When building a website for a small business or organization, search engine visibility is usually a high priority for us. The process is usually referred to as SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization, or SEP, Search Engine Positioning. At a glance, the goal is to define your target market and what terms your potential customers will search the most, then optimize your website for high ranking of those terms & keywords. Much of this can be done in the initial build of your web site, but staying on top requires ongoing maintenance.
The way we achieve high ranking in search engines depends and many circumstances such as the size of your web site, your audience, your geographic location, the competition, and so much more. Sometimes a lot can be done with a little, or vise versa, but either way to achieve high ranking requires research and content strategy first.
In this article I wanted to talk about a little hidden gem that sometimes gets overlooked when planning a websites content, the FAQ page. What is it, and why do I need it? If isn’t obvious enough, an FAQ page is a list of frequently asked questions and answers. These pages serve as a great resource for businesses and their customers offering valuable information specific to what your business does, how you work, where you work, what your services cost, how your customers pay for your services, etc. FAQ pages offer a great opportunity to introduce the right keywords into your content in a short fashion.
As I mentioned previously, ongoing maintenance is imperative to long-term results. The FAQ page once again is excellent for this as frequently asked questions are just that, frequently asked. So as more questions arise adding those to your website not only provides information for future customers, but also keeps your content fresh for search engines.
BUT, there is always a catch right, well not really. But it is important to design to scale, if you anticipate ten FAQs to potentially turn into two hundred in a years time, your FAQ page could end up not-so-user-friendly. We never want to risk offending our customers with hard-to-read, cluttered content, so this is where a well thought-out design makes the world of difference. The design of the FAQ page not only organizes the content for readers, but can also lend to SEO as well when planned accordingly. I’d like to share my design idea with you for the best FAQ SEO results, the FAQ section rather than the FAQ page.
A traditional FAQ page mock up illustration might look like this example below with all the content on a single page. I’ve done several variations of these myself and they are effective, but for this article let’s take it one step further for SEO purposes.
In the second mock up illustration you’ll see I’ve separated the questions from the answers into separate pages or posts. The design benefits here are that we can now organize our questions into groups and add more content on each answer page without overwhelming our readers. Also, by making each FAQ answer a page of it’s own we’re able to elaborate our content with ample amount of space. To help guide our users you can see I added some navigation options on the answer pages, plus, we can now add specific metadata to each and every FAQ answer page!
So by desiging FAQs from one page to a section, we’ve gone from one single optimized page to ten, twenty, or whatever amount you prefer to have, fully search engine optimized web pages, phew!
While in this article I focus mainly on FAQs, the same can apply to other sections of your web site as well. My goal here was to emphasize the importance of planning & strategy for SEO along with design. Strategizing with us can make a night and day difference on how your website performs in search engines and whether or not potential customers can find you on the web.
Have an SEO challenge you’d like to discuss? Please get in touch we’d love to chat about it.