Are Those Really Your Frequently Asked Questions?

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  • 18 May, 2010


It's pretty standard for a website to have a Frequently Asked Questions page. We've certainly built our share. In fact, we've even built a FAQ publishing system where subject-matter experts weighed in before a publishing a response. That was a lot of fun to put together.

But today I'd like to talk about the Frequently Asked Questions section of your web site.

Be honest with me, are those really your most frequently asked questions?

Too often, FAQ pages are put together before a site even launches, with questions the site's owner thinks people might have. But even after the site has been up for a year and hundreds of customer emails have come in, that page is never updated with the questions people really do have.

Worse is when the Frequently Asked Questions page is turned into a marketing channel, with contrived questions like "are your products really made from animal-free sources" and long-winded, buzzword-filled responses.

This is certainly good for SEO, right? I mean, who can resist the chance to work keywords like "animal-friendly" and "cruelty-free" onto a page in their web site if that's the market they're after?

The problem is that people turn to FAQ pages as their last resort. They're looking for help because they can't navigate your site, or they have a question about your policies that's not addressed anywhere else. Chances are, they already know they want your product or service and they really do believe you when you say it's made from animal-free materials. They just have a question before they complete their transaction.

If you can't answer their question in the site's content or the FAQ page, there's a slight chance they'll email or call you. But, there's an even better chance they'll leave your site and head over to one of your competitors'. Take the time to make your FAQ page an honest, up-to-date resource. Your users will appreciate it, and you'll find yourself spending less time answering those really frequently asked questions.

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