4 Tips for Optimizing FAQ Pages for Search

We’re all familiar with the basic steps we should take when doing keyword research for a website. However, there are some instances where it’s a little tricky to optimize a page. For me, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages fall into this category. My approach for these pages involves taking a closer look at your customer’s experience with your business or brand.

Tip No. 1: Talk Directly to Customers About Their Questions

To truly understand the answers your customers need, you have to ask them. There’s a good chance that the questions a customer may ask in a store or to your sales team are the same questions they would ask Google. There are a few ways to get this information directly from the source.

  1. Ask customers yourself. Go to your stores or reach out to your most recent inbound leads. Talk to them about the questions they have, but couldn’t find the answers to online.
  2. Talk to the people who work in your store or on your sales team. Chances are, these are the go-to experts for your customers when they can’t find an answer they’re looking for on your website. If you can’t talk directly to your customers, these teams should give you a sense of what people are curious about before they engage with your business.
  3. Ask your customers indirectly. Sometimes it’s not possible to connect directly with your customers face-to-face or even over the phone. A third option for understanding your customer’s pain points regarding unanswered questions is to set up a survey on your site that prompts them to give you feedback while they’re still in the decision-making funnel. In this survey, you should ask open-ended questions such as, “Did our website answer all of your questions today?” or “Did you have any questions that you were unable to find answers to on our site?”

Tip No. 2: Identify Long Tail Terms That Pop up in Customer Questions

Your keyword research should back up the questions you know your customers want answered. Likewise, your customer questions should back up your keyword research. Are you unsure about whether or not most customers are curious about your return policy after the packaging is opened? Research long tail terms such as “returns” and “open packaging” using tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Note that you probably won’t see tons of search volume for these types of terms, but you should be able to judge what phrases are important and which aren’t relative to one another.

When determining what long tail terms to research, more information is always better. Talk to your sales team, store employees, and customer service teams again to find out the types of things people ask or need to know about your business, products or services. Ask them what customers are frustrated with after they interact with your business. You should attempt to answer questions that customers don’t know to ask before engaging with your company on your FAQ page.

Tip No. 3: Never Set It and Forget It

Find ways to test and iterate on your FAQ page. After you publish updates, set up on-site surveys to ask customers if their questions were answered online. Another option is to talk to customers directly and see if your FAQ page really tells them what they need to know. After it’s been updated, you can also work with your sales and customer service teams to see if they interact with more satisfied customers, if the number of questions people ask has decreased, or if customers have started asking different questions.

Using this information, you can learn that your FAQ page contains the right types of Q&A, or if it still needs improvement. You may also find even more topics that may need to be covered for your customers online. Keep an eye on your keyword research as well. Customer trends can change and you should always spot-check the terms you’re using in your content to ensure you’re phrasing customer questions in the right way to maximize search value.

Tip No. 4: Remember You’re Running a Business, Not Just Driving Search Traffic

There may be things customers ask or people search for that you shouldn’t answer online. Whether it’s because the answer depends on the customer’s needs and experiences or the answer is better delivered in person, there are many reasons that you may not want to answer every single question online. Communicate with the people who interface with customers directly to better understand what warrants an online response, and what should be answered face-to-face.

If you really believe a particular question needs to be addressed on your site and there is a strong search volume, you can create a question and response that gives customers clear instructions on how to contact a sales or customer support team member to get an answer.

Creating an FAQ page can sound easy in practice, but can be tough to execute. Try these tips and let me know what tricks you use to create FAQ pages and tackle difficult keyword research projects.

Homepage image via Shutterstock

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