A good FAQ (frequently asked questions) page goes beyond simply answering customers’ queries about your products or services. The page should also instill confidence in your company, encourage purchases, demonstrate your expertise, and more, ultimately saving you time, energy, and frustration.
Creating an FAQ page is a wise decision and might seem straightforward, but there are loose rules to consider for an optimal user experience.
For many creators, the process of building a comprehensive and user-friendly website can feel daunting. When it comes time to write your FAQ page, for example, you may be overwhelmed by not knowing which questions to ask, how to structure the page, and how to make it accessible to your website visitors. Rest assured that, with a little bit of guidance, you can craft an informative and engaging FAQ page that will help you transform strangers into customers.
In this blog post, you’ll learn what FAQ pages are, why they’re important, and how to determine what questions to answer. You’ll also discover best practices for creating an effective FAQ page and common mistakes to avoid. Finally, you’ll encounter two real-life examples to learn from, along with a high-level analysis of what they’ve done well and where they could be improved.
- What are FAQ pages, and why are they important?
- How to determine what questions you should answer
- Best practices for creating an effective FAQ page
- Examples of well-written FAQ pages
- Recognizing what an FAQ page is not
- Common FAQ page mistakes to avoid
What are FAQ pages, and why are they important?
A FAQ page is the section of your website where you answer common questions about you, your organization, and its products or services. The abbreviation stands for “frequently asked questions” and is sometimes pronounced letter by letter (“an F.A.Q. page”).
FAQ pages are vital because they help website visitors quickly and easily get their most fundamental questions answered. By demonstrating responsiveness to user needs and providing instant access to essential information, FAQ pages help you gain the trust of your audience while improving their user experience. They also help drive traffic to your website through search engine optimization, save you time thanks to a reduced need for customer support, and earn you money by proactively overcoming sales objections.
How to determine what questions you should answer
The phrase “frequently asked questions” is a good place to start. What questions do users often ask you in emails, chat, support forums, social media, or in person? Curious, confused, and concerned supporters contact businesses regularly to ask about their products or services, order forms, shipping times, return policies, and so on. Use your supporters’ most common inquiries to develop a frequently asked questions page for your small business website.
If this is a new site, you may want to start with fresh eyes instead. Gather three to five people who fit your target audience. They should have zero experience viewing your website. While browsing your website for the first time, take note of any issues they have and questions that arise. After you’ve met with everyone, look for patterns across the sessions. If the same question comes up multiple times, chances are it will come up for other visitors too. These are the topics you should address on your FAQ page.
Best practices for creating an effective FAQ page
Online information is so abundant that users can sift through multiple sites in seconds, searching for whatever they want to know. To keep your readers happy and to reduce their bounce rate, don’t complicate your page. A great FAQ page is free of technical jargon and contains basic questions and clear answers.
Consider the straightforward way we enter queries online when searching for information, and then write your questions similarly. If you sell scarf dresses, for example, your readers might simply want to know, “How do I wear a scarf?” A streamlined FAQ answer to this query might be, “There are several fashionable ways to wrap or tie scarves. See our Instructions page for ideas.” In this scenario, you’d create a call to action (CTA), which is a clickable link that takes viewers to a page with space for instructional images or videos, letting you show off your expertise, keeping visitors engaged with your site, and encouraging sales with another CTA — a payment button.
Creating an effective FAQ page isn’t as simple as throwing together a list of questions and answers. To make the most of this valuable resource, it’s important to follow best practices that have proven to work. By adhering to the following best practices, you can provide a positive user experience:
- Categorize your questions by topic. By making your FAQ page easy to navigate, it helps website visitors more quickly find what they’re looking for.
- Use clear and concise language. By avoiding technical jargon, you can enhance your audience’s understanding.
- Link out to relevant resources. By giving visitors the opportunity to dive deeper into related content, you can accelerate the buyer’s journey.
- Keep the page up-to-date. By regularly updating information about your products and services, you accurately inform visitors.
- Make it easy to find. By linking to the page from your main navigation or footer and including a search bar on your website where it can easily be found, you can provide a frictionless user experience.
