Even if you feel the content on your site is complete and thorough, frequently asked question (FAQ) pages can help fill in the gaps that are missing or provide high-level answers to your customers’ most common questions. But do they add any value from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint? Can you optimize their content to increase SEO value? Read on to find out more about creating SEO-friendly FAQ pages!
Yes. When optimized for relevant keywords, well-designed for optimal user experience (UX) and properly marked up with structured data, FAQ pages are valuable to organic performance. More importantly, FAQ pages help answer prominent questions your customers are searching for and lead them down the path toward a solution (and a conversion for your business).
The aforementioned response paints a vivid image of your business reaping organic traffic and profitability from FAQ pages, but the fruits of your labor rely on a key component: well-optimized and SEO-friendly content.
You can’t toss a laundry list of random questions onto a webpage and expect to see Page 1 rankings or an increase in qualified organic traffic. Likewise, users won’t find any value in answers that don’t solve their problem or having to surf through blocks of copy to find what they’re looking for.
The goal of a FAQ page is synonymous with the meaning of SEO: provide the best answers to the question your audience is asking. Incorporating keywords into on-page copy, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, adding structured data – all of these practices contribute to the SEO value of your FAQ page for Google. But Google doesn’t become a valued customer, users do.
In the end, it all comes down to this. Good FAQ pages are good for SEO. Bad FAQ pages are, well, bad. For SEO, for Google, for users and for your business. So, focus on creating the best possible FAQ experience for your current and prospective customers!
Okay, you’re sold on adding an FAQ section to your site or auditing your existing FAQ pages. Where do you start? How do you ensure you’re effectively answering questions that are prevalent to your users? What do you need to do for Google to serve your content on Page 1?
First and foremost: have a strategy (data-backed, preferably). At a high-level, the process of creating SEO-friendly pages follows this structure:
- Compile the most common questions users have
- Provide complete, concise answers to those questions
- Format your FAQ pages for user experience (UX)
- Optimize the title tag and meta descriptions for your FAQ pages
- Markup your page with FAQ schema
FAQ pages should include the most common questions amongst your users. That sounds simple on the surface, but it’s not as easy as brainstorming questions you think users are searching for. Tap into your resources and let the data inform your choices, tell you what questions users are searching for.
- Internal Team Members: Your internal sales team and customer service representatives interact with users every day and they’ve heard every question in the book. Conduct interviews with internal team members to find out what questions are most common and which are most likely to lead prospective customers further down the funnel.
- Audience Research: Customer surveys and interviews allow you to discover what users want to know, directly from the source.
- Chat Logs and Site Searches: Gain a better understanding of what users are searching for by analyzing chat logs and site search data. It’s an indirect form of audience research that allows you to make informed decisions at scale without breaking the bank. .
- Reddit, Quora, and Other Forums: While they aren’t directly interacting with your site, forums like Reddit and Quora are great sources for identifying industry-wide trends and issues from users themselves.
- People Also Ask (PAA) Results: PAA results display questions that are closely related to a users intent for specific keywords. Use PAA results that are served for relevant keywords to fill in any remaining gaps on your FAQ pages.
Once you have a complete list of questions to include on your FAQ pages, it’s time to provide the best answer to each one. Again, you can pull from existing resources (ex: sales team, internal SMEs, whitepapers) to ensure the answers are accurate. Many of the answers can be found in existing content on your site, just be sure to rephrase them to avoid duplicate content penalties.
Though you want answers to be thorough, it’s equally important to keep them short and to the point. Users come to FAQ pages for answers, you don’t want to make them work for it. Include enough information to completely answer the question, but try not to exceed 2-3 sentences for each. Utilize internal linking to drive users to relevant content within your site where they can find more information on the specific topic.
Along with prevalent questions and the best answers, you want to structure your FAQ pages for a high-quality UX. Make it easy for users to find what they’re looking for and they’ll be more likely to remain on your site.
A common pitfall is to drop all of the questions onto a single FAQ page, forcing users to scroll endlessly to find an answer. Not only is that a poor UX (likely to result in a high bounce rate), it doesn’t take advantage of SEO opportunities.
Consider breaking your list of questions into multiple FAQ pages, separated by categories and topics. This allows the main page to serve as a content hub for your FAQ experience and creates an organized structure for users to easily navigate. If you have the resources, you can consider adding a search bar that allows users to search within the FAQ hub to find their answer.
From an SEO keyword perspective, creating multiple FAQ pages allows you to target specific terms for each topic or category.
With multiple pages, you can incorporate topically-relevant keywords into the title tag and meta description of each FAQ page. Title tags play a major role in helping search engines understand what the page is about and users understand what content lives on the page. Though meta descriptions aren’t a ranking factor, they are an important component that can impact CTR. By optimizing both of these on-page SEO factors, you provide users and Google with a clear explanation of what the page is about.
Now that you have the best answers to the most common questions formatted for a high-quality UX with optimized title tags and meta descriptions, you’ve reached the top of Mozlow’s Hierarchy of SEO Needs (as made famous by the MozGuide).
Adding FAQ schema to the head of your HTML can help you earn additional real estate in the SERPs. Marking up your page with structured data can result in a FAQ rich snippet (similar to a PAA result) within your SERP listing and an action on the Google Assistant.
Example of FAQ rich snippet in the SERPs
To learn more about implementing structured data, visit the Google Developers FAQ Schema resource.
Optimizing your FAQ pages provides many benefits, some of which extend outside of SEO. While you optimize the pages with relevant keywords and FAQ schema, leaning on data to inform the content inherently creates a high-quality resource for users.
Some benefits include:
- Answering common questions directly on-page reduces the number of chats and calls to customer service and internal sales team members
- Incorporating PAA data and target keywords on the page increases opportunities to own the PAA snippets
- Internally linking from FAQ pages to relevant content on your site can help increase keyword rankings, CVR and transactions
- Optimizing the title tag and meta descriptions of each page with topic-specific keywords can help improve their organic rankings
So, now you know that a well-optimized FAQ page can contribute to your organic search strategy and success. However, it’s one small piece of a much larger puzzle. To stay up to date on the latest SEO tips and tricks, sign up for our newsletter below! If you’re looking for a data-driven partner to help with your organic strategy and performance, check out Seer’s SEO services!