How to Write GREAT FAQ Pages For Better SEO, Page Views, and Results

by Marcus Sheridan

FAQ

I received an email from a podcast listener the other day that made me smile…and think. It went like this:

Hey Marcus,

I absolutely love your ebook and a few of us at LocalTrifecta Internet
Marketing absolutely love your talks on Content Marketing. One thing: If
I’m not mistaken, you said that FAQ pages were the dumbest things ever. Why
is that?

Thanks,

Ramesh Ranjan

Ahhh yes, I did say that, didn’t I? ;-) But truth be told, what I should have said is that FAQ pages (on a website), done the traditional way, are the dumbest  things ever.

And what is the traditional way? Simple—A company lists 5-15 (average) of their most frequently asked questions and immediately, under each, they list a 2-3 sentence answer…and usually not a good answer at that.

Why is this a bad idea? Here are a few reasons:

1. We’re in the information age. Consumers, when visiting a website, expect to be fed—a lot. Generally speaking, a traditional FAQ page is meager servings, and isn’t going to generate a whole bunch of trust and warm-fuzzies with the reader.

2. From an SEO standpoint, pages of a website are most effective when they’re thematic (focusing on a central theme/keyword phrase). FAQ pages therefore have multiple “themes,” which gives the search engines little to chew on and dilutes the quality of the information. In a post Penguin/Panda era, this simply isn’t going to get it done in most cases.

3. If a company gets truly aggressive with their FAQ page and answers many questions, the page can go wayyyyyy long, which obviously will have a higher chance of losing viewers.

4. Along with #1, every business has a “tipping point” when it comes to total page views. Essentially, as a business you should look at a page view as a “date” with the prospect. With each date you go on (every piece of content they consume, be it text, video, etc.) you are one step closer to the ultimate goal—marriage (earning a new customer). FAQ pages are traditionally one “date,” which, as you might imagine, isn’t exactly going to help too many folks get married. :-)

How to Write Great FAQ Pages that Get Results

Now that we’ve discussed what’s wrong with traditional FAQ pages, let’s talk for a second about a simple method of doing them right. Essentially, there are only 3 main steps to follow:

1. On your FAQ page, list out all the major questions you receive every day. If you have more than 15 or so questions, you may want to break these lists out into categories, allowing the viewer to find the question they’re looking for quicker and easier. (Note*** Please understand you do not have to call this an “FAQ Page” at all, as it can be said in many ways, as show in the two photos presented here from the River Pools and TSL websites.)

2. Now that the questions are listed, do NOT answer them on the actual page. Instead, hard-link the entire question to the blog post that answers said question.

3. Finally, at the bottom of the page below all the questions, show a call to action for some type of guide/eBook that contains the answers of all the questions listed above.

river pools FAQ page

On the River Pools FAQ page–which is actually called “Pools 101,” a video, a list of questions, and a call-to-action all make the page incredibly successful for consumers just getting started in their quest for pool ownership.

Pretty simple, right? This method of designing an FAQ page is powerful because of a few reasons:

1. It allows the reader to “choose their own adventure” and take deep dives into the questions most important to them.

2. It allows for more questions to be shown on the page, as there are no answers to take up a lot of space.

3. It’s great for internal linking/SEO strategies. By making the anchor text of the link the question itself, this is sending a clear message to search engines as to exactly what the page/article is talking about—i.e. the keyword phrase it’s targeting.

4. It will lead to a huge spike in “dates” (page views), which will in-turn end up producing more leads and customers to follow.

Here at TSL, our FAQ page is actually entitled "Problems We Solve," and is one of the higher viewed pages of the entire site.

Here at TSL, our FAQ page is actually entitled “Problems We Solve,” and is one of the highest viewed pages of the entire site.

As I mentioned before, this is a very simple and effective way of addressing your company’s most frequently asked questions, but the unfortunate thing is that most aren’t doing it this way.

So that’s the simple challenge of this post. Revamp your company FAQ page—assuming you have one—and when you’re done, email me(if you’d like) the changes you’ve made. I’d love to personally see it and then, further down the road, hear the results as well.

Your Turn

Questions? Comments? Concerns? As always, don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts below my friends…

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Adarsh Thampy September 10, 2013 at

Great post Marcus.

I’d disagree on the SEO part a bit. While it’s true that for internal linking it is good, overall, it’s a thin content page. You have a video, a CTA, and a bunch of links. Doesn’t look like a quality page from Google’s point of view.

