Are you thinking FAQ it?
There has been a lot of debate over the years about the pros and cons of FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section on websites. Typically, an FAQ page will list a selection of questions the owner of the website presumes the reader of the website might wish to ask, and provides them with an answer.
This philosophy or approach to the use of FAQ pages has been at the nub of the debate – if you’ve designed a website, but you think people may have questions about the content, surely you should find a way of addressing those questions within the content of the website rather than creating a whole separate area for users to check?
We have historically taken a fairly pragmatic approach to this dilemma. In our experience, clients have great success when they incorporate useful FAQ sections to their websites. So what makes an FAQ section useful? Well…
Number one, the questions featured must be real! They need to reflect the genuine queries your customers have. If you spot the same question rearing its head over and over, then this suggests you need to make this snippet of information very clear in the main messaging area of your website.
Secondly, by virtue of the fact that we are talking about typed questions and answers, we need to make sure that the FAQ page isn’t too text heavy, and includes plenty of air to break up all of those words! So clear typography, on a plain background is a must. And don’t forget about visuals – you can often explain a difficult concept far more easily in a picture than in a lengthy piece of copy – no matter how the well-written copy is crafted.
Lots of questions due to the technical nature of a website should be clearly categorised to help the user navigate the information. No-one likes their brain to feel saturated with information that they weren’t actually looking for, no Siree.
One thing that is a particularly handy by-product of FAQ pages (and this must be considered at marketing strategy level when you’re deciding whether or not to incorporate one into your website) is that they are really excellent for optimising your website for search engines – so do include key phrases and keywords to take advantage of the improvement in visibility of your website.
The debate over ‘to FAQ’ or ‘not to FAQ’ will undoubtedly continue – if you’re unsure and would like our professional opinion, then give Ketchup a call on 0330 088 9277.