How to get SEO benefit from your FAQ page

The topic of FAQs came up in a business networking meeting recently with the comment that they are good for your visibility in Google (i.e. SEO).

They are, but you need to create them with SEO in mind to get the full benefit.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) are a great addition to your website for a number of reasons:

  • Communicates information in a way that the reader can relate to – i.e. in the form of a question and an answer

  • You can use them to deal with common sales objections such as “why are you more expensive”

  • Can reduce the number of repetitive, simple phone calls - “does it come in red” etc.

  • Are a more interesting way of presenting content that otherwise would be a random set of unrelated facts that don't fit into anywhere else in your site structure

  • They can pull people deeper into your site by providing multiple and user friendly ways to get to the important content

But to help improve your visibility in Google, you have to approach it in a certain way.

1. Avoid putting all your FAQ content on one page

Traditional FAQ pages are quite often single pages with a list of questions with a short answer in response. But this means it is also one big chunk of content that covers a whole lot of different topics with small amounts of content. The search engines prefer (from a ranking perspective) one topic per page with a decent amount of content on it.

To get more from your FAQ page, put a short answer to a question and link to a separate page with a longer answer. On this page you can include a lot more content with examples, testimonials etc.

It is this page that will have a better chance of ranking for that particular question.

2. Target your question based keyword phrases

Sometimes a question is one of your long-tail keyword phrases – e.g. “How much does a website cost”, and your FAQ is a great way to target these.

You want to focus on phrases that people actually use, which you probably know already.  But if you're not sure how they are phrased do your research with a tool such as this free Keyword Tool, or Google's Keyword research tool (if you have an Adwords account). You can also ask your customer service and sales teams what questions they get asked all the time.

3. You can have more than one FAQ

If your FAQ page starts to get quite long, you can break it up into separate pages around different topics with the associated set of questions relating to that topic. This could be questions around a specific service or step in a process, like “How to place an order”.

And don't forget just because a page has a couple of questions and the answers - it doesn't have to be called an FAQ page.

4. Link to your service pages

If you have an FAQ about a particular product or service, link to that page, or vis-versa if it makes sense. Internal links help Google understand your site structure and the context for a particular page.

5. Lastly, don't forget to optimise as usual!

For each of your longer single answer pages, you would of course include headings (with your target phrase), title and description tags, alt tags on images etc. Every single page on your site should be optimised, even if it isn't on your navigation. Make sure you have an up to date XML site map with your FAQ pages on it so crawlers can crawl your site easily.

Final Tip: Get Google to 'fetch' the FAQ page via Webmaster Tools (look under 'Crawl' functions) so it (and it's linked page) are indexed straight away.

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Client words...

"Thanks to your seemingly simple optimisations we're seeing more new customers and 40 percent greater advertising revenue from our site."

Jeff McClintock - Synthedit