I do agree with all other points you have on this. I really think most businesses can do a much better job with their FAQ page. Some FAQ pages are so horribly designed (you know the fancy jquery/javascript/HTML 5 thing) which doesn’t work in older browsers/or when javascript blockers are applied.

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Marcus Sheridan September 16, 2013 at

Hey Adarsh, good hearing from you bud. Just to clarify so we’re on the same page, the FAQ page doesn’t have SEO value “on-page”—but it does because it’s a pointer page. Therefore, the SEO benefits lie in what happens with the other pages.

Thanks again for stopping by,

Marcus

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Randy Cantrell September 10, 2013 at

SEO just gives me tired head, but I did enjoy the advice on crafting a good FAQ page, even though I personally have done many things far dumber than a traditional FAQ page (like video)!

Good job, as always. Thanks for making me feel dumb, again.

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Marcus Sheridan September 16, 2013 at

Hahaha Randy, we all make each other feel dumb at times ;-)

Great seeing you old friend,

Marcus

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Jossif Elefteriadis September 10, 2013 at

Great post, as always! Thanks for sharing with us, Marcus!

I agree to that the FAQ pages can go waayyyyyy long.

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W Shawon September 10, 2013 at

Hi Marcus,

Simply explained the very effective and powerful method of getting more traffic loyalty. For those, who worked as a freelance marketing professional, it will be a good reference to accept suggestions for modifying the client’s FAQ page to get increased authority with traffic.

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Lana September 11, 2013 at

Marcus, I love this. Our FAQ page is pretty boring and this would be a great way to list all the most common questions we hear and get people who are interested onto a page with an opt in. I also love that we could go into more deatil this way with the answers. I must say you are a smarty pants. Thanks for sharing great tips.

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Marcus Sheridan September 16, 2013 at

Thrilled to be a smarty-pants Lana!!! Just do me a favor and send me a link of the page when you’re done, I’d love to see it!!

Marcus

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Jim September 11, 2013 at

From an SEO perspective, I think this is a great strategy. You are creating an index post which links a number of thematically linked pages. It also includes a video which Google loves. Now, instead of marketing the individual posts, you market the “index” page. As the page gains popularity, the related posts are all connected to this main page.

I would think that with a little on page SEO (ie. a headline that matched a common search used by pool owners) this could be a very powerful page for gaining naturally occurring back links and moving up the search engine rankings. For the most part it provides what the person using the search engine needs–answers their questions. Ultimately, that’s what Google wants isn’t it? Answers to their user’s questions?

Copy Blogger used to use this strategy all the time (and still does but their format has changed quite a bit recently) very successfully.

I’m in the process of creating something like this at the moment. It is actually being driven by key word research. We’ve found a high volume, low competition search term with very little content of quality to be found in the search results. We are building a “10 thing you need to know” type of post and creating 10 different in-depth articles that will be linked to each point of the the overall post.

Seeing your example above Marcus has given me some great ideas on how to really turn this into a powerful landing page. I love the embedded video at the top and the clear call to action. I’m forwarding this post to my client now.

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Marcus Sheridan September 16, 2013 at

Jim, LOVE comments like this. Keep innovating my friend, well done!!

Marcus

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Alia September 11, 2013 at

Strongly agree with you that writing a FAQ page is most important and it works like a cream on cake.As it is so simple but it prove very useful many times.

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Steve Remote September 12, 2013 at

This is some great info. Thanks! I’ll have to take a look at my FAQ pages and be sure I’m all SEO’d up!

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Neulabs September 12, 2013 at

Hey Marcus, this is an awesome post on How to make FAQ pages. This information would be very useful dude. Thanks.

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Iain September 12, 2013 at

I wish more people would do FAQ pages like this.

I’ve seen way too many pages that are short answers that leave a lot more to be asked.

You could even take these FAQs a bit further and make a video for each to go along with the question.

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Marcus Sheridan September 16, 2013 at

Iain, that’s a REALLY good point. It’s actually something I just did with a client to huge success.

Thanks for dropping in bud,

Marcus

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Amir September 12, 2013 at

Great post, as always! Thanks for sharing with us, Marcus! Really your post is very informative and useful.

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Sophorn September 12, 2013 at

Wow, great insightful post Marcus. I learn something new everyday. I will need to start employing this content strategy for all my clients. Just shared it will all our followers and clients.

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Marcus Sheridan September 16, 2013 at

Glad it helped bud, continued success :-)

Marcus

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Craig McBreen September 13, 2013 at

Hi Marcus,

Thanks for this. I have a client who really wants to put a mega-Q&A page on their new site. Frankly this is the post I needed and will forward directly to them.

