Are FAQ Pages A Wasted SEO Opportunity?

Yesterday’s WebProNews included an article on FAQ pages and how they can be used to boost your rankings within Google. If you have been frustrated with your current SEO strategies then it may have made you sit up and think more on the subject. Are they a wasted SEO opportunity? Let’s see.

I think in the first place, FAQ pages are in the main wasted customer service opportunities. I see a lot of FAQ pages as I traverse the internet and many of them appear to be FAQ pages for the sake of having a FAQ page – not pages designed to help readers or customers. They answer two or three questions and that’s it.

Smart business owners look at what a FAQ actually is – Frequently Asked Question. In fact, the FAQ page was initially introduced to save time. Why answer the same question 100 times when you can publish the question and answer on a dedicated page.

If you are a smarter business owner then you will be looking at questions that searchers may ask and including them. There is a lot being written about semantic search but let’s forget about that – let’s instead look at current search technology. This is where SEO can get a boost when it comes to FAQ pages – there are however down sides that I will come to later.

With current search technologies, the words used in the search – called a search query or long tail search query, is what the search engine will look for. A user may search using a “how do I……” type question. If your FAQ page has a matching question and answer then it may well appear in the results – perhaps even at number one. That’s great. You have solved a problem for a user.

FAQ pages tend to have a lot of long tail keyphrases – they also have a high repetition rate for keywords, brands and product names. FAQ pages are also more likely to be linked to by your everyday user, particularly bloggers and from within social communities. This means your FAQ page could rank quite highly in SERP’s.

There are two dangers or down sides to ranking well. The first is that your FAQ pages may end up outranking your sales pages. In other words, your FAQ pages could dominate the search results for your keywords.

The second downside, which relates directly to the first, is that FAQ pages are not sales pages. People will visit FAQ pages to look for answers – not to buy products. If they are looking to buy products and your FAQ pages dominate the SERP’s then they may not draw the clicks you are looking for.

If this does become a problem then you will need to ensure that your FAQ pages include strong call-to-action points that take prospective customers to a sales page.

FAQ pages are a wasted SEO opportunity. Too often web site owners pay lip service to a FAQ page when it could provide a lot of value to searchers. FAQ pages can rank highly leading to increased organic traffic – cleverly linked, that high rank can pass link juice to the rest of your site increasing the overall ranking of your website. Every business can publish a FAQ page and I do mean every business! If you sat down for five minutes I am sure you could come up with 20-30 questions about your product or service – turn them into search friendly questions and publish them – what have you got to lose.

There are many opportunities available to increase a sites presence