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FAQs and You (and everybody else)

Why are FAQ Pages Important?

Today, I want to talk about your FAQ page. Yes, the thing you try to hide behind accordions. Did you know that your FAQ page is the perfect way to optimize your website for SEO and vocal search? The FAQ section of your site represents the personality of your company. Wait, stay with me. In a brick-and-mortar storefront a customer would be able to ask a salesperson questions about the company’s goods and services. On websites the role of the friendly expert is played by the FAQ. Your FAQ should remove any doubt in your customer’s mind that you are the best service provider available by answering questions that your initial marketing provoked.

What Does FAQ Stand for?

FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. That’s it. Sounds easy right? Well get to it! When done well FAQs clarify information, remove doubt, and address fears without using the resources of a customer service representative.

How to Write an FAQ Page

1. Take the F Seriously

The “F” stands for frequently and the questions we are asked the most are not always the ones we want to answer. These are concerns raised by the consumer rather than questions the sales-team created to drive demand. So how do you know what questions your customers ask?

Here are a few places you can look:

  • Emails from your customers
  • Customer support tickets
  • Front-of-house staff or customer support agents on your team
  • Social media and blog pages (read the comments people leave you!)
  • Customer surveys (which you can use to expressly ask for customer assistance when creating your FAQ)

Remember that much of this work has already been done for you. Customers know what questions they have and frequently talk among themselves or ask you directly. Take those communications and incorporate them into your FAQ. The hardest part will be answering the questions you may not want to.

2. Answer the Questions You Want to Avoid

“Why do the prices change?” “Why do you not longer offer my preferred product? “What guarantees can you provide?” Be honest with yourself. We have all had questions asked that we do not want to answer about our own respective businesses.

Despite potential discomfort the only question to ask yourself in this situation is: is the question frequently asked?

If so, include it in your FAQ.

You must provide the answer before others do. Just because you don’t address the questions being asked doesn’t mean your customers will stop thinking about. The last thing you want are customers on social media sharing their own theories rooted in misinformation or frustration. The best way to address these questions is to frame them in a positive light. Prove honest and frank answers that show you respect your customer enough to show them a peek into the inner workings of your operation. Try to use humor to highlight the ways your company is working to address these questions. If you cannot solve the question then explain why. Limitations of materials, personnel, and geography all factor in and by being upfront with your customers will build your trustworthy reputation. While doing this you must also show your prospective customers that your business is still capable. Limitations don’t stop you they simply force you to adapt and become stronger. Tell the customers of your company’s bright future and when you think you’ll be able to offer the things they ask for. Trust is built upon honesty and once earned can create strong bonds of loyalty in even the most saturated market.

3. Sound Like a Human

Use the same language your customers use to answer their questions. Know your audience and keep the level of jargon to a minimum. Sometimes even the most informed customer will have the same question as someone just introduced to your product. Consider how you speak in reality to your clients and try to approach writing your FAQ in the same tone. Balance professional information with a personality that reflects your business. Try this, record yourself answering aloud a customer’s query from your FAQ and compare to what you have written. What sounds more like the voice of your company?

4. Make Navigation Easy

There a few rules to consider when constructing your FAQ:

  • Place your FAQ prominently on your homepage as well as on every page on your website.
  • Logically organize your questions with a clear theme so that your users instinctively can get answers to the questions they have. Consider a basic 101 section to your products with more complicated questions and answers clearly marked.
  • Structure your page architecture (hyperlinks, references, jump links) so your customers don’t have read the entire FAQ to find their answer
  • Have a search feature specific to the FAQ that is separate from your site-wide search feature.

5. Go Beyond Text

You can make your FAQ interesting! Your FAQ reflects your services so make sure to use this section of your site to highlight your content. Use videos, screenshots, diagrams, and infographics to explain concepts and detail instructions. Your FAQ can become a platform to get into technical aspects of your product that help draw in your leads as you help them address their problems. Imagine your user’s experience with your FAQ. Does the medium transmit the message? Are your customers working harder than they need to find the answers they’re looking for?

6. It’s a Conversation

Your FAQ is as much a platform for your product as the rest of your site. Your website exists to draw in new prospects and share the experiences of being a customer. Do not think of your FAQ as a space for leftover information that does not fit anywhere else. Potential customers are reading your FAQ because they are interested in your product. In some ways these potential customers are different because they are seeking out an answer that the rest of the site could not provide. With these inquisitive potentials their next moves will be based on the information they gather. Give them the tools to engage with your product if they have question. Off them ways to go deeper if the the FAQ doesn’t offer a solution. Give them the ability to contact an expert or request a quote. The important thing is to keep them focused and engaged with your site.

7. Invite Feedback

With these steps your FAQ will become stronger, but by no means can one page cover all the questions out there. Keep the customers who ask questions engaged with your site. Have your contact information easily found and make sure you give many different options of contact (social media, phone number, email). Make sure these channels are properly monitored for correspondence. You want users to contact you while their question is still on their mind and to ensure they get an answer before they move on.

Let your FAQ provide another channel for visitors to engage with your site. Let them rank your responses and offer freed back. You want to show your users that you value their time and their input. Users who feel heard will be that much more likely to return and this helps builds your brand’s reputation.

8. It’s up to Date

Once you have your strong FAQ established make sure you change it. Your customers and their concerns are evolving and to remain relevant your must evolve too. Again, the “F” is for frequently so your FAQ should reflect what questions are currently raised. Remove questions that are no longer asked and make sure to keep responding to new queries as they arrive.

9. It’s Not “Just a Page”

Perhaps the most important thing we saved for last. Your FAQ is not a single page that one link draws users to. Imagine other possibilities. Your FAQ can respond in different sections to different queries. There will always be questions about your broader business beyond a particular page. Consider shorter, page-specific FAQs that respond to a single topic. If your company is an SEO include FAQs on the specifics of your product, on pricing and production, on support. Link the relevant information to the precise pages where those questions are being asked. You could include separate FAQs for subscribers to your site and other FAQs to prospects. If you have a diverse business ensure your strategy for questions is equally diverse.

Now equipped with these tools shine above your competition with a well executed FAQ. Once you revitalize your section make sure you come back to it. Your FAQ is as much part of your page as the content itself.