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Frequently Asked Questions about FAQ pages

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After a review of a new client’s website, SEO companies will often recommend a Frequently Asked Questions page if one doesn’t already exist. When executed effectively, an FAQ page provides a valuable resource to meet a host of user needs:

  • Provide detailed or specific information about a product or service.
  • Answer repeat questions that are frequently heard by the customer service team
  • Build consumer trust by demonstrating a thorough and extensive knowledge of the product or service.
  • Provide an insight into your business by answering questions creatively.
  • Address objections that customers may raise throughout different parts of the client decision journey.

To illustrate the importance of these pages, the rest of this post will be formatted similarly to an FAQ page.

Q: What is an FAQ page?
Q: Shouldn't my About page handle this type of information?
Q: Why should my site have an FAQ Page?
Q: How should I format the questions? What order works best?
Q: Is it best to have one large FAQ page or individual pages for each answer?
Q: What is the SEO value of FAQ pages?
Q: Is there a best practice when it comes to hidden content? Can Google read text that doesn't appear until you perform an action?
Q: Are FAQ pages a good place to put content that Google may pick up as a rich snippet? Is there any special tagging you can do to encourage this?

Q: What is an FAQ page?

A: A section of your website that answers common questions, concerns, and inquiries that customers have previously asked.

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Q: Shouldn’t my About page handle this type of information?

A: Not necessarily. About pages are meant to provide a high-level view of the story behind the brand. While they could provide answers to some questions, an FAQ page gives the brand the opportunity to address specific issues that may not fit into the scope of a typical About page.

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Q: Why should my site have an FAQ page?

A: When a customer first visits your page, their first stop will either be the Contact Us or FAQ page. A thorough yet succinct FAQ page will act as the introduction to your brand and what it represents. By providing answers to what could be common inquiries, you save them time on whether to purchase or move on. In the event that a contact form is received with a question from the FAQ, whomever answers can simply copy/paste from the FAQ page quickly.

Additionally, when a new customer witnesses you being open and honest about your business, this will build their trust and confidence in you and could lead to future loyalty, converting curious visitors into customers, and converting customers into satisfied brand advocates who will recommend your business to others.

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Q: How should I format the questions? What order works best?

A: Typically, the easy and most commonly asked questions should appear near the top of the page. More in-depth, detailed questions should be further down the list.

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Q: Is it best to have one large FAQ page or individual pages for each answer?

A: As you are building your page and you notice that there are too many questions or it’s hard to keep track of, similar questions and answers should be grouped into sections, and the different sections could be made navigable either from your main menu or from a utility navigation on the FAQ page. This will make it easier for the page to be quickly reviewed for the most relevant questions based on the customers’ needs. If your page is becoming too long, make sure to include a link that returns to the top of the page at the end of each answer.

Several sites view the FAQ section as its own page in order to provide detailed information. If your site has a relatively narrow focus, having both questions and answers on the same page is acceptable. Another method is to create an FAQ page that links to separate pages for each answer, resulting in a search engine friendly portion of your site. Creating pages with separate links give your site the ability to rank on search engines. If users aren't looking for answers to questions specific to your company, they may be searching for queries related to your business' industry. With an optimized page, these answer pages can be content and/or landing pages that can eventually convert users into customers.

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Q: What is the SEO value of FAQ pages?

A: A well written and organized FAQ page can have the same importance to a user as your Home or Buy Now page. Visitors expect a page that they can get an overview of your business’ product or service in addition to specific questions getting answered. Search engines are constantly crawling the web for high-quality content that addresses consumers needs and assists them in their purchasing decisions. An FAQ page provides a wealth of information in an interesting and helpful manner.

FAQ pages are also key ways to utilize keywords that you’re targeting. For example, if your website is promoting your bakery in Wichita, Kansas. Keywords that you may be targeting are “Bakery Wichita Kansas” or “Wichita Bakery”. By incorporating location specific terms into your questions and answers, you may see improvements in your local SEO rankings.

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Q: Is there a best practice when it comes to hidden content? Can Google read text that doesn't appear until you perform an action?

A: There was a Stack Overflow thread for this back in 2015. Essentially, Google treats content that is hidden behind tabs, accordions or behind elements where Javascript is needed to reveal content differently than content that is always visible and accessible. The page will still be indexed and may rank for keywords related to content contained in the hidden sections. The reason that Google treats hidden and regular content differently is based on their goal in providing an experience within their search results that meet the needs of the user's intent. If a user clicks on a page with a question they need an answer to but can't review the answer due to it being obscured or hidden, Google considers this a bad user experience and may weigh negatively on the quality of the page.

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Q: Are FAQ pages a good place to put content that Google may pick up as a rich snippet? Is there any special tagging you can do to encourage this?

A: Any content on your site should be considered valuable to search engines. Since FAQ pages are a repository of knowledge related to your brand, by using schema tagging, your FAQ content can rank better than content without tagging. In brief, schema tagging is a series of tags that can be added to your website code to better describe your content to search engines and in some cases, can display rich snippets that can give users a preview of the content on your site. We discussed this in a TomTalks earlier this year, which you can review here

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Users of your site are looking for a best-in-class presentation of your products and services. FAQ pages can be powerful in improving your conversion rate. Look into linking answers to your home page, contact page or specific product pages; this should assist greatly in turning users into customers by helping them find the information they need to make well-informed purchasing decisions. New customers visiting your site may initially have hesitation in trusting a company with whom they are unfamiliar, but a well-executed FAQ page can help prove that you are legitimate and ensure that users are dealing with professionals. 

To summarize, here are some SEO best practices for FAQ pages:

  • Keep the page updated.
    • As you add new products and services, and new questions about your brand are received, keeping this page updated will be an indicator to search engines that your page is up to date and a trusted resource for your industry
  • Maintain an organized page
    • Answers should be written in a manner where users can clearly understand the solution that is being provided and eliminate any further confusion.
    • Similar questions should be grouped together in order to address related concerns that users may have.
  • Know your audience
    • When answering questions, don’t just focus on those received from customers. Look at review sites or your site’s feedback page (if it exists) to determine where customers have issues and address them in a direct and simple fashion.

Contact us today to learn how FourFront can increase your visibility and brand awareness. 

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2 Comments:

Sue

Ry, this is great information.  Would it make sense to use an accordion for the faqs questions and allow the user to click on the question to open the answer?

Ry Sikora

Sue, that would make sense. I wasn’t sure how to pull that off in EE.

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