The Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ page is a convention that has been around since the early days of the web. It is a page that lists common questions and their answers in an easily scannable format.
Although the FAQ page seems to have become a little less popular recently, there are some very good reasons why you should consider including one:
- it provides helpful information, quickly
- it can save you from answering the same queries over and over
- it demonstrates your authority
- it is great for search engine visibility
But no one has asked any questions!
A frequently asked questions page doesn’t need to be made up of real questions that your customers have actually asked. If you struggle with your FAQ, it might help to think of it as a way of highlighting lesser known features of your product or service. While looking for the answer to questions they do have, your customers might be happy to find answers to questions they hadn’t even thought of asking.
E-commerce sites are prime candidates for FAQ pages. Your FAQ is a great place to quickly and simply lay out all of your ordering, payment, shipping and returns information. But really, any kind of business that has customers could find an FAQ page useful.
Advantages of an FAQ page
Your Frequently Asked Questions page can be:
- a place to direct customer enquiries
- a way to establish yourself or your company as an authority in your field
- a way of highlighting lesser-known facts about your product or service
- a useful page of content to be indexed by search engines, especially when many searchers phrase their queries as questions
- a resource for other sites to link to – again, fantastic for your search engine visibility
Keeping it real
While the questions in your FAQ don’t need to be real questions that you have been asked, if they don’t have a ‘ring of truth’ to them—like something a real consumer of your product or service would ask—they will seem fake and contrived.
Good: Does Product X support Feature Y?
Not so good: Is it true that Product X is absolutely the best solution available on the market for Problem Z?
You’ll need at least four or five questions to make a reasonable FAQ page. If you receive customer enquiries by email, or you have them recorded another way, start going through them to see if there’s anything that could be appropriate for inclusion.
Or, start thinking about your product or service and work out what cool or innovative aspects of them are under-represented in your website content. What do you wish your customers would ask you?
I bet that if you think about it, you’ll find a goldmine of great ideas for your Frequently Asked Questions page.