Do you have a FAQ page in your website?
If you have one, take a good look and read through the questions. Does your FAQ make sense or is it just a collection of random questions and answers? Why do you have a FAQ page? Did your web designer suggest a FAQ because your website was lacking web pages?
Or was the FAQ page part of a strategic plan?
In most websites, the FAQ regurgitates information that can be found on the other pages on the website. It is simply stating what has been said in the other web pages.
Some FAQs have questions such as – “What are the opening hours of your business?” or “How can I contact you?”
Obviously, you can get the information on opening hours and more on the Contact page (if the Contact page is designed well) or on the footer of the website. The basics need to be covered in the
FAQ page but did you know that there is a strategy in using your FAQ page?
In our 21 years of developing and designing websites for business owners, the FAQ page is the best opportunity for you to further strengthen your credibility and demonstrate your expertise.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling services or products – you can easily use your FAQ page to persuade your website users that you are the best choice.
Step 1: Getting The Right Questions
How do you come up with questions for your FAQ? If you have been running your business for at least 2 years or more, you will have no problem doing so.
Your customers and prospects would have asked you these questions and these are the same questions you will place in your FAQ page. Not all of your customers’ questions need to be on the FAQ page – we only need the important ones.
If you are just starting out in business, you may have a harder time as you don’t know what questions your customers will be asking. If this is your predicament, do your research online. Find out what similar businesses are putting out as their FAQs.
One of the best places to look at questions and answers is at Quora. Or you could ask a few of your own questions to your own group of potential customers either on Facebook (post a question) or via email (email people who have the ability to buy and fit the demographic that you are going after).
There is no point asking your family or friends because they will never want to hurt you or ask an insensitive question. In this case, your family and friends could be a liability for your research.
Step 2: Finding Common Ground
How many questions are needed for the FAQ? At this juncture, you don’t have to worry yet.
Your job is to become a detective and find out the kinds of questions potential buyers or buyers are asking about your type of product and service.
Once you get your questions compiled, read through them and group them accordingly. Place them under tentative categories. Remove the trivial ones.
What categories stand out now that you have eliminated the trivial questions?
While you have been looking for questions, did you add any of your own? To add some of your own, you need to step into the shoes of your prospects and think like them.
Do your categories make sense? Eliminate again those that don’t make sense. Your goal is to keep trimming the questions and categories until you have about 10 to 15 good questions.
What’s a good question and its counterpart, a good answer?
A good question sheds light on what you do and sheds light on what you do really well. In short, a good question educates while it informs. It helps demonstrate what you are good at (as a business) and it helps allay fears and reduces mistrust. A good answer that follows a good question is specific, detail-rich and neutral in tone. It must help your prospect understand your message clearly and therefore, the answer uses words that your prospects can easily understand.
Step 3: Put Strategy Inside
Most people hire a web designer to design their website but they never stop for a moment to consider the strategy that drives the website and its content.
Without a strategy, your website and ultimately your business will not attract prospects or customers. This is why most websites don’t do well at all online.
You cannot expect to put up a website and have customers beating down your door if you don’t have a master plan.
The same goes for digital marketing.
Digital marketing without a strategy is like throwing a few seeds in the air and hope that your seeds can grow into trees! This is why if you have no plans right now, stop advertising on Facebook.
Learning how to run a Facebook campaign is well and good but if you have no idea what the campaign is going to lead to, what good is a campaign?
This reminds of a local personal care product manufacturer who spent RM10,000 on Facebook advertising thinking that he was building awareness. Another woman tried to help her locksmith husband advertise his business on Google (using Google Adwords) when he didn’t even have a website! She thought that displaying the ad was what advertising was all about.
We advised her to stop advertising immediately as it was just money going down the drain. If you don’t lead your prospects somewhere after they see your Google Ad or Facebook ad, what is the point of spending precious advertising money?
How Do You Work Strategy Into Your FAQ?
Putting strategy inside your FAQ means you need to think of questions that are mostly happening in your prospects’ minds right now.
These are questions that whether you like it or not, you need to address.
Questions like “Why should I buy your product?” or “what makes your offerings unique compared to other similar providers?” or “why should I choose your product?” should be the first questions to answer.
