We all know that we would do anything within our power short of sacrificing our first born if it means avoiding a long, irritating phone call. Visiting the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is often customers and prospects’ first move when they encounter a problem and want to resolve it independently, or have a question about a product or service.
So, why is it that so many FAQ pages seem to touch on everything but the information you need?
Too many organizations tend to delve into advanced maintenance techniques for the car before the customer has even learned to turn the car on. A FAQ page is a powerful tool to satisfy customers’ needs, reduce time to resolution, and improve SEO, but creating an FAQ page you can be proud of requires intense planning and regular care.
Sourcing FAQ Page Content
To create a good FAQ, you first need to find out what questions your customers and prospects are asking. Interview people in your customer service department, sales team, client success team, etc. to find out what questions they spend the most time answering. If you have a customer community, do searches or check analytics to find out what content is being accessed most often. In Bloomfire, customers can access information in community, and prospects can access a partial version of that same community. Internally, Bloomfire employees can see the top questions customers ask to get an idea of what content is needed most.
A dynamic FAQ page can be a valuable part of your website, particularly if it’s considered a knowledge asset and maintained with the same care as the rest of the material on the site.
Here are six tips for making the information your customers and prospects want easily accessible:
1. Think outside the FAQ page box.
You might consider not having an FAQ page at all, but you want to make sure that your customers’ frequently asked questions are answered. Do you have a customer community? If so, feature important content there or seed questions and answers that you normally receive in your support queue.
2. Make it searchable.
The most useful FAQ pages are thoughtfully grouped and categorized. Questions and answers should be clear, and the language used should be simple – avoid jargon and marketing speak. The FAQ page exists to help customers, not impress them with your vocabulary. Ask and answer questions the way your customers talk. This may mean asking and answering the same questions in different ways to account for different styles of learning.
3. Make sure the questions are actually frequently asked.
Too many companies put the questions they want to answer on their FAQ page, rather than the questions they actually receive. Forget that famous Kissinger quote: “Who has questions for my answers?” The point here is to be helpful and focused on the needs of your customers and potential customers.
4. Share information in many different ways.
Some questions are best answered with an image, a screenshot, or a video, as well as written text, so be thoughtful about what’s appropriate for each individual case.
5. Create landing pages.
A simple way to gain some search engine value from your FAQ section is to create dedicated landing pages for important questions. If you create individual landing pages for common questions, Google will link your site to relevant Google searches. This will help your SEO and may introduce your brand to new potential customers.
6. Make it social and interactive.
Include an easy way for customers and prospects to get in touch with you privately if they can’t find an answer to their question in the FAQ. There are so many ways to make the FAQ interactive as well with social business technology. For example, anyone can answer questions in the Bloomfire community, and the person asking the question can later identify who provided the best answer for future reference.
A great FAQ page can increase your conversion rate if you provide updated and helpful information, and you make it easy for visitors to take action directly from the FAQ page or question. Once you’ve earned their trust, potential customers are more likely to purchase. Link each answer and the entire FAQ page back to a related page, and be sure to provide lots of opportunities to get more info.
Using keywords and phrases that your potential customers may use when looking for the products or services your business offers is another great way to use FAQ pages to boost SEO. This will help Google understand how they should rank your website for relevant searches.
Follow these 6 best practices when creating an FAQ page, and your customers will be thanking you for making their experience a smooth and painless one.
This blog post was originally published on July 21, 2015 and has been republished to reflect current best practices.