Wednesday, 9 October 2013

FAQ Pages: A Handy Form Of Content Creation

FAQ
No matter how well you structure your website and how much detailed information you provide within the content of your pages, you will soon find that you are repeatedly asked exactly the same questions about your product or service. Sometimes a little more frequently than you would like.

Including a FAQ page on your website serves several purposes, but perhaps most importantly it will help you to minimise that "Groundhog Day" feeling and stop you rolling your eyes and praying to whoever is listening that this will be the last time you will ever have to repeat the same information again. Before of course you politely answer the question!


FRANTIC SEARCHING

Another way of looking at it is to think how frustrating it can be when you are looking for the answer to a fairly simple question but you cannot find the information anywhere. You don't have time to send them an email so what do you do. Do you push on regardless or find another site with a more helpful approach?

So, what other advantages are there to be had from having an FAQ page and how should you go about setting one up? Read on to find out...


FAQ Pages - The Benefits

  • Save time - repeating the same information time and time again is not just frustrating; it wastes your valuable time too. Time you could be using far more constructively elsewhere.

  • Keep your site visitors happy - Being able to find the answer to their questions or concerns quickly and easily ensures that visitors have a positive experience whilst using your site and will ultimately give them a positive impression of your site and your business.

  • Add Informative, fresh content for your website - adding new, relevant content on a regular basis will help you to improve your search engine ranking and outrank your competitors.

  • Hook more customers - if a person cannot find the information they require immediately and they are too busy or too shy to make contact with their enquiry, you run the risk of them taking their custom elsewhere.

    Providing site visitors with the information they are looking for however will encourage them to take the next step and helps you to convert more visitors to leads.


Compiling Your FAQ's - some handy tips

START WITH THE OBVIOUS

The obvious place to start is with the questions you are usually asked by your customers and site visitors. New businesses that do not yet have the benefit of this experience will have to "wing it" slightly and compile a list based on the questions they think they are most likely to be asked.

UPDATE OVER TIME

Over time, new questions can be added to the original list based on prompts from your site visitors, allowing you to develop your list with yet more, relevant, fresh content.

STUCK FOR IDEAS?

If you are stuck for ideas, you could always "borrow" some great ideas from another site of a similar nature. I am not suggesting you copy anyone, just get the inspiration you need and re-write them in your own words. Don't plagiarise.

PUT YOURSELF IN THE VISITORS SHOES

Consider the process your visitors will go through when navigating around your site, from beginning to end, will help you to come up with potential questions they would want answers to.

ASK AROUND

Ask your colleagues, friends and family for their suggestions too, different people will have different perspectives and this will help you to compile a more useful list.

LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED

Make your FAQ page as in depth and useful as you possibly can and your site visitors will love you for it!

WHAT WOULD YOU LOVE TO ASK?

Last but not least, why not try to include questions that people might be too embarrassed to ask but would really want to know the answer to nonetheless!

What you would want to know.


Organising Your FAQ's

The quantity of questions on your FAQ list will be dictated to some extent by the nature of your business.

As a general guide, I would suggest that if you have a fairly small number of questions, let's say up to fifteen, it would be fine to group them in one list, for people to scroll through.

To prevent people from having to scroll through an endless list looking for the information they need, it is advisable to break down and organise larger numbers of FAQ's into categories e.g. Delivery Information or Return of Goods.


How Many FAQ's?

Providing your FAQ page is full of questions and answers that are genuinely useful and relevant and the page is easy for users to navigate, the more FAQ's the merrier.

But never be tempted to fill the page with questions for the sake of it. If it is not a genuinely useful question/answer, don't bother including it. It will just be dead weight and distract visitors from the useful information.


Final thoughts...

So, there you have it. I hope that you now can see that an FAQ page is more than just about helping your site visitors find out what they need to know. It performs all sorts of roles.

However, without an FAQ page, your site visitors may be left frustrated as they look for answers to their questions, even if you have already included that information elsewhere on your site!

FAQ pages are not difficult to set up and if you have been running your site for a little while the chances are that you will have a list of FAQs in your head to get you started!

Get writing.


About The Author: Felix Marsh is member of the team at Teapot Creative, a design agency based in Somerset offering web design, graphic design and SEO services. They work closely with all of their clients - getting to understand their business, building relationships that last, delivering professional design at affordable prices with a personal touch.

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