Effective Frequently Asked Questions

Effective Frequently Asked Questions

Seth Godin had a post on the power of having a FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions page on your site. FAQs are a great idea for your site and you should definitely use them. But what should go into a FAQ list? How extensive should it be? When do you not need a FAQ?

What should go in a Website’s FAQ?

Answer; anything your potential clients might ask you! If you can be seen as a go-to person or business, and people view you as expert and knowledgeable, you are much more likely to make a sale! For instance, if you have been reading my blog for a while you have seen (hopefully!) that I know a bit about website design, development, and marketing. You could assume that a student designer trained in the Charlotte Art Institute might know about website design as well. Even if the art student quoted you a website design for $5 would you trust that they have more expertise than I do? (I hope not!) Probably not. My answers to questions and articles such as this one or the ones I write for the Lake Wylie Pilot confer a certain amount of credibility to my services.

When should you have a FAQ?

You should have a FAQ when you:

  • Want to be seen as an authoritative resource on the web.
  • Looking to increase sales and satisfaction of your audience.
  • Are spending inordinate amounts of time answering the same questions.
  • You want to direct potential clients to other questions in addition to the ones you normally get. Perhaps another question highlights another service you offer they hadn’t considered.
  • Your customers ask for one!

This is not just an abstract rambling by a web designer who spends too much time in front of his computer. Brendon Sinclair, one of Australia’s leading web designers had this to say in a great PDF ‘Does Your Business Need a Website?’

One of our clients runs a major sporting event. When we redeveloped the web site to include the information the competitors required, in addition to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, the administrative office reports huge decreases in staff hours required to provide telephone support.

The savings ran into thousands of dollars.

When Not to Have a FAQ

Since I see this website and blog largely one great resource for questions I get asked frequently, I do not have a formalized FAQ page. I just get asked too many questions! The key is that people see this site as a resource and ask the questions. I also sometimes use it to answer questions that I see elsewhere. For example, in Seth’s post mentioned above, he suggested that someone should made a post on How to Post a Picture to Craigslist.

So, the only reason you do not need a FAQ is if you either 1) Don’t know what your clients are asking or 2) Don’t care. Now that I think about it, perhaps I do need a good set of FAQs! In fact, I am going to get started right away! Want to help? Contact us and send your questions! You can also leave them in the comments area below.

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