Good morning, internet fans. It’s Ryan Perry with Simple Biz Support. Today is Thursday, June 11th, therefore it is Internet Marketing Thursday, and I have Virginie Dorn back from vacation with Business Website Center. Good morning, Virginie.
Virginie Dorn: Hello, Ryan. Yes, back from vacation, I’m in the what they call the “rat race” back East.
RP: Yeah. A well deserved vacation though, so welcome back to the rat race, and welcome back to Internet Marketing Thursday. Today, we’re going to be talking about, I think it’s something a lot of people don’t even really think about, is an FAQ page and how it can help boost your ranking. From our conversation that we had before we started this episode, it almost sounds like it’s really good to have it for new websites in order to make sure that your website gets indexed by Google.
VD: Yes. Google and other major search engines love an FAQ page. And FAQ, frequently asked questions, by the way, for those that don’t know what FAQ stands for, is like a resource page where you answer the most commonly asked questions from your visitors. It’s great for the visitors, search engines love it, so it’s good for your indexation. Everybody should have one. You know your customers have questions, and typically, they have the same dozen or two dozen questions they ask all the time. Those should be answered on your website.
RP: Right, definitely. And the nice thing about the FAQ page is it’s, for smaller businesses, it’s one central location where a lot of questions could get answered. And it’s also a great way, I’ve seen a lot of companies nowadays actually link to other pages so it’s a great way of creating some internal links which is good from an SEO point of view, but it’s also a great way to keep people engaged on your website, especially if they’re interested in your product or your service.
VD: Yes, indeed. Sometimes, you even take… It goes a little further, it will… And so maybe they have doubts about you, they’re not quite convinced. Sometimes a FAQ can help them just take that extra step and pick up the phone and finally call you, just because you answered one of their doubts they had in their mind. So you want to try to address every questions possible. Again, good for SEO, good for your visitors. And also, even when you train new employees, maybe have them review your website, read every page and especially pay attention to the FAQ because that will help them as well.
RP: Yeah, definitely. Let’s take a look at kind of… Do you have a website? Did you bring up a website that’s kind of the old standard FAQ, doesn’t have any of the new fancy code or linking and any of that?
VD: I kinda do, but the problem is with Google Hangout today, all my settings are gone. I’m unable to access any of them.
VD: Yeah, so all I have is your image and pretty much that’s it.
RP: Just an image. That’s not good.
VD: Okay. And I know you sent me a link, so here I am. I’m going to be able… I still cannot do screen sharing. I’m sorry.
VD: Yes. It’s gone.
RP: See what happens when you go on vacation?
VD: Maybe I need to be authorized by you to share my screen.
RP: No, you shouldn’t… It should not be that way. That’s very weird. Well, tell you what. I found one. I wasn’t planning on doing this, but let’s go… Let me find the correct screen and share. This is Delicious, which I believe is a bookmarking website and they have their FAQ page, and this is kind of your standard FAQ page. It’s question and then it’s an answer, and it’s really simple. The one thing I do like about it is that if it makes sense for additional information, one of the things that they do is they actually have a link here. So if you need to learn more, go ahead click on this link and it’ll actually take you to a page that has that additional information. So this is a standard FAQ page and what is it about a FAQ page, from an SEO point of view, that you feel generates more links and leads? Or not links and leads, but SEO value?
VD: Well, textual content is always key there, so make sure you… I know it’s nice to be succinct, right to the point, but sometimes a little bit more text to answer each questions brings you more SEO value. In terms of the user point of view, I think the idea of redirecting them to a page of interest based on about question and answer they were interested in, that’s great too. Because if they’re only interesting about, “How do I set up my account with your membership website?” And you take them to another page dedicated to that answer, that’s even better for them. I also like when there’s a lot of FAQ and I would say at least a dozen or more to categorize them, so then it’s easy for people to get to a section that relates to them. That’s especially true for larger size companies or retail companies. Maybe there are questions about returns or questions about products, and other questions about setting up an account.
RP: So let me… Did GitHub pop up? Do you see GitHub?
VD: I am now, yes.
RP: Okay, good. So I think this is what you’re talking about where they categorize, so the top one is common issues and then they have a boot camp, a set up using Git, user accounts.
VD: Yes. And I like when the categories are listed at the top, which I am not sure if it is for them, I will assume. So typically, I would like it when there are tabs at the top of the FAQ that list all the categories. That way, someone who can click on the category and it will take them directly to that section of a page without having to scroll down.
RP: Yeah, they use… That’s kind of interesting. They’ve got these four boxes at the top, and so you can click there and it’s going to take you to a page that has more information about each one of these, but then they have their standard FAQ. And this is one of those pages where it actually is a link, and so, instead of having all of the information, both the question and the answer on the same page, they’re actually linking to a separate page. And personally, I kinda like this, especially in this case, there’s a lot of content here, they keep it clean and very easy to navigate. I think this is a pretty clean setup.
VD: I like it, too. I like it to actually go to specific URL, which will have everything someone can think about. And I believe you might have it on your browser, the realestate-onlinesearch.com? And my comment box is not working, so I cannot send you the link.
RP: You’re all broken. What was it, realestate…
VD: Realestate-onlinesearch.com. Realestate-onlinesearch.com/faq.php.