Speaking of that, these guys are small (less than 10 employees) but they do want to start blogging … they just can’t seem to find the time and as a new co, can’t afford to outsource.

Any quick methodologies for a quick start, just to get the ball rolling for them? They have great design (of course ;)) but now they need the punch that great content can deliver.

Thanks,
Craig

p.s. You know I think you’re a great guy, and I will have to say the combo … You and John Jantsch over at Duct Tape Marketing are really helping me develop my new services based on content marketing and social.

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Marcus Sheridan September 16, 2013 at

Craig, love seeing you grow and hearing about the client opportunities that are coming up for you bud.

Regarding your question though, I don’t know if you’re going to like my answer. I say this because, I tell companies flat-out that if they don’t have 10 hours a week to dedicate towards content marketing (writing/producing/learning/developing) then we’re not a good fit.

And the reason we’re not a good fit is because they’re going to fail then blame me. :-)

This is literally what I say.

That being said, you may want to try some interview based blogging on your own. You interview, they give the info, and you may find that’s a way to produce a good bit of content without them spending as much time.

Either way, it’s a tough dilemma my friend.

Good luck!!

marcus

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Adam Kielich September 15, 2013 at

Interesting concept. I don’t have a FAQ section on my website but that might be something to consider in the future.

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Selena September 16, 2013 at

The best way to connect with users is provide them the solutions of their problems. FAQs are the best thing in this case. It was a good reading experience on this post. good job.

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Rhonda September 16, 2013 at

I worked on a website project for a client who had the best information and help I have seen to-date. This client had a huge faq section. I categorized it and created links to separate pages. Each category had their own set of questions which as you could probably guess, made for a lot of internal linking.

So I definitely agree with what you say about creating faq content. I don’t know why I didn’t think about using faq’s earlier.

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Marcus Sheridan September 17, 2013 at

Sounds like your client picked a pretty solid consultant Rhonda ;-)

Keep up the great work,

Marcus

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Davina K. Brewer September 17, 2013 at

Bookmarking! Because I gotta get this done whenever I get off my slackerness and get w/ my long overdo, much needed Extreme Website Makeover: Getting Found edition. ;-) I don’t have blog posts that answer these questions, but for a number of businesses, that’s a brill idea. Got me thinking and motivated, all good. FWIW.

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Marcus Sheridan September 17, 2013 at

Hahaha, you’re so funny D’! Yes, get that episode completely, filmed, and published right away!!! ;-)

Marcus

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Art September 17, 2013 at

In such a wired way you always hit me just when I’m planning to do something like a FAQ page. Great input. We are going to do it this way.

Thanks much Marcus,

Art

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Amazing Places September 18, 2013 at

really you have good site and provide unique content, we wish more

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John Park September 24, 2013 at

Impressive idea., This way we can get lots of traffics and sales. Thanks for sharing Marcus!

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IT Solution London September 30, 2013 at

A FAQ page that has all of these covered will be awesome. Will talk to our designer about this. Thanks.

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JA October 14, 2013 at

Marcus –

This is the first blog I’ve ever commented on. Seriously.
And it’s totally deserved…

About 6 months ago I found a video about you on a small business website. After that, downloaded your book, read it all, kept thinking about your stories and finally took the plunge.
A month ago I built out our first web presence with your concepts at its core.
It been an exhausting sprint creating all our online tools but your suggestions, concepts and success story has been the driving force and, dare I say, inspiration for our content. We have months of blog posts prepared, a strategy behind it and direction to follow.

Thank you for your insight, generous sharing of experience and great tools offered here.

It’s clear you live out what you preach in your business and I feel my team is lucky to have found your site!

Please keep it up and let me know if my team or I could reciprocate in any way, anytime.
Thanks!
JA

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Marcus Sheridan October 15, 2013 at

JA, wow, it’s comments like this that make everything I do so very worth it. What a smile you’ve brought me :)

Marcus

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Ryback October 21, 2013 at

Good article, thought I must admin, that it is better to buy high qualioty webtraffic to achieve smth. really good.

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Rabia Amir November 4, 2013 at

Great post! Thanks for sharing with us, Marcus! Really your post is very informative and useful.

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Jake January 8, 2014 at

Thanks for sharing OLD SPORT!

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Theodore lane March 3, 2014 at

Im trying to sell items how do I start?

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Karan Singh March 3, 2014 at

When I was reading your article then find that I make very big mistake in articles, when I am writing. I generally use long handing and so many keywords in the article. But now I know all about how to write for seo. I think your idea really going to help me.

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