Most organizations have been involved with one form of content marketing for some time now without even realizing it. Having a well-crafted, informative, and nonpromotional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on your Web site is an excellent way to get visitors to know more about your firm and its products or services. And, if done well, an FAQ page builds trust, educates consumers, and helps give visitors a feel for your company, which can lead to sales.
The key function of an FAQ page is to address the most common questions end-customers may have about a product or service. For instance, one of our clients installs green roofs. Many people are not sure exactly what a green roof is. Does it mean the roof is painted green? Is it manufactured using green and sustainable products? By helping its visitors better understand its products, this company minimizes repetitive inquiries and helps potential customers make an informed purchasing decision.
When done correctly, with quality information and the right tone, a well-thought-out FAQ page turns your company into a thought leader and a chance to win Web visitors’ business.
Tips for Creating an Effective FAQ Page
Be direct. To make an FAQ effective, always answer questions directly in as simple but informative a manner as possible. Always get to the point in as short a narrative as possible. And don’t be afraid of answering tough questions. For instance, in their book Content Rules, Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman mention that a vintage timepiece jeweler in Chicago tends to be a bit more expensive than similar stores in the surrounding community. On their FAQ page the company addresses this directly by explaining that the store takes extra time to ensure that every timepiece it sells is working perfectly, within factory specs, no matter how old it is, and this allows them to warranty the watch for one full year, a rarity when selecting antique timepieces.
Mention your competitors. Some company FAQs will actually mention some of their closest competitors but then add something such as, “we believe if you compare prices and quality, you will find our products are superior.” Just make sure it’s true.
Avoid sales talk. Whenever you start selling on an FAQ or in content marketing in general, you’ve lost the visitor. FAQs and content marketing are designed to educate the visitor. Once educated, he or she is more likely to select your products or services.
Stick to the facts. If you have independent studies that provide more information about the benefits of your products or services, provide links to those studies on your Web site. These can help build trust and helps develop a relationship between the Web visitor and your company.
SEO your FAQ. Sprinkle keywords and links into your FAQ; adding graphics and short videos addressing a question are terrific ways to get the attention of search engines.
Finally, if there are many questions you want to answer, break them into sections. It is often handy to have a menu on one side of the FAQ page listing such topics as “general questions,” “technical questions,” “ways to contact us,” and other categories that may be relevant.