Next are questions about price – “Why is your price so expensive?” or “I can get this cheaper elsewhere. Why should I buy this from you at this price?”
We call these the uncomfortable questions that never get asked in a face-to-face encounter. But the questions are there, hanging in the air, begging to be answered.
If you can answer them in the most logical and professional manner, you have won half the battle in persuading your prospect.
Your FAQ Is A Strategy Unto Itself
By now, you should be able to see that the FAQ page is strategic arsenal. It answers the tough and uncomfortable questions in ways that position you as the true professional (and if you are not as skilled as you think you are, now’s the time to really be honest with yourself).
Your answers must also be as well crafted as your question. Your answers must convey full transparency (you’re not holding anything back) and you have the prospect’s best interests at heart.
You are not answering the question in a way that makes the prospect feel that there is some dishonesty or sneakiness. If you do so, your prospect immediately picks it up and you’ve lost his trust forever.
You should answer the question as if you are answering your best friend. Would you lie or fudge the details? Of course not. You would want the best for your best friend and give him all the information he needs so that he can decide for himself.
This is the strategy within the FAQ page. You need to answer questions in a way that allows the prospect to understand what you’re saying and believe you, even if he has never met you before!
The FAQs that we craft, write and design for our clients also include information to educate. A lot of times, our clients will ask if this is counter-intuitive. After all, if we start educating prospects via the FAQ, wouldn’t they solve their own problem and never buy at all?
How An Aircon Service Provider Uses Its FAQ
Take this FAQ page from our client’s website, KTL Aircon. They install and service air conditioners (and they were also showcased in our book, Web Wisdom).
Look through the questions we planned for them. They’re questions about common aircon problems and the answers are telling them what they can do to troubleshoot or fix their problems.
Our plan was to show how skilled and knowledgeable KTL was through the detailed answers of the FAQ. Our other goal was to completely demystify the process of fixing or repairing aircon but at the same time, show that it is not as easy as it seems. The truth is, most of us will happily pay others to solve our problems than to do it ourselves!
How successful is KTL’s website?
“When website visitors contact me, they are not asking about pricing or what I can do that is different. All this is readily stated on my website. When they come to me, they are eager for me to help them with their air conditioning problems,” says Mr Koay, the owner of KTL Aircon.
He gets a lot of prospects who are interested in his more premium packages for aircon servicing and repair. These prospects don’t need to be convinced that he is the right man for the job. They already know it because they’ve read his comprehensive FAQ page.
How a Luxury Watch Repair Service Provider Uses Its FAQ
Another client of ours, Grand Montre, uses his FAQ page to educate prospects why they need to send their luxury watches for servicing regularly. This is a great way to highlight areas which your customers or prospects don’t know about. The tone of FAQs is always neutral although persuasiveness runs throughout all the questions!
We also use our FAQ page to highlight some rarely mentioned aspects of Redbox Easyweb, our budget website product.
Our FAQ informs that we have an Affiliate programme, that the product is a great add-on for copywriters and graphic designers who want to help their clients set up websites and more.
Your FAQs Need To Be Purposeful
If you are just starting out, crafting these questions will take some time. Just remember that your questions need to be aligned to a purpose. If your questions are not aligned to a singular purpose, your FAQ falls flat and will not convince anyone, not especially a prospect, of your expertise and credibility.
Knowing what your purpose is will help you craft persuasive questions and answers for your FAQ page.
This will also stop you from listing out 30 to 40 questions and answers when only the best 10 or 15 will do.
You don’t want your FAQ to bore people; you want your FAQ to be succinct and powerful and move people to take action – contact you or buy your products!
A Bonus Tip!
Does your FAQ page need to be updated from time to time? Yes. This is important as you will get more questions from your customers as you engage with them. Start a habit of collecting questions that prospects and customers ask you.
Check your emails and WhatsApp for these questions that people ask you but you might have forgotten. Jot them down and see if there’s a better way to frame the question or if the question is useful. Add new questions and answers to your FAQ page only if the questions are valid and truly help you educate and inform.
This article is written by Krista Goon who co-owns and manages Redbox Studio, a web design and marketing firm in Penang. Since 1998, Redbox Studio’s speciality is in creating websites with marketing strategy to help business owners increase their online visibility, credibility and profitability.