Posted by Lee Jackson on Google+ & filed under Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

I was recently involved in an online discussion on Quora about how to most effectively capitalise on the SEO potential for FAQ pages. I thought it would be helpful to consolidate my thoughts and advice on this topic in today’s blog post.

Surprisingly few businesses have an FAQ page or FAQ section on their website, and yet the SEO potential for having such a page is outstanding. To understand why, just take a look at the basic benefits on offer:

1. Enhanced listings in Google search results

2. Higher rankings in search results pages

3. Increased quality traffic

4. Increase in ‘sticky’ traffic

5. Improved credibility

And that’s just a start! Let me briefly explain how these benefits can be realised, and what the best way is of making the most of them.FAQ's

1. Enhanced listings in Google search results

If you take a look at a search page on Google such as https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=good+cholesterol+level you’ll notice that somewhere on page one there’s a listing for the National Cholesterol Education Program (nhlbi.nih.gov). What you will notice about this listing though is that it has a Rich Text Snippet which includes a second link. So as well as the main URL at the top of the listing, and a text snippet underneath, there is a second link in the form of a ‘Jump to’ link. This link is extremely powerful, and stands a high chance of increasing click through rates.

Although there are several ways of enhancing your Google listing using Rich Text Snippets, an FAQ page offers a golden opportunity. Let’s say you have a list of questions at the top of your page, and further down you have each question copied out as an <H2> heading, with the answer below. Assuming that each of the questions at the top of the page links to a named anchor further down the page, you have the potential for having an enhanced Google listing. Google includes named anchor links in search results, and a well produced FAQ page means that key questions people are likely to be wanting to know answers to will be included as links directly in the search results. Effectively all you need is to make sure your questions at the top link to named anchors further down, with those named anchors attached to <H2> headings.

2. Higher rankings in search results pages

There’s some division of opinion on this one (as you may note from the Quora discussion!) and this really stems from whether your FAQ page is going to cover a small, specific niche area of your business, or whether it’s going to cover a broader range of topics, all of which fall within your market niche. So for example, I could develop an FAQ page which is specifically about PPC advertising, or I could have a larger page which covers PPC and a whole range of other SEO marketing topics. In both cases there’s a very good chance that if the content is well written and expertly optimised it will gain a high position in the search results.

However, it’s more likely that the PPC FAQ page will rank higher within this category than my more general FAQ page. Of course, one option is to have a different FAQ page for each sub topic, with all of these separate FAQ pages brought together under one FAQ topic page. However, there is of course the danger that by placing too many clicks between the landing page and the page with the answers on that you will lose your visitors’ attention.

3. Increased quality traffic

FAQ pages are designed to answer questions. Most people carrying out searches online are asking questions. It goes almost without saying that if your FAQ page has been designed to cover the most popular questions in your market, you will see a higher proportion of traffic coming in from people who are genuinely wanting to read the answers you’re providing, increasing the overall quality of your traffic.

4. Increase in ‘sticky’ traffic

Still sadly overlooked by many, but increasing sticky traffic is critical now that Google analyses the behaviour of visitors coming to your site, demoting your site’s rank and authority if too many short visits or bounces are observed. With an FAQ page you are more likely to retain visitors for longer as they not only read the answer to the question they were asking, but perhaps go on to read more about the subject. FAQ pages have the ability to hold traffic on the page for much longer than most web pages.

5. Improved credibility

I wrote a blog post recently about how to improve your online brand credibility, and one way of achieving this is certainly by developing high quality FAQ pages. People bookmark FAQ pages, they quote from them, link to them and share them. Having an FAQ page makes it clear to all your visitors that you know your stuff, you understand your market clearly, and that you are so dedicated to helping and supporting people that you have put the effort in to providing free advice in an easy to access form.

Of course, an FAQ page can also reduce the number of times you get emails coming in asking the same things over and over again, which can free you up slightly.

To read the discussion on Quora, or to join in, visit http://www.quora.com/What-are-SEO-best-practices-for-FAQ-pages, or if you have any immediate thoughts or questions pop them in the comments box below. If you liked this post please Google+1 it, or share it using the buttons at the top of the page.

 

 

One Response to “How To Maximise The SEO Potential Of Your FAQ Page”

  1. Radina Disheva says:

    The title is very misleading, Lee. You only listed the benefits of having an FAQ page, but where’s the “How To Maximise The SEO Potential ..” part?

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