FAQ Anatomy: Writing a Better FAQ Page for Your Practice
I can tell you right now that your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is one of the most visited pages on your website.
Almost doesn’t seem fair, does it? You spend all that time toiling over and beautifying your homepage and specialty pages, and still so much of your traffic goes straight to those “housekeeping” pages likes your About Me and FAQ pages.
So what’s the solution? Use your FAQ page to convert that traffic into real-deal clients!
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Visitors are going to your FAQ page because they want to learn more about your practice. So, why not give them what they want while using the opportunity to sell them on your services? Website visitors often think of FAQ pages as infallible sources of company information whether or not they realize it, so using that page to put yourself and your services in a positive light can be very effective.
In order to do that, we’re going to break down the full anatomy of a proper and effective FAQ page. We’ll start with the basic skeleton, so scrub in and snap on those white gloves because we’re taking your FAQ page into surgery.
FAQ Page Anatomy
When we’re talking about the “bones” of your FAQ page, we mean the core structure – the base upon which you’ll build the rest of the page. Of course, I’m talking about the Questions part of Frequently Asked Questions.
When it comes to your questions, you should be aware that you’re building a guide for the rest of your FAQ page. If your potential clients can’t figure out how to locate the topic they’re looking for, they’re outta here. And if your questions are too long and wordy, then visitors may never make it as far as the answers!
In general, there is some key pieces of advice you can follow to improve the entire structure of your FAQ page.
• Group your questions. Grouping your question topics together is one of those things that you need to do because your website visitors will expect you to do it.
Imagine a potential client visiting your FAQ page in hopes of finding out if you treat their particular condition/illness (which you do). They read two questions that reference your two other specialties before the page moves onto a question about insurance. It doesn’t matter if there’s still a question that addresses his concern later on in the page – he’s going to assume there’s not because it wasn’t grouped properly with the other questions, and he’ll leave unconvinced.
• Keep your questions to-the-point. While you want to make sure you’re being as clear as possible with your questions, make sure you’re not asking them (no pun intended) to do too much work. Questions act like headings in your FAQ page – people will skim them to locate the section where they want to stop and read more. So try to write them a little more like headings, keeping them concise and to-the-point without embellishing too much or circling around your point.
Hint: If at any point you notice any of your questions have started to get longer than your answers, take a step back and ask yourself if you really need 25 words to say something that should only take 10.
Remember that your space to speak in your own voice and convince your reader is in the answer.
• Anticipate their problems, but don’t generate them. As you may know, a great way to generate new ideas for your FAQ page is to put yourself in your client’s shoes. Think of your perfect client and the kind of interactions you’ve had with them, what they’ve told you about their life and their concerns, even how you’ve been able to help them… All of these things are wonderful fodder for frequently asked questions, and will no doubt help you prove to your potential clients that you both understand and care.
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However, be careful that you are not inventing new concerns for your clients that they have not expressed to you. Bringing up issues that don’t apply to your ideal client can sometimes feel like an accusation, or make you seem like you don’t actually understand them.
If the bones and core of your FAQ page are the bones, then it only makes sense that the answers are the muscle, right? After all, the way you answer your frequently asked questions largely determines what your page visitors think of you after they’re done reading.
Your answers are where you really get the chance to paint yourself and your practice in a convincing light. Show your potential clients that not only do you truly understand where they’re coming from, but also you already know how you can help. Thoughtful FAQ answers can form an emotional bond with potential clients in a way that shouldn’t be underestimated.
• Keep your tone consistent. While different questions on your FAQ page may be speaking to different readers, it’s important that they all still sound like they came from the same writer – you.
Last week, our friend Jo wrote a killer article for our summer mini-series (Write Your Way to a 6-Figure Practice) that goes into fantastic detail about why tonal consistency is important in your marketing, and how to achieve it. Check out the post here if you haven’t already!
For now, however, I’ll suffice to say that tone can make or break your FAQ page. If one answer sounds like it was written by a calm, open-armed teddy bear and the other sounds like it was written by a whistle-wielding energizer bunny, you’re not going to seem trustworthy. And in this business, your clients’ trust is as good as dollars in your pocket.
• Stay concise without cutting facts. Something important to remember about your FAQ page is that your website visitor came here to get quick answers. While it’s absolutely vital that you make sure you have answered the question (you would not believe how common this is to overlook – have a friend double-check your answers if you’re doubting!), it’s almost just as important to stay brief and relevant.
I know it feels good to have that space to reassure and comfort your potential clients, but be careful that you’re not dwelling on any particular topic for longer than you need to! Don’t make your potential clients climb through a whole lot of fluff just to get to the “quick” answers they wanted in the first place.
• Use links to save time. This tip is short and sweet, but perhaps it hasn’t occurred to you yet. Have you ever had a question that you know you should or would like to address in your FAQ page, but you already spent the time answering it somewhere else on your site? Don’t waste words – just link to the answer elsewhere on your website!
The extra link click and traffic for your own site will help your SEO, and your website visitor will thank you for helping them get to the page they actually wanted to be on.
When we talk about the “face” of your FAQ page, we’re talking about all the different ways your potential clients see your page. A visitor to your FAQ page is much more likely to only read a small portion of the page before leaving (since they are typically seeking for the answer to a singular, particular question). Therefore, making a good split-second impression through the overall attractiveness and convenience of your FAQ page is arguably just as dire here as on your homepage.
Even after making sure a link to your FAQ page is easily found in one of your site menus, there are still a couple things to keep on your radar.
• Appeal to Google with keywords. How else can your FAQ page help you search engine optimize your site and appeal more to Google? Surprise, surprise – the answer is keywords!
Keywords aren’t only useful when they’re sprinkled into your blog or other more content-heavy areas of your site. When you use keywords and keyword phrases important to practice within your FAQ answers, you are further identifying your website as a reliable and relevant resource for your ideal clients.
• Boost readability with images. Have you ever considered replacing or supplementing some of your FAQ answers with images or graphics? Readers naturally gravitate towards images over text and it can really help to visually break up a wall of text when you sprinkle in some pictures or graphics. That is, as long as the imagery is directly helping to answer the question, and not inserted simply as added flavor or fun personality.
To really make your message stick with your website visitors and to set yourself apart from the crowd, try incorporating a little imagery into your FAQ page if you can identify some answers where it would be actually helpful to the page visitor.
Okay, moment of truth – how did we do? Are you enjoying your new, healthier FAQ page? I hope so because I know your website visitors will. 🙂
If you’re still looking for more writing advice, don’t forget to check out more of our summer series, Write Your Way to a 6-Figure Practice!
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