What is stopping you from writing an FAQ page?
If you are thinking that an FAQ page will not give you returns on investment, you are right! But if you are thinking that because there will be no returns on investment, you should consider ignoring that page completely, you are wrong!
Why is the FAQ page important?
Because it gives valuable information to your customers that help them in decision-making. Sometimes, a clear answer to a specific question is all that you will need to convert a visitor at the end of the sales funnel into a loyal customer.
You do not need a high-octane sales pitch for such potential customers. They are already aware of your product and services. The only thing that is holding them back is the uncertainty that you can clarify just by answering the questions they have.
So, do you still want to ignore your FAQ page?
If you have understood the value of the FAQ page by now, this article has a wealth of knowledge that you will love and benefit from.
An FAQ Page or A FAQ Page?
Let us start by answering this simple question.
FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. You read FAQ as EFF-AY-CUE. The sound starts with a vowel sound and hence, “an FAQ page” is the correct usage.
You do not read it as FACK. That is a wrong pronunciation, and hence, ‘a FAQ page’ is the incorrect usage.
You are good!
What is FAQ?
So, what is FAQ?
I already told you. It is an acronym for ‘FREQUENTY ASKED QUESTION.’
Who asks those questions?
Your readers and potential customers! They have the ones who have questions about your product and / or services, and they want answers.
Different people will have different questions, and you should consider answering those questions.
The thing is one person may not think of all the questions at once.
Fleeting thoughts, absent mindedness, short sightedness – call it whatever you want. A single person will most likely never ask all relevant questions.
This is where the power of the crowd comes in, and you need to find a way to harness that power.
If you can answer the questions that a person could have potentially asked but did not ask for some reason, that person will be more than happy to get the answer.
But how do you get the questions. I will get there soon.
What Purposes Does an FAQ Page Fulfill?
In simpler words, “what are the advantages of building a solid FAQ page?”
There are several advantages. Let us learn about them.
1. Time Saver
A clearly defined FAQ page with all relevant (and sometimes not so relevant) questions answered properly and precisely can save time for you and your potential customers. Your potential customers will never need to scout through your entire website to find a tiny piece of information if you lay down the answer on single page.
They will never send you emails or messages on social media page and wait for you to answer their queries.
For you, you do not need to shoot emails for every single query you receive. You do not have to spend more time on your social page to answer the questions you receive through messenger or posts.
Time is precious!
2. Trust Building
When you give precise and concise answers to questions, people develop a sense of trust that pushes them from being a potential customer to a loyal customer.
With an FAQ page you display your professional approach and your problem-solving acumen. People will know that you are clear about your business and if they face any problem, you will be there to handle such issues with professionalism.
Businesses thrive on trust. Fall in trust can bring down largest of businesses in the world. Do not try to be an evil corporation like the Umbrella Corporation of Resident Evil series. Be a trustworthy brand on which customers can depend.
3. Increased Traffic
A robust FAQ page on your site will help people to find you on the internet. As more people find you, the more traffic you get. The more traffic you get will increase your chances of getting more loyal customers.
Who does not want growth in business? Everyone does! An effective FAQ page can be one of the many growth channels that you can harness.
4. Personality Display
By answering the questions frequently asked by people, you display your personality as a responsible business. If your answers are helpful, you create a bonding, a relationship with your audience. The deeper the relationship, the more loyalty you get.
Brand loyalty is something you should aim for. Brand loyalty can help you generate a steady revenue stream. In addition, brand loyalty can help to spread word of mouth, which in turn helps in getting new customers without much effort and marketing expenses.
Are There Any Disadvantages of an FAQ Page?
None as such!
The only disadvantage that you can think of is that it will not generate returns on investment immediately. An FAQ page is not about immediate gratification. It is about building trust over the long term.
But long-term relation building eventually helps in gaining customers. So, what seems to be a disadvantage in the short term turns into an advantage in the long run.
What Should Your FAQ Page Consist of?
Research, research, research…
There is no shortcut here!
You need to start somewhere. You need to find the questions that your potential customers are asking. If you do not have the questions, you cannot give the answers.
There are a few places you can start. Let us find out.
People Also Ask
The best place to start is the Google Search Engine. You must have noticed a People Also Ask box in the Google search result page. Here is what it looks like:
You can get valuable information here. As you keep expanding questions, new questions keep appearing below. At one point, the new questions will stop, and the entire process will start over. You can get many questions from this place.
