Question: What’s the purpose of an FAQ page?
Answer: To address frequently asked questions about your business, of course.
Actually, that’s only part of it.
An FAQ section done right can be an effective addition to your website that serves several functions, from:
- Alleviating purchasing anxieties that your product page copy doesn’t directly address.
- Relieving some of the burden on customer service by publicly answering common questions.
- Improving SEO and site navigation.
- Earning trust by demonstrating product expertise and explaining your business model.
- Delighting customers by creatively answering their questions.
If you're not using your FAQ page to its full potential, here are some of the questions you should be asking to get the most out of this often-forgotten section of most websites.
What is an FAQ Page?
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section is a part of your website where you address common concerns, questions or objections that customers have.
It’s different from your About Page where you tell the broader story behind your brand. The FAQ section, instead, deals with the specifics. It's the go-to destination for finding answers to specific questions about your product or business operation.
Your FAQ page can also act as the first point of contact for customers looking for answers before they reach out to you directly with their questions.
When used right, your FAQ page can benefit customers at different parts of the purchasing journey—whether they’re in the consideration phase looking to understand how you source your product or an existing customer troubleshooting a problem with their order.
In short, an FAQ page reduces the overall anxiety of purchasing online and that goes a long way in getting on-the-fence customers to buy from you.
When is an FAQ Page appropriate?
An FAQ page can be a distraction or an asset, depending on how you execute it.
But to ensure that it’s the latter, here are some things to consider when incorporating an FAQ page as part of your website:
- Customers email you with the same questions on an ongoing basis, so it’s better to address them publicly and prominently.
- You have or plan to create content/landing pages that you can link to and continue the journey from question to conversion.
- Your product/service/business raises questions and concerns that are best handled in a straightforward manner.
That last point is especially important as an FAQ page presents a unique opportunity to directly address concerns and remove obstacles on the path to purchase.
Where do I look for “frequently asked” questions?
Your inbox and customer support tickets will likely be the first place you should look.
But you should also anticipate objections that you can turn into questions, especially if the answer will put your customer’s mind at ease.
Consider how you can strategically raise the right questions to educate customers about your products and create demand.
When deciding how to choose the questions you’ll include in your FAQ section, focus on relevancy, utility and opportunities to turn that question into a path to further engagement or conversion.
If you end up with a long list of questions, group your questions under categories like “Shipping” or “About the Product” to make it easier for visitors to navigate.
How should I answer my FAQs?
How you position your answers is key here.
Even if the question is about a potential shortcoming in your product or business, try to frame the answer in a positive way.
While you should demonstrate authority through the depth of your answers, be sure you’re not losing your audience by giving them more than they need.
Write your questions from your customer's perspective (e.g. "How do I...") and answer from your business's perspective (e.g. "You should..." or "We provide...").
Focus on clear communication first and the goal you’re trying to achieve with each question of your FAQ. Are you addressing a concern about purchasing from you? Educating your audience about a part of your business model? Troubleshooting a common problem with your product? Focus on delivering that in your answer and move on.
Use images wherever they can explain your answer better than words.
If it builds your brand, you can even sprinkle in a little personality to delight your customers with a couple of "fun" questions and answers.
An often-missed opportunity with many FAQ pages is ending your answer with a call to action that links to other pages to push visitors back into your funnel.
Consider what the next step would be for someone interested in a specific question and try to incorporate a link to the relevant page or piece of content that moves them forward on their journey as a customer.
Can an FAQ section help with SEO?
Many sites treat an FAQ section as a stand-alone page that uses a question and answer format to communicate information. While this serves the most basic function of an FAQ page—to reduce the friction on the path to purchase—you can also build an FAQ section with dedicated pages for each answer to create a more search-friendly section of your website.
By hyperlinking each question to a separate page, you can help surface each answer through Google and your own site’s search. Even if your audience isn't searching for topics related to your brand, they might be searching for answers to questions related to your industry via Google, which can help you get found if you create content or landing pages that are optimized for these specific search queries.
Read The Beginner's Guide to Keyword Research to learn more about understanding what your audience is searching for and finding the right topics to tackle.
Here’s an example from HubSpot of an FAQ page that directs to a separate landing page for each question to put the user on the appropriate path to finding an answer (and maybe even purchasing their solution). With an FAQ section structured like this, some of the pages like "How is HubSpot different from Eloqua" can also be found through Google as prospective customers search for this information.
Where should I put my FAQ section?
If customer service is a core part of your business, you might want to create a fully fleshed out support center or “help desk”, using Desk or Zendesk, with an FAQ incorporated as part of your customer support flow (i.e. customers check the FAQ before they reach out to a customer service rep).
But if you’re selling products or services that are bound to generate a lot of questions, it might be enough to prominently display a link to a simple FAQ page in your website navigation, like Death Wish Coffee does in the example above, to focus on reducing purchasing anxieties for visitors.
You can also consider integrating an FAQ directly into your product pages as part of your product descriptions, just like Vat19 does with all of their novelty products.
Shopify store owners can look to the Shopify App Store for different ways to present their FAQ section.
Answer common customer questions
If you want to get the most out of your FAQ page, you need to make it discoverable where it matters most in the customer journey: when potential customers are considering a purchase and when existing customers are about to reach out to you.
You might see most FAQ pages buried at the bottom of a website’s footer, but they're better off incorporated into your site as part of your Support or Contact Us page, or navigation menu to ensure it gets found.
It’s also important to update Your FAQ page over time as new customer concerns come up or as new opportunities arise to link to other pages in your questions and continue the customer journey.
The FAQ page is often an afterthought for many websites. But, used strategically, it can add a lot of value in different ways, from reducing the burden on customer support to alleviating purchasing anxieties.
So, are you making the most of yours?