When it’s time to build your website, whether you’re doing it for the first time or revamping an old site, you’ll need to make plenty of important decisions about its content and set-up, including what pages to include. Common choices of pages are those that tell potential customers about you and your business, as well as blog pages, a photo gallery, and – sometimes – an FAQ page.
An FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions page is a no-brainer for some businesses. Many owners recognize the importance of such a page. Others, however, prefer not to include one. In fact, it may not make sense for everyone. However, there are many ways that an FAQ page can indeed prompt customer engagement while also helping with SEO – search engine optimization.
What’s an FAQ page?
Simply put, an FAQ page lists questions that customers of your business are most likely to ask. These pages were originally designed to avoid excess emails or calls from clients who all wanted to ask the same question.
For example, one question might be about shipping methods, i.e., what shippers do you use to send your products to the consumer. Another might be a more technical question about the operation of a particular product. Regardless of the subject matter, however, the questions should address what is most often asked about the company’s products or services. They are designed to help move customers through the sales pipeline to the place where they eventually take action.
What many website owners don’t understand, however, is that your FAQ page has two purposes. Not only should it turn first-time visitors into customers who come back again and again but it should also help your rankings when someone searches for a business like yours.
Providing helpful content and convenient answers
But let’s talk about online convenience first. Customers who might want to take advantage of your offerings literally browse the internet at all times of the day and night. As such, they expect someone to be available to help them 24/7 and studies show that many online customers expect help quickly (within 5 minutes, actually!) and become impatient and are likely to leave the site if that doesn’t happen. To these individuals, a good customer service experience is paramount.
Because of this, those searching for answers to simple questions turn first to an FAQ page, if one is available. This digital self-service tool makes up for the fact that most businesses, especially small- to medium-sized business, simply cannot be available 24/7. If you can include an easy-to-locate page that answers some of those all-important questions, the customer is more likely to take action immediately or to return to your site when live help is available, research shows.
Boosting your ranking
Nowadays, Google’s algorithm for SEO is largely based on user intent rather than keyword-based questions. User intent is generally indicated by longer phrases, including questions. (No doubt you’ve probably typed some questions into the search bar and have noticed the prompts you get from Google to help you finish those queries)
Voice searches have also grown in popularity, a fact that Google has recognized in the last few years. So, instead of internet users typing in words like “Italian restaurant Vancouver”, they say “Siri, where’s the closest Italian restaurant?” or “Where can I get some lasagna?”.
This behavior, note our experts, is why it’s no longer important to just jam up your website with keywords like “Italian food Vancouver” or “pasta near me”. Rather, you should use your FAQ page to answer the questions your users want answered or to target more specific terms. And if you can outmaneuver your competitors who still have a website full of old keyword phrases, you can capture more traffic.
Doing it right!
Of course, you don’t want to just list a bunch of general questions on your FAQ page. If you’re building such a page for the first time, go through old correspondence with customers and potential customers to identify what was most often asked in email or phone queries. Make note of what might be a little confusing to those browsing your site and try to clarify those points. And it doesn’t hurt to look at the FAQ pages of your most ardent competitors to see what they’ve got listed!
Also, the preferred layout for FAQ pages has changed a bit over the years as well. Because time is important to customers, you should consider listing all your questions at the top of the page with links to the answers below. This way, your customers don’t have to scroll through both questions and answers to get to theirs. It’s a huge time-saver!
You’ll also want to be sure to include a “call to action” after each answer or – at the very least – in several places throughout the FAQ page. This will help customers move forward down that previously-mentioned sales pipeline.
At Watershed9, we’re constantly educating ourselves and our staff on the best ways to get your site in front of potential customers. We can help you craft a website that includes a useful FAQ page that ticks both boxes, providing both convenient answers while also helping your site move up in the rankings. For a no-obligation consultation about your existing site or for more information on building a new website, call us at 604-337-1449.