We’ve all seen our share of very useful and entirely confusing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ or Q&A) sections. They can be a massive help when their questions seem to almost read your mind, but a very negative user experience when the questions and answers feel foreign and ambiguous to you.
Many modern online marketers have reasoned that doing away with it entirely is the best option, because of its long-winded nature and the fact that it can do more harm than good when not well crafted.
However, user analytics data has shown that a good FAQ section can increase engagement and enhance the way people see your brand. The only problem for many online marketers is that it takes constant analysis and adjustment to ensure it is kept relevant.
A Chance to be Human
As much as social media is an opportunity to have a human dialogue with clients, it’s more often a case of promoting useful external content, interjecting in conversations a corporate entity has nothing to do with or just being a channel for client complaints, which can be tricky situations to handle.
FAQ’s can be a massive contribution to the tone of your corporate identity. And unlike your social media profiles, you’re talking to receptive listeners in a one-way conversation. You can be human without the risk of getting involved in a conflict.
This is when you can focus more on client relationships in a conversational tone, and even being vulnerable, rather than focusing on taut professionalism and your litany of product benefits.
SEO and SEM Boost
FAQ pages let you naturally phrase copy the way a layman might type a search query into Google or any other search engine, strongly optimising the page for these long-tail key phrases, instantly. These pages are also typically keyword rich, users spend a lot of time on them and, if properly linked, can be a launching point for visitors to explore other products/services.
Furthermore, ensuring there’s a good network of internal links leading out of the FAQ, will not only help convert visitors, but also boost your association with more profitable primary keywords.
Engages Without Intimidating
Not everyone likes to call a company to get more information. They might think they’ll get caught in a never ending sales lead and retention cycle, or that they’ll over commit in their interest in the product. Even on-site live chat functionality- a popular FAQ alternative- has been proven to lead to sharp spikes in a site’s exit rate, as many users feel scrutinised by it.
An FAQ section addresses both types of customer, at various stages in the buying cycle, from awareness to purchase. And the ones who want to engage with you will still fill in that form or give you a call, because that’s how they are used to gathering information.
In this way, an FAQ section can serve as a passive sales generator, and even qualify leads.
Fill in the Gaps
There’s not enough room on your sales webpages to address every benefit and concern in your content. If you did, it would likely be too diffuse. The amount of text would quickly overwhelm the reader and lose their attention.
An FAQ section lets you address misconceptions and needs that didn’t fit into your content strategy. Even better, it lets you elaborate on them in an honest and open way, in which you can even talk about product weaknesses without causing dissonance within the main message. In fact, a measured dose of humility will even give you more credibility.
Resources for FAQs
While the above may make you reconsider including a Q&A section in your website, you may be wondering what questions exactly to include and the most strategic way to phrase the answers.
This part can be research intensive. If you have a good CRM database, you should have a record of customer complaints. This is the best place to start.
Not every complaint is valid but if there’s an obvious pattern or problem area, address that in the questions. Make sure to take note of the phrasing and diction being used by clients, when describing the problem. Your sales team is also a great resource. Get them to send you the top ten questions they’re asked during client meetings and see if any correlate.
No matter how you write and structure it though, this will be an area you’re continually improving. As you start to notice new important questions, it will be a challenge to record and keep them organised on the site. But with the time it could save your support staff and the opportunity to have a new page on your site generating leads, it’s well worth the effort.