How to Write a FAQ Page: What You Need to Know
Is your company's website complete without an FAQ page? If you've been wondering whether you need to add this type of content to your website, or if you're building a new website, then you're in the right place.
In this guide, you'll learn about the problems with the traditional FAQ page. We'll help you decide if an FAQ page is the right move for your website. Finally, we'll share with you how to write an FAQ page to improve your conversions and SEO.
If you're new to the concept of SEO, you'll learn a bit about strategies and tactics to improve that as well, as a side benefit of learning about FAQ pages. Either way, you can't afford to miss out on the information below.
To provide the most complete end-user experience and set up your website for success, keep reading.
- 1 How to Write a FAQ Page: What You Need to Know
The Traditional FAQ Page
What is FAQ? FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions.
On websites, these pages are opportunities for businesses to alleviate potential customers' concerns before, during, and after the buyer journey. They're a way to build trust.
What many business owners don't realize is the impact an FAQ page can have on search engine optimization or SEO. Every page on your website impacts your SEO. Because of this impact, it's important to put as much forethought into an FAQ page as you do every other page and element of your website.
We're going to discuss the traditional FAQ page as a way to show you what not to do with your own. Years ago, the traditional approach worked, but SEO–just like end-users' needs–changes with time. So too must your approach to building your website, which includes the FAQ page.
Traditionally, the FAQ page would list a selection of questions, each with a two to three sentence answer. There are several problems with this approach nowadays.
Traditional FAQ Example
What types of questions and answers might you see on a traditional FAQ page? Take a look at these examples:
Q: What is your return policy?
A: To process a return, please contact our customer support department.
The problem with this example is it's too brief. It also doesn't provide any specifics. It just passes the buck onto the customer service representative. The user hasn't learned anything.
Q: What year was your company founded?
A: We've been around since 1960!
This answer at least addresses the question in a more concrete way than the previous example, but it's still rife with problems. Again, it's too brief. On the same page as the previous question, it detracts from a central theme.
The company is obviously trying to establish credibility, but they're missing the opportunity to tell their story. People love stories–the more in-depth, the better.
Stay Away From The Traditional FAQ Page
For one, these few sentences often provide mediocre answers at best. Users crave in-depth information. A few sentences just aren't going to cut it.
Another reason the traditional approach doesn't help–and can, in fact, hurt–your SEO is it doesn't have a central idea. Pages on websites that have central ideas surrounding keyword phrases perform better in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is because they more clearly answer users' search queries.
A third reason this method is outdated is these types of FAQ pages tend to scroll on forever with tons of questions and subpar answers. Not only will this bore users, but it can make the FAQ page take longer to load. A load time of 3 seconds or more can bump up bounce rates by 32%.
Your bounce rate reflects how many users visit your site and leave it. Usually, reasons for bouncing include:
- Poor site design
- Content that doesn't engage
- Content that doesn't respond to the user's search query
- A site that's not credible
The traditional FAQ page is poor site design. The screen-after-screen scrolling list of questions fails to engage readers. The lack of a central theme means the FAQ page is less likely to respond to the query.
Do You Even Need A FAQ Page?
After reading the last section, you might be feeling overwhelmed about FAQ pages. You might be wondering if you need one after all, and wouldn't life just be easier if you didn't have to worry about the problems a poorly designed FAQ page can cause?
Life might be easier, but you'd be missing out on great opportunities. Think of a brick-and-mortar store.
A customer walks in. She has questions, so she asks an employee. The employee answers her questions and guides her through the buyer journey to conversion.
Online, you might not have the opportunity to interact directly with a potential customer. This is where your FAQ page comes in. FAQs can solve the following problems:
- Potential customers are like Jon Snow–they know nothing…about your brand
- Potential customers are nervous to click the Buy Now button
- Potential customers want more details before they whip out their wallets
- Potential customers aren't likely to pick up the phone and call you with questions
If you can solve all of these questions and boost your SEO, it's worth it to create an FAQ page. Besides, we've got great tips for you below, so keep reading and don't shy away from this useful type of content.
How To Write A FAQ Page
How do you write a quality, informational, SEO-friendly FAQs page? Like all tactics in SEO, the key is to pay close attention to what the end-user wants. 45% of brands claim they've highly integrated content marketing with their SEO strategy.
People crave content, which is why content is king and always will be. The format of content may shift and adapt to the latest technology, but at the end of the day, it still has to educate, entertain, and engage.
Understand Your Visitors
Where content and SEO converge, you'll find keyword research. You'll begin your FAQ page generation by understanding the keywords and phrases your potential customers search for.