Make sure that you are answering only the ones that are most relevant to your business.
Google Autocomplete Feature
Head over to Google and start typing a question that comes to your mind related to your product and service. You will notice that Google gives autocomplete suggestions in the search bar. You can always use that data.
If one question is not returning enough autocomplete data, or it is giving irrelevant data, modify your question and repeat the process.
There are several online tools that give you a collection of such autocomplete questions and people also ask questions with minimal effort. Use those tools. A few good examples will be:
There are many more you can find with a quick Google search. These resources can be of immense help while creating your awesome FAQ page.
Quora is one of the largest Q&A sites in the world. You can find valuable information here. Millions of people ask a wide range of questions. Not only can you scout through the questions that have already been answered, but when you click on a specific question and read its answer, you can find many related questions on the sidebar and below the answer.
Sometimes Quora’s related questions can be quite irrelevant. So, select the questions that matter the most and eliminate all those irrelevant ones.
Scan Your Competitors
One good starting point is to scan your competitors’ FAQ pages and find out what they are writing. The trick here is to ensure that you are answering all the questions that they are answering but make them more specific to your product or service.
There is another trick that you should be using. Find generic questions related to your industry and answer them. Answering generic questions can help you to get into Google’s featured snippets or people also ask box.
This is particularly beneficial if not many people are aware of your brand. Answering generic questions can help you with SEO. With SEO, you can gain search engine visibility that can help in promoting your brand in organic queries and thus, help you in getting new customers.
Examples of Generic Questions:
- What is managed WordPress hosting? [Hosting industry]
- What is a pressure washer? [Cleaning industry]
- What is blackened topsoil? [Gardening industry]
The industry you are working in will have such similar generic questions. Answer such generic questions along with questions related to your products and services.
Some Useful Tips to Help You Get Started
Here are some essential tips that you should keep in mind while writing an FAQ page:
Make the page visible and name it “FAQ,” or “Frequently Asked Questions.”
First thing first, your FAQ page should not be hidden. It should be clearly visible. Most businesses prefer to keep the FAQ page in the footer segment. You can place it there or you can select the header. The positioning will depend entirely on your business goals and requirements. Just make sure that it is visible.
The next thing to keep in mind is the naming of the page. “FAQ” or “Frequently Asked Questions” are the best options to work with. People are already aware of what FAQ means and what they should be expecting from that page.
Using a fancy name or a name that does not clearly tell people what that page is all about is only going to send a wrong message to your readers. They will perceive you as someone who lacks clarity. People do not need fancy names. They need answers – precise answers. So, they also expect that the page where they find such answers has a clear name.
The True Q-&-A Format is Vital
Do not make the mistake of giving only the answers to the questions with small headings. Write down the whole question along with the answer.
Here are two examples to explain the point:
Kids’ dress size chart
Answer: Your answer goes here.
Notice how the bold part of the text is more like a small heading. People do not want that. That is the wrong approach.
How do I measure my child’s dress size?
Answer: Your answer goes here.
Notice how the bold part of the text is an actual question. An actual question helps people to connect better, and they can easily figure out what they should be expecting in that answer.
Using the true Q-&-A format brings in the much-needed clarity and that is precisely what your customers are looking for. Do not throw something fancy at them. Do not give them something that you perceive is right. Give them what they want. Give them what they think is right.
Short and Concise Answers
Your answers should be precise and to the point. There should not be anything extra that is not needed.
Take this example:
Question: What is blackened topsoil?
Answers 1: There are many types of topsoil. There is screened topsoil, there is organic topsoil, and then there is blackened topsoil… [continue]
Answer 2: Blackened topsoil is composted soil that contains a mixture of … [continue]
Which one do you think is the right approach? In the example above, a person is asking a question and expects a direct and clear answer. Never add stuff that does not belong in that answer. Cut off the excess part and filter the core answer. Give that core answer.
Give a concise answer and try to keep it short. If the answer calls for a little bit of explanation to make it complete, go ahead and give the full answer. Never leave an answer incomplete. That is not a good practice either.
If you leave an answer incomplete, the readers will look for it somewhere else. They will not trust you. If they cannot trust you with something as simple as finding an answer to a question, how do you think they will trust you with their money?
ALSO REMEMBER: Make sure that you are never leaving the answer incomplete and sending the user to a different page with an interlink. That is not a clever idea at all.
Put yourself in that reader’s place. Will you really like to be thrown around from one page to another just to find an answer? If you do not like it, do not make the mistake of thinking that someone else will like it.
