Weekend Favs August Twenty Nine

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr or one that I took out there on the road.

labor day

Good stuff I found this week:

Notablist – Search engine of over 4 million newsletters for design inspiration

DoSocial – New tools to manage and automate social media activity

SocialSearch – service that monitors your competitors and sends daily email of potential customers

The Secret Sauce for Optimizing Your FAQ Page

photo credit: photopin

photo credit: photopin

Having the human touch is a no brainer for companies that are starting out.  It’s undeniable that, cost aside, companies would much rather have sales people closing deals in addition to their support team personally answering every inquiry and problem that arises.

However, many times this model simply isn’t scalable, which is why it is important to have a strong FAQ page.  A powerful (and often underutilized) tool, FAQ pages can be leveraged for both sales and customer service, playing a pivotal role with both current and prospective customers.

There are many reasons why customers would benefit from using your FAQ.  They may be following up from a sales presentation, they may be investigating about how to troubleshoot an issue, or they may be responding to your outbound campaign and are looking for more information.

Thus, its importance on your site is undeniable. Let’s walk through some ideas for how you can better leverage and quickly optimize your FAQ page.

Create Enticing Answers

When customers come to a FAQ page, they’re looking for specific answers like, how to cancel a membership, exact shipping prices, or fees associated with your product.  A yes/no answer is good and all, but having enticing and informative answers allows you to implement selling into your page.

Mix your answers with a catchy CTA.  For example – the FAQ may read, “Is there a deadline to register?” While a yes or no answer will work great here, use this opportunity to implement  Answer: “Register 3 days before the event and save $500.  Register Here!”  Embed clickable links and/or buttons in your answer so that your customer can easily execute on your CTA.

As a side note, don’t worry if you know nothing about programming or design. There are plenty of tools like Button Optimizer, and the WordPress Calls to Action that allow you to create beautiful calls to action for your website.

Search Function = Growth

Adding in search functionality is a must for any FAQ page. This functionality allows them to find information faster and for you to track their search queries, which sheds light on what your customers are most interested in on your FAQ page.

Knowing this information will allow you to improve other sections of your site.  For example, if customers are frequently searching for your return policy on your FAQ page, this should indicate that it isn’t prominent enough on your site, your product needs to be improved, or this question should populate higher on your page.

Allow For Further Reach Out

I’ve been to plenty of websites that have adopted this FAQ model, solely relying on it for their customer support.  I agree with the “let the customer answer his or her own question” approach, but quite frankly, only when it is easy to use.  For example, some sites use a forum as their FAQ, and I often find myself running in circles trying to find the answer to my questions.  To make matters worse, I then discover that there is no “contact us” option.  Chances are, you have been frustrated by a similar FAQ in the past.  Not good.

What makes a well-optimized FAQ forum is having the option to ask the network, but also the ability to call the company directly for more in-depth support.

New Hires are Your Best Friend

As your company grows, leverage the new employees that join your team. During their first week, make sure to set time aside to have them read over the FAQ. The content is new to them and they aren’t indoctrinated in the phrases and acronyms of your company culture. A fresh eye increases your ability to spot confusion and stagnation. Make it an onboarding task to review the FAQs and point out anything that looks a little iffy.

Build in SEO Friendly Words

Many times FAQ pages are like overcooked Yukon Gold potatoes – bland and dry.  By making it SEO friendly you will not only make it easier to read, but you’ll simultaneously boost your SEO rankings.

To do this, make sure each question has words and phrases that relate to your business.  For example, instead of “how does it work?” change it to something like “how does the grocery delivery service work?” This small change makes your content more relatable and relevant to outsiders who might stumble upon your content.

As you can see, having these small additions to your FAQ page will boost your customers happiness, improve the UX of your site, and at the end of the day boost sales.

IMGP2199As a marketing manager at HourlyNerd, Todd Stewart leads the charge in promoting, facilitating, and curating business content for the leading on-demand business consulting platform.  In October 2014, he wrote an eBook for HourlyNerd, LinkedIn, and Hubspot on personal online branding, and in January 2015, he wrote a sales eBook on how to use your 2014 sales data to plan for a strong 2015. Outside of marketing, Todd is an adjunct Public Speaking Professor at Bryant University in Rhode Island specializing in introductory, persuasive, informative, and motivational speaking.  Todd currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts and is a competitive marathon runner. 

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