August 10, 2021

Is Your FAQ Section Optimized? What You Should Know

Frequently Asked Question sections or FAQs allow you to connect better with your audience and reinforce your brand. If you aren't paying particular attention to how you word your FAQ, you're missing out on an opportunity to increase your conversion rate!

Does Our Website Need an FAQ Section?

You might think that people in your target market are tech-savvy and capable of finding their way through your website or platform. Though that may be the case most of the time, you still need to account for users at all proficiency levels and all stages of their journey.

Good FAQ sections instill trust in a user through clear explanations and step-by-step or detailed instructions. They assist users in completing purchases and reduce the number of inquiries customer care teams have to handle.

How Do You Create a Good FAQ Section?

When coming up with an FAQ for your website, always lead with data from your audience. Start with your customer services or sales teams. Ask them if there are recurring issues with your products and services or how your website works. You could also check what keywords people use in your site search.

Moving beyond your site, you can look at the Google search console. It shows you which queries have clicks—focus on phrases that lead with 'how,' 'can,' or other question modifiers. Get inspiration from the People Also Ask box on Google SERPs or Quora as well—search for questions associated with you or your competitors.

Best Practices for Writing an FAQ Section

Organize your questions into categories to help users navigate quickly. Put yourself in customers' shoes—they'll probably consult an FAQ if they're operating the product for the first time or encountering a problem. So, they should be able to find the information they need as quickly as possible. Here are other things to keep in mind when writing an FAQ.

Use Reader-Friendly Language

Make your FAQ easy to understand. Use language that customers are familiar with and avoid jargon and terminology unfamiliar to them. The goal is to make them understand what they need to do. Keep in mind that "reader-friendly" does not always mean easy—if your target audience has some technical expertise, you cannot write at a middle-school-age level.

Infuse the FAQ with Your Brand Voice

Your FAQ is an extension of your brand, so use your brand voice when compiling questions and answers. This is a space that users are likely to encounter, so make sure you use your personality and connect with them through it.

Answer Questions as Quickly as Possible

An FAQ is not the place to get into a long-form discussion of how you solve a problem or issue in your system. Get to the point—respond to a question in the simplest way possible, and offer elaboration only if necessary. 

For example, if you run an online shop for baked goods, a common question might be, "how long does it take for orders to ship?" In that case, you can reply with a couple of sentences. The first one provides the answer (e.g. "Our delivery partners fulfill orders within the day you complete your payment"). 

Meanwhile, succeeding sentences manage the buyer's expectations ("Some types of cake should be ordered in advance. Find details here").

Make Your FAQ Visually Appealing

Accordions are the standard for FAQs—they allow you to keep a lot of information organized in a compact space. This tool lets you keep users on a single page. It isn't ideal to have customers click through several pages to find the answer they want.

Include Q's and A's about Transactions

Information about the logistics of a sale like shipping and delivery, product payment, stocks, returns, and exchanges are common concerns for people who purchase anything online. When you are an e-commerce website, it's vital to answer these types of questions.

Teach People How to Use the Product

Some businesses sell specialized items that need a considerable amount of demonstrations. Software as a Service or SaaS is an example of a product that can be intuitive but still needs a manual written out. 

Most people can navigate Spotify and Netflix easily, for example. From time to time, users will still encounter stumbling blocks like error screens, so they should be able to assist themselves in finding the solutions on their own.

Besides FAQs, SaaS products should also have a knowledge base. This is published documentation of all the manuals, troubleshooting guides, runbooks, and other information necessary for users to know.

Include a Section on Terms and Conditions

Service providers or third-party platforms operate differently from SaaS or e-commerce stores. Most of the time, these types of businesses don't sell physical products. What they have to include in their FAQs are questions about terms and conditions.

Most businesses have policies regarding cancellations, which they must communicate clearly to buyers on their website. Before writing out FAQs, make sure what you're saying aligns with the company's terms and conditions because mistakes might be costly to the business.

Conclusion

An FAQ section is an often-overlooked portion of a website. However, it is a crucial one—it provides customers with a look into how your company responds to administrative issues like setting up accounts, handling disputes and addressing concerns. Don't pass up the chance to solidify your brand voice—create an FAQ that provides the confidence and reassurance people want to see!

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