People do not have enough time. They want their problems to be solved quickly.
Your job is to position yourself as an authority in the industry by giving precise answers that people want.
Once you give them what they want, you will earn their respect and trust.
No Jargon Please
Understand this – people want clear answers! They want answers in plain English (or whichever language you are using). They are not aware of industry jargon. They need simple explanations.
Take this example of hosting industry:
Question: Do you allow instant scalability to tackle sudden surge in bandwidth consumption?
Alternate Question: Do you increase RAM, CPU, and other server resources if traffic increases?
Notice how the alternative question gives more clarity. That is the type of clarity people want from you.
Be the Customer
Frame the questions by positioning yourself as the customer. How would you ask the questions if you were the customer?
Here are some good examples:
Do not use: “Can you purchase a refurbished product on our website?”
Use: “Can I purchase a refurbished product?”
Do not use: “Are you entitled for a refund if you do not like our product?”
Use: “Can I get a refund if I do not like your product?”
Putting the questions in a way your customers will ask will resonate well with them. They will instantly connect with you and like your brand because you will have put them in the forefront. You will prioritize them.
For “Yes” or “No” Questions, Give “Yes” or “No” Answers
If the question dictates answers in simple “Yes” or “No,” use a “Yes” or “No” approach.
Question: Do I get a virtual isolated environment for my websites hosted with you?
Right Answer: Yes! Your account will be put in a separate isolated environment with private resources.
Wrong Answer: Account safety is one of our core values. We do not like the idea that the activities of one account affecting another account on the server. That is the reason why we allocate isolated VPS to each customer account.
Trust me, no one is asking you about your core values. Sometimes people just want to know answers in a simple “Yes” or “No.” Do not complicate things unnecessarily.
Organize Your FAQ Segment
People will ask different types of questions related to different aspects of your business. A plain list of hundreds of questions and their answers will not make a sense. It becomes difficult to scan through them and find the right questions and the right answer.
So, it is important that you organize your questions. For example, you can organize your questions based on categories like:
- Billing & Refund
- Return Policy
- Account Management
The categories you create will depend on the industry you are working in and the type of product or service you are offering. Be thoughtful and identify the most important customer-facing aspects of your business and create an organized structure based on those aspects.
Throw in a Search Bar
An effective FAQ page is not just about giving precise answers and organizing your questions. People should be able to find the answers quickly. While organizing your FAQ segment in categories is a great start, there is something even better – a search bar.
Give a search bar where people can search for answers with specific keywords and key phrases. It will be even better if you have an autosuggest function in your search bar. Ajax-based search bars can be of immense help.
Update Your FAQ Segment
Do not make the mistake of thinking that there is no need for updating the FAQ segment. New questions can come up from time to time. Your product may get enhanced features. New technical issues may show up in your product every now and then.
You need to address all those things and keep your FAQ page updated. Failure to update your FAQ page will mean that potential customers will be stuck with old information, some of which may not be relevant to them.
Focus on SEO
Do not forget that with FAQ you also want to achieve visibility in search engines. So, sometimes you need to add questions and answers in the format that search engines want.
For instant, if you deal with robotic vacuum cleaners, and you are answering a question on ‘how to clean a robotic vacuum cleaner,’ you should be using an ordered or unordered list that describe the steps of cleaning the robot.
Your approach to the answers will determine how SEO-friendly FAQ page will be. So, do some research on SEO before you start writing your answers.
Throw in Some Personality
Throw in some brand personality. If the need be, use humor or be casual. If your brand has a dignified voice, follow that. Throwing in some personality will make people think that there are some real human beings working behind the scenes. That boosts confidence.
Here is a good example:
Question: Do I get a WAF with your hosting?
Answer: Yeah, we aren’t really sure what it means but those tech guys behind the scenes told it is necessary to keep the bad hackers and alien-looking bots away from your site. So, we just added it! Jeez, why do you have to be technical?
Some Cool Examples of Popular FAQ Pages
Airbnb – Human-focused FAQ Page
Pinterest – Simplicity with a Search Bar
Nike – The Minimalist
The FAQ page that you build should be effective. The approach you take should depend on things like your brand voice, the industry you are working in, and the approach you want to take with your customers.
Just keep focus on a few things that include: “customer-first” approach, “concise and helpful” answers, and “simple and navigable” structure of the page.
As long as you follow the basics, you should be able to create a great FAQ page that works!