The next step is to understand your visitor's potential questions. There are a few ways to go about this:
- Write down all the questions you receive on a day-to-day basis
- Investigate the questions your competitors are answering
- Talk often with your current customers to determine their unasked questions
Understanding user intent is one of the key components to succeeding at SEO. Search engines are seeking to please users; so too should you do the same.
The key to understanding your visitors–and coming across that way–is to anticipate their needs. If your FAQ page includes questions and links to in-depth answers that they haven't thought to seek yet, you'll be anticipating their needs.
Doing so is a great way to provide stellar customer service before someone is even a customer. This helps build trust in your brand.
Structuring Your FAQ
If you haven't yet, you'll want to start a blog. But wait, you might think, I thought we were talking about FAQ pages. We are.
The reason we suggest starting a blog is because that's the best place to answer your frequently asked questions. We recommend a page with your questions, of course. But those questions should link to in-depth, long-form blog posts that answer the question.
- Search engines love blogs because they update more frequently than web pages
- Users love long-form content (1,000 to 2,000 words or more)
- You'll have the opportunity to really answer questions and gain users' trust
- Anchoring the question text is great for targeting keyword phrases
- You can boost your internal links, which is great for SEO
- You can show more questions in less space on a faster-loading page
An added note on showing many questions: If you have more than, say, fifteen FAQs, divide them into categories. Maybe you have a category for purchases, for example.
This allows readers to choose the questions that are more relevant to them, providing a better user experience. Search engines notice that sort of thing, and you're more likely to rank favorably in SERPs. In turn, this leads to more organic traffic, and hopefully more conversions.
Creativity can go a long way toward engaging viewers. This is another reason the traditional FAQ page falls flat. It's not creative.
Do some research. Look at FAQ page examples from your competitors. Study FAQ pages on websites of famous brands.
What are they doing? What ideas do their pages spark in your mind?
Don't worry–we won't leave you all alone on this one either. We have some creative ideas to help you spruce up your FAQ page:
Include a video. By 2021, 81% of all consumer traffic will be to consume videos. Include images, too; people love visual stimulation on the internet.
Just because your page is a list of linked frequently asked questions doesn't mean you have to call the page FAQs. Feel free to think of other names for the page that might grab users' attention while also conveying its purpose.
So far, we've covered understanding users' needs, the structure of your FAQ page, and creativity. We have more tips for you to ensure your FAQ page benefits your SEO and therefore your business. Keep reading this last section of our ultimate guide to maximize your FAQ page's potential.
Social proof adds to your website's credibility. If customers are nervous to buy, it's probably because they're not sure if you're credible or not. Showing your social proof is one way to mitigate that uncertainty.
The best way to demonstrate social proof is to share testimonials from satisfied customers or display the logos of brands which already trust you and your products or services. If your business is new and you don't have social proof yet, don't worry–but be on the lookout for opportunities to obtain it.
Another common problem with the traditional FAQ page is it lends itself to duplicate content. To search engines, when you post duplicate content, you're essentially self-plagiarizing. Don't do it.
This is another reason why the blog approach works so well. Instead of posting bland and canned responses to FAQs, you can drill deep into the core of a question and provide unique, engaging content.
Spread your FAQ around your site. We definitely recommend having a central page for your questions, but you might also want to include them–rephrased to avoid duplicate content of course–on product and service pages. Why make your visitors navigate through multiple clicks when you can give them the links right there?
Include an invitation to contact you with additional questions. Sometimes, despite best efforts, even a long-form article won't answer every aspect of a user's question. If they can reach out to you, it builds trust and credibility.
We know, we said earlier they're not willing to call you. But once they've invested time in reading your long-form blog answer to their FAQ, they're invested in your brand and are more likely to fill out a contact form or pick up the phone.
Our final tip is to include a CTA, or call-to-action at the bottom of the FAQ page. Maybe you want them to contact you. Perhaps you have an ebook or other downloadable content that would further educate, entertain, and engage your visitors.
Whew, you've made it through a lot of in-depth content about how to write an FAQ page! Let's take a moment to recap.
We talked about the traditional FAQ page and the SEO problems it poses. Then, we convinced you that yes, you do need an FAQ page. We brought you through the steps to create a high-quality FAQ page that will inform visitors and help your SERP rankings.
You need to take the time before creating your FAQ page to understand your visitors, put a structure in place, and brainstorm some creative ways to present your questions and answers. Finally, we shared some extra tips that range from helping you build credibility to guiding users on the buyer journey.
Even though you've read this guide, it's okay if you still have questions. We're here to help. Just drop us a line with your own Q's about FAQ's.