Examples of well-written FAQ pages
The best way to learn quickly is by analyzing other people’s work. With that sentiment in mind, we’ve identified two best-in-class examples of FAQ pages done right: YCombinator and HelloFresh. Keep reading to learn what works well and where they could improve.
YC’s FAQ page is easy to find from the homepage. You simply hover over “Accelerator” in the main navigation and choose FAQ from the drop-down menu.
The FAQ page itself has a sticky table of contents sidebar, complete with jump links and organized into categories by topic. By making the page so easy to navigate, it empowers visitors to quickly find what they are looking for.
YC’s answers are clear and concise, making them effortless to consume. At the same time, they’re sufficiently detailed, giving visitors confidence that their questions have been fully answered. Many answers also link out to pages with more information, allowing visitors to explore topics more deeply if needed.
Overall, this is a strong example of an effective FAQ page.
HelloFresh takes a slightly different approach, including its FAQ as a section on its homepage. By decreasing the number of steps a visitor must take to find what they’re looking for, this choice makes the FAQ section remarkably easy to find.
The HelloFresh team has chosen to hide the answers to each question until the question is clicked. This choice minimizes their website visitors’ cognitive load, reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed and keeping them moving forward in their journey.
Their answers are clear and concise yet sufficiently detailed. For example, this is how they answered the question, “Can I skip a week of delivery?”
“Yes. With our meal subscription service, you are always in control. If you don’t want to receive a meal kit on a particular week, you don’t have to. To avoid charges when skipping a week, you simply need to “pause” your meal kit order or cancel your meal subscription after logging into your account. Pausing or canceling your meal delivery orders should be done by 11:59 pm PST, five days before your next delivery schedule. Note that you will be charged on all orders that you failed to cancel before the cut-off date.”
Notice how their response fully answers the question.
While the HelloFresh team occasionally links out to more detailed answers, they use this best practice rarely. Doing so more often could improve the page. While “More questions?” makes sense from a user flow standpoint, titling the page “Frequently Asked Questions” would help with search engine optimization.
Recognizing what an FAQ page is not
A helpful FAQ page is not a replacement for a blog, a Contact page, or an About page. Those should each serve a different purpose for your business:
- A loyalty-building blog is for sharing information about your market in story form and for developing your readership and commenting culture. Use your supporters’ common and uncommon questions to inspire blog topics. For example, if you’re a wedding florist, a frequently asked question might be, “What should I bring to a consultation?” and a similar blog title might be “Preparing for Your Wedding Floral Consultation.” Think of blog articles as expansions of your FAQs, somewhere to provide more detail in a friendly, conversational way.
- Your Contact page lists your business’s postal address, email address, and phone number so that supporters can reach out for answers not found elsewhere. If applicable, add your hours of operation and a map to the page to reduce calls regarding these mundane yet important details.
- Your About page covers your brand’s broader story — its background, goals, and mission.
Common FAQ page mistakes to avoid
Many websites include FAQ pages, but they don’t always get it right. In fact, some of them risk losing potential customers at the start of their journey. Below, you’ll find six common mistakes to avoid and what to do instead to ensure your FAQ page is a valuable resource for your website visitors:
- Answering too many questions. To avoid overwhelming your website visitors, focus on answering only the most frequently asked questions they ask.
- Using jargon or technical language. To avoid making your content feel inaccessible to anyone but experts in your field, use clear and approachable language that is easy to understand.
- Being too wordy or including irrelevant information. To avoid confusing your website visitors with overly complicated answers, write concise answers that help them quickly get the information they need.
- Offering incomplete or vague answers. To avoid frustrating your website visitors by inadequately answering their questions, be as specific as possible and offer at least the essential information they expect.
- Neglecting to update the page. To avoid misleading your website visitors with outdated information that damages your credibility, ensure your answers are accurate by choosing a regular cadence for reviewing and updating your FAQ page.
- Making it hard to find. To avoid losing potential customers at the start of their journey with you and prevent them from writing to customer support to get their questions answered, make your FAQ page accessible from either your main navigation bar or in the footer section at the bottom of the page.
By avoiding common mistakes, following current best practices, and learning from top-notch examples, you’ll be well on your way to kicking customer relationships off on the right foot. With these guidelines in hand, you’ll create an effective FAQ page that will transform website visitors into loyal customers.
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