
This is a great option if you provide a tangible product or a software program, as users will want to know every bit of information they can before and after buying.
For example, in our site design for Accord Ventilation, we worked with the client to include Product Selection Guides and Cross Reference Guides on their “Resources” page.
As we discussed previously, blog posts will boost the success of your FAQ page. If this is a strategy you plan to adopt, you might consider holding off on the FAQ page until you have a nice bank of blog posts to link to. Our team of talented copywriters can help if you’re not sure where to start.
Helicopter Express is a great example of one of our web design clients who took this approach. Once their new site was live, they continued working with us to produce helpful, SEO-friendly blog content that answered their audience’s top questions about their helicopter services.
There are many programs that help you build a drag-and-drop chatbot — including some that use Facebook Messenger for an added layer of convenience — so including one on your site may not be as huge of an undertaking as it once was.
And studies show that doing so could be of major benefit for both you and your customers:
Additionally, 68% of consumers note that messaging is the most convenient way to stay connected with businesses. No wonder, then, that 80% of businesses are expected to have some sort of chatbot automation by the end of this year.
If you’re still not sure if a FAQ page is something worth adding to your site, here are a few trends to consider:
Finally, one important point to make is that providing answers on your website will not deter people from contacting you. Certain businesses rely on those initial calls with leads to convert them to customers, and they often think that withholding information on their site will lead more people to call.
But users are becoming faster and faster at searching, which also means that they are becoming more impatient with slow, bare, or unhelpful websites. Leave a positive, lasting impression by anticipating their needs and creating content that makes their lives better.
Ready to meet your customers’ needs with a targeted, strategic FAQ page? Get in touch to learn how we can help.
Ready for a slick new website, increased traffic and more converting customers? Tell us a little about your business and we’ll reach out to get your project underway.