RP: I’m going to share. So here I am, realestate and you want me to do faq.php?
VD: Correct, perfect. Look at you. Here you get see everything. First, you can select a category by clicking on the purple categories, where they have four categories listed. There’s also a search box below it, then we’ll search for a couple of keywords. You won’t find anything with that, but…[laughter]
VD: If it shows, you’ll say, “Redefine your search.” And…
RP: I already broke it. Now, I went too far. Go ahead, keep on talking.
VD: So again, this kind of FAQ has every function idea you would want on the long FAQ page, which is the case for this one. It has a drop-down with a bunch of categories and organized sections… I mean, questions together and you can go there. You can also do search by entering keywords. And every time… Also it has that toggle effect, you and I have talked about, where you can click to expand the questions and answer. And even some of them have the links to additional information. If you want, you can refresh your page. So again, those are possibilities you can have in your own website for your FAQ, a categorization of your questions, if you have a lot of them. Having a search box functionality, again that’s if you have a lot of questions. And the toggle effect which open and close questions are very efficient. It’s very easy for the user, especially if you have a lot of content. You know one thing we didn’t talk about is the fact that you don’t just have to have answers in the format of text, you can also have them in videos. So you could have the questions, click on it, and the toggle opens up, but there is your video of one of your staff member answering that particular questions. Those are very powerful, people respond very well to it. It’s a lot of work on the site owners’ part, definitely worth the time. As you know, you and I are big video supporters.
RP: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. And the other thing is that the FAQ is also a great way to engage some personal, or not personal but company personality into the page. They don’t always have to be stagnant and boring. You can add a little personality into the questions and the answers, and that’s gotta be relevant to your business and your target audience though.
VD: I agree. Everything has to be cohesive, the tone of voice when you answer those questions should match your overall branding, the type of person that you’re trying to have. If you’re a little bit more geeky and fun, you really have to sound like it when you answer the questions. If you’re more the corporate, more structured, then a little bit toned down and more professional.
RP: Okay. So the next question is, as far as the FAQ placement on the menu, where do you typically like to see the FAQ? For me, it’s not going to be necessarily at the forefront, but it should be recognizable or easy to find.
VD: Of course it depends on the type of site you have. If you have a membership website and there is, perhaps, a “Get Started Now” type of drop-down menu, where you can log in or select a plan, there should be the FAQ as well. If you have a big resource center, or perhaps you have a video galleries and webinars and a bunch of resources, useful links, you will want this in by drop-down of resources, ’cause FAQ is definitely considered as part of your resources. I love FAQ pages, I insist that all my clients have one. And also, I always include it in the bottom footer of each page, where you typically have a back to the homepage, a contact, that goes to the contact form, and also the FAQ, I love to put it there. Easy access. Again, it’s a great marketing tool and I’m saddened when I see it’s not there on some of the great websites. So, again, if answering questions online is important, it could have its own link on the top header. It depends on your industry, and as a site owner, you should know if that’s important or not to you and your visitors.
RP: Right. And an FAQ page doesn’t need to be complex, doesn’t need to be overwhelming. As a small business owner, basically it’s a matter of, if you’re the one directly talking to people, you should know what those common questions are. If not, at your next company meeting or wherever it is that you… However you pull information from people that are in direct contact with your prospects, maybe a sales meeting or whatnot, find out what those common questions are. What are the concerns? What are the fears, the issues? And that’s the type of information that you want to put out there. And for me, it’s really important because part of building a website is not just the visibility. Yes, we want the SEO. Yes, we want the ranking. Yes, I want people to click on your website. However, if you do not have conversion once they arrive on your website, that’s all about credibility, and it’s really important that your website builds credibility. And if people have concerns and fears, they may not be comfortable calling because they feel like they’re going to be sold if they have to call you. But being able to browse an FAQ page at their own leisure, and you can now answer their question, what it does is it creates more confidence and it makes them feel more secure that, yes, this is the right company for them.
VD: I absolutely agree. I’m getting all emotional about it. Yes, that’s exactly the main purpose of this FAQ page. And you mentioned the word “fears”, like some prospective customers may have fears about choosing you, because they don’t know you. They have not seen any testimonials. They’re concerned about spending that kind of money with your company. By answering their questions online, you help them ease into making that phone call or sending that important email to you, so you can start building that relationship. Extremely important.
RP: Yeah, definitely. All right, well, that’s it. We’re at the end of our road. I think the big takeaway, if you’re a small business owner, if you’re not sure if you have an FAQ page or you know you do not have an FAQ page, take an hour, maybe two hours of… Even if it’s just five, five questions with answers, it can be something really simple, they actually appear on WordPress. They actually have FAQ plugins so you can create an individual page, essentially. It’s an individual FAQ, and your title is your question, and then the box down below, the description box, is where your answer’s at, and then you plug that in, you put it on a page. Boom, it’s done. It really doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it can add a lot of value not only from an SEO point of view, but also from a conversion, credibility, and trust point of view.
VD: Yes, indeed.
RP: All right. Well, perfect. With that, Virginie, I’m going to close out this episode. For everybody that’s watching, we’re glad to have you back this week, and we are looking forward to seeing you again next week for another episode of Internet Marketing Thursday.
VD: Fabulous. Have a great week, guys.
RP: All right. Take care, and thank you very much.