FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) pages have served as a standard component of the marketing mix for decades.
When thoughtfully approached and well-executed, FAQs can do substantial heavy lifting — from deflecting calls to customer service, to unpacking complicated concepts, to providing a central location for reinforcing critical sales messages and showcasing industry expertise.
The FAQ format also serves an important internal function. Employees at every level, especially, during the onboarding process, can benefit from a single, consolidated source of top-level information.
Until recently, an FAQ page was a helpful strategic sidekick that proved particularly helpful whenever processes, product rollouts, or complexities of any kind needed to be supported by a messaging boost.
Current digital marketing dynamics have elevated the significance of the SEO efficacy of the page from a nice-to-have to an essential driver of digital engagement.
The majority of online searches are now in the form of a question — whether from a voice-activated app or a question entered into the search bar. Expectations are high for fast and specific answers on even the most arcane topics, and there is little patience for wading through information sources in order to find answers.
In alignment with evolving search behaviors, Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are presenting direct answers to questions, as well as suggesting related questions as rich or featured snippets. As a result, more than 50 percent of Google searches are now “Zero Click,” which means that searchers are getting the answers they need directly on the SERP without clicking through to a website.
The opportunity for a site’s content to be highlighted as a rich snippet, either as a direct answer on a SERP or as related content under “People Also Ask,” has catapulted the potential for a well-curated FAQ page to an entirely new level of strategic significance.
How to Create an FAQ Page
Step one is developing the content. I recommend that clients approach the FAQ page as a series of a few phases. Start by determining the various categories of questions, and then begin to flesh out each category with the most frequently received questions and succinct and clarifying answers.
Don’t get stuck on whether the FAQ page includes a comprehensive list of every question that should be included on the page. Your initial goal should simply be to start the process with a framework, along with a plan for continued refinement based on ongoing insights and intelligence gathering.
An essential step that cannot be overlooked before posting the FAQ page to your site is the insertion of FAQ schema code, which will alert the search engines to the questions on the page, and increase the chance that search queries will result in a site’s content appearing as a rich snippet.
Given the degree to which an FAQ page can fuel your digital marketing strategy, including the right questions, and wording them correctly can be key to its success by assisting SEO efforts. The first and most essential source for the questions themselves is often patterns that emerge from a website chat function or an ecommerce page. Input also needs to be gathered from from various departments, especially sales, customer service, and those who work directly with clients.
Further research from the following sources will help to fine tune how questions are worded and other questions to consider:
- The Google search bar, which creates a list of questions once a few words are keyed in, can actually serve as an incredible font of information concerning questions that are being searched most often. My recent three-word start of the following query: “Which CMS is …” produced six questions that reveal a high search frequency for each of the following:.
- Which CMS is best for SEO?
- Which CMS is the best?
- Which CMS is best for ecommerce?
- Which CMS is used by Flipkart?
- Which CMS is most popular?
- Which CMS is most secure?
- Research into keywords and key phrases using AlsoAsked, offers a depth and breadth of insight for creating FAQs that help to drive SEO. Also Asked is a free tool and I am constantly amazed at the information that it can produce. Let’s look at what results when “What is the healthiest fish to eat?” is entered as a question on AlsoAsked.
- 29 questions emerge within three tiers of relevance and search frequency. Among the four questions in the first tier for the salmon search is: “What is the healthiest fish to eat for weight loss?” This question maps to two related questions in the second tier: “What is the lowest calorie fish to eat?” and “Is fish healthier than chicken?” Each of these second tier questions, then map to an additional three questions in the third tier.
- SEMrush is a paid subscription service that also offers a wealth of essential digital marketing intelligence, including the most searched keywords and phrases, as well as actual questions.
FAQ Best Practices
Assurance that the wording of questions aligns with search queries, along with succinct answers that clarify complexities is a solid foundation. Insertion of the FAQ schema code markup and including appropriate keywords and phrases, is the essential SEO driver. From a site navigation perspective, the FAQ page should either be accessible from the top nav, the footer or both, with the content on the page linking off to internal product or service pages, as well as blog content.
An important tactical consideration that I recommend is the presentation of the questions — or possibly the categories themselves — within an accordion menu to help bring as much content as possible above the fold, while making the list of questions easily scannable.
Even though research into keywords, key phrases, and most frequently asked questions is constantly evolving and endlessly fascinating, I always urge clients to maintain their focus for this page on addressing the types of questions that are of interest to customers and prospects. That’s the key to a successful FAQ page. SEO strategies which build upon that base provide the added advantage of serving as a high-powered digital marketing tool.
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