It seems fair to suggest that an area dedicated to answering FAQ's, or frequently asked questions, is a useful addition to most, even all, business websites. However on the subject of FAQ's we're often left with questions of our own, such as which questions are worth including in an FAQ? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer is those which your customers ask about most frequently, but this isn't always very helpful place to start from, especially for new businesses which don't have a large existing customer base.
FAQ's can be good for SEO
In addition to aiding your customers, an FAQ can greatly benefit your website from an SEO perspective as well. It provides you with a useful space in which to include the keywords or phrases which best describe your website in a relevant and organic context and a way which is rewarded by search engine rankings.
So what do you do?
Well, if you're an established business you no doubt deal with customer enquiries on a regular basis so it's simply a matter of listening to your customers and trying to answer questions before they need to ask them. To further this point, surveys and questionnaires can be a useful way to uncover sticking points or holes which may exist in the knowledge presented on your website.
New and start-up businesses
If you're a new business and you're struggling to find a starting point then you have a few options. They all loosely centre around an analysis of the content featured on your site as we attempt to add to and elaborate on the points it may not be practical to include on your pages.
The first thing you can try, and this is probably the most intuitive approach, is to make use of your own knowledge of the inner workings of your business both in terms of the day to day technicalities, returns or expirations, for example, as well as any relating specifically to the products or services you offer, and use these to construct your own set of questions and answers which would seem logical to ask from a consumers point of view. At the very least this can provide you with a starting point which can be expanded upon in time.
Another option is to enlist help in order to expand upon the method outlined above. Asking a friend or family member, particularly one who is not experienced with the intricacies of your business, to perform a dry run of the buying process with a focus on factors such as comparing products or services from different tiers, pricing, returns and product compatibility or suitability, for example, is a an effective and quite simple method for producing an FAQ as you essentially mimic the organic process. And you can further the effectiveness of this method by asking more people, particularly if they differ in age or temperament.
How you write your FAQ is also important
Deciding which information broadly comprises your FAQ is clearly the most important step but its also important that you phrase your questions in a way that it is similar to how people actually ask them. On a related note you'll also want to decide which keywords and phrases are most relevant to the question being asked and are therefore likely to be used if someone were to type the question into a search engine, for example. Clearly, this is a highly individual process. For some questions this process can be quick and easy whilst for others it may take a little perseverance. Again, it might be worthwhile having someone look over your questions and check that they read or sound logical and use fluent, easily interpreted, language. It's often the case that the longer and harder you work on something without a break the less and less it makes sense.
If you're struggling or simply looking for a head start you may consider using the FAQ of one of your competitors for guidance. You can look how they constructed the element with some of the above in mind and look for ways to improve upon them. Don't, however, assume that because they're a large company that their FAQ is perfectly optimised, it might not be, in which case you have an opportunity to create a better one.
Finally, at the end of your FAQ you have an ideal opportunity to include a call to action which, as well as being a useful component in your sales funnel, may actually provide greater ease of use for your customers as you first answer their questions with the FAQ and then help direct them to the selling pages should they be interested in making a purchase.