How to Improve Your FAQs
Your Frequently Asked Questions section is probably one of the most visited pages on your website. But is it making the best impression? Take a closer look.
Are you addressing the right questions?
Talk to the person who answers your phones, and find out what people are calling to ask. Is it your hours? Your email address? How to find a part number on a product? Your FAQ page should include this obvious information at the minimum.
Post a query on your Facebook wall asking your fans to list their top questions about your brand, products or services, policies, etc. Write up direct answers in the form of FAQs. (Don’t forget to follow up on your wall with a thank you and a link to the answers.) Doing this on a quarterly basis is one way to keep your FAQ content fresh—and get you some social engagement as a bonus.
Don’t assume people will find all the details about your manufacturing process, your return or shipping policies, etc., sprinkled throughout your site. An FAQ section might be a more likely starting place for many visitors. Help them find the deeper content by listing simple questions and answers with links to the detail pages.
And every FAQ need not be all business. If people are always asking you where you got the great tie you’re wearing in your bio photo, include an FAQ about it. A little personality may be appreciated.
Are your answers clear and helpful?
A direct question deserves a direct answer. The best answer to the question “What are your hours?” is “9-5 EST, Monday through Friday” not “Our customer service specialists are here to serve you from nine in the morning until five in the afternoon every weekday, excluding national holidays…”
If your customers aren’t specialists, avoid jargon and overly technical descriptions. When complicated answers are necessary, break them into steps or bulleted lists. Or refer visitors to installation instructions, technical specs or white papers they can download.
And it might seem obvious—but don’t forget to spellcheck. An otherwise helpful page loses a lot of credibility in the presence of spelling and grammar errors.
Finally, is the section easy to find?
Or to put it another way: is the only link to it buried in your footer? Make the page easy to find from your main navigation, and link to it from your About, Contact and any other relevant pages.
Lots of FAQ pages show signs of neglect. Keeping yours fresh, relevant and even a little fun will deliver real value to your visitors and help you stand out from your competition.