The FAQ section ranks among the earliest constructs of online commerce. Plenty has changed over the years, but potential customers never stop having questions about products and services. Some businesses have gone down the route of live chat and other instant support services for the personal touch – but not every brand has the resources to do this. For them, the FAQ on their website still holds out as the best resource to convey information about what they do, without any additional workload.
Among the tips below, we address the fact that your online FAQ should not necessarily only be informative. You want to answer questions as thoroughly as possible, but you should never underestimate the FAQ as a potential sales tool. It is an opportunity to convert anyone that is on the fence, so read on for our top tips on putting your website’s FAQ to work.
1. Avoid Writer’s Block with Genuine, Generic Questions
There is no official length for an FAQ, and we believe that longer ones tend to be better, as long as they are easy to navigate. This ensures plenty of scope for different questions, but your main priority should be usefulness. These are frequently asked questions, after all, and you should do your best to answer them. Rather than staring at a blank page, start with the questions that you have genuinely been asked as part of your business and, from there, look into what your competitors have done along the way and answer those questions too.
2. Interact with Customers as Much as Possible
The FAQ is ideal as a replacement for or complement to personal service, but you should never avoid your customers altogether. As your business grows, you will encounter more enquiries, and every question asked by a potential or existing customer should be noted for potential inclusion on the FAQ down the line. We would even go as far as to say that you should invite questions – explicitly ask visitors to send in queries and insert a call to action in company emails. This not only fuels potential content but may get a potential customer over the hump to start a dialogue.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Include a Sales Pitch
On a broad level, we believe that every website visitor is a potential customer, regardless of the page they’re on. If you offer a service that requires them to contact you, include a link to the contact form – or even the contact form itself. If you want to sell a product, make it easy to navigate to your best products from the FAQ. This can appear alongside the content, or even within it – you never know when an answered question will confirm the purchase decision in the mind of a prospect.
4. Back-Up Your Assertions
Where an answer says that your product can do something or your service meets certain deadlines, nothing beats proof. Online buyers have become desensitised to what a company says about itself, so if you can present external reviews, comments and testimonials alongside your claims, you are far more likely to be well received.
5. Don’t Follow the Crowd
6. Place FAQ Excerpts in Relevant Positions Throughout the Site
If you’ve written an FAQ that you’re proud of, you want it to be read. It is a good idea to work through your site and the overall sales process to identify where a potential customer may have questions, and then be on hand to answer them. This can also be a great way to come up with questions – you’ll land on areas of your site where you may have a question of your own, and you can set about answering it immediately.
7. Don’t Overlook the Value of Images
If you’ve read any kind of online copywriting guidance, you’ll have seen recommendations to make your content pop with pictures. The FAQ is no different as long as the images are relevant. Even something as simple as assigning a symbol to each FAQ section will keep readers involved and make them explore further – hopefully to a question that reinforces your sales message.
8. Draw Inspiration
We have already mentioned checking out competitors to see what they do with their questions and answers, but this can extend further. As well as the content itself, you may find ideas for the presentation, sales funnels and various other factors that can combine to make your FAQ much more valuable than a page of questions and answers.
9. Avoid Text Walls
Our focus throughout these tips has been the presentation of information in such a way that users will enjoy reading it and get something out of doing so. The last thing you need is a wall of text putting them off. At a minimum, you’ll need to split your answers into manageable paragraphs. If you reach a point where you wonder whether your answer warrants a separate question, the answer is almost always ‘yes’.
10. Don’t Ignore the Questions Nobody Asked
If someone reads your FAQ, they have at least a passing interest in your product or service. While your primary goal is to answer their question, you might get closer to a sale if you can answer the questions nobody even thought to ask. If your product or service does something that nobody else can, make that clear in your questions and answers – it might just be the final push that a potential lead needs to convert into a paying customer.