Frequently Asked Questions about FAQ pages
Thursday, 12 November 2020 | Posted in: Most Recent, News | 8min read
Thursday, 12 November 2020 | Posted in: Most Recent, News | 8min read
A well-optimised FAQ page pre-emptively answers customer and user questions about your brand, product, or service, but it can also be an important element in your overall SEO strategy. Google loves FAQ content because it is often simple and structured in a way that can be easily crawled or even delivered directly into search results to create a better-optimised search experience for Google’s users.
While only 8% of searches are directly phrased as questions, such as “How do I fix a flat tyre?”, this proportion is growing as new generations are more comfortable using natural language for search or using voice search devices. Far more common are searches that include a ‘latent question’, a statement that is interpreted as a question by the search engine.
For example, a search for “vegetarian lasagne”, can be interpreted in a range of different ways by a search engine but is likely to really mean, “How do I cook a vegetarian lasagne?”. This understanding of latent search has developed since the early days of search optimisation as search engines tried to be more proactive with connecting users to the information they actually want.
With Google performance now tied to user experience, there are new opportunities to optimise your website content being created that require your web development and content teams to work closer than ever to achieve the best possible optimisation results.
FAQs are great for search engines as they provide a clear answer to a stated question. Users searching, even with latent questions, can therefore be quickly paired up with answers to create powerful user experiences. In fact, Google will even pull answers directly from website content to display in the search results to further streamline search experiences when they can, so getting your FAQs set up correctly is vital for optimising your search performance.
Optimising your FAQ page is not difficult but will require a mixture of good technical set up and content creation skills to get the best possible results.
There four key tactics you should keep in mind when developing your FAQ page.
Obscure questions like, “how many dogs does the CEO have?” may be interesting but are not being asked frequently. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers, what would they most like to know?
Google Search Console can help you understand what people are searching for when they find your website and it can be a great source of inspiration for FAQs. Contact forms and customer surveys can also be a great source of questions. Your competitors may also provide some insights as well, particularly if you want to be found in the same searches that they are in.
Keep it simple and provide basic, useful information to your readers. If you need more than a sentence or two to effectively answer the question, then link to a page of content on the topic. When Google displays your content it is featured snippets or “People Also Ask” section there is only a few available lines of content, so be concise.
Pitching your FAQ is also important, make sure that you understand what level your search audience is likely to be at and adjust accordingly. There is no point having entry-level answers behind complex FAQs if your audience wants a more specific answer.
Think about where your FAQ will be located. Does it have a page of its own? Are you including it in the footer or as part of a larger page of content? How do you want users to reach that information? FAQ content is still website content at the end of the day and you need to think about where it can be placed on your website so it is found by users and adds value to their experience.
There is also a way to structure your FAQ content using schema. This additional layer of structure makes it even easier for search engines to discover and display your content.
We don’t write each piece of website content for the same audience, FAQs should be no different. Landing pages are about enticing leads, product pages about educating customers and checkout pages are for expressing order information and appreciation for sale. At each point in this journey there are different questions that are asked frequently.
Not every website can provide different lists of FAQ on each page. One way to deal with this is to make sure that each answer involves a link to the next stage in the user’s journey. Shipping questions, for example, should link to shipping policies, but also the checkout. Likewise, questions about your policies might lead to a contact link or your customer service department.
The content of your FAQ section and how you present it will be unique to your business. For example, you can find our FAQ section behind the speech bubbles in the bottom right of this screen. Despite that, it would be hard to write a blog like this without an FAQ about FAQs.
Have you got more specialist SEO questions?
Speak with our Digital Solutions team about introducing an FAQ feature, and how to improve your website and its content.
Start with Google Analytics and Google Search Console to understand what people are searching for to find your website. Various keyword planner tools and research of your competitors should give you an idea of what searches they are targeting as well. Remember to always feedback new FAQs when you collect more customer feedback via contact and enquiry forms too.
As often as you need to but we recommend at least looking over it monthly. Consumer questions can change without warning and regular updates can help you be on top of these queries. For example, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is resulting in more customer questions around opening hours, contactless service and company safety messages – do your FAQs reflect these kinds of questions?
Yes! Search engines love the simple and structured nature of a good FAQ.
FAQ pages also help establish your expertise in your industry and raise customer trust. When you have a solid FAQ page, you show that you know what you’re talking about and how to deliver exactly what consumers need, which will encourage them to choose your business when they have a need in your industry
You should include the information that customers really need to know about your business. In many cases, this may include information that is already highlighted in other areas of your website. You can direct customers to those pages for more information that will help answer their questions.
It can be hard to tell for sure. The important thing to ensure is that your design does not prevent search engine crawlers from finding the content and is not too cumbersome for users to locate and interact with.
FAQs are often presented as accordions or anchored links, both can be fine as long as the content remains accessible to both users and search engines.
FAQ pages offer several advantages for consumers who are interested in your industry and your business. They can:
FAQs offer a powerful way to draw traffic to your website. By pre-empting user and customer questions, you can be one step ahead and provide them with the answers. FAQs do more than just answer questions and provide easy content for search engines. They also generate a perception of trust: the feeling that users can ask you anything and be confident that you can assist and support them. This, in turn, improves the customer/user experience and helps keep people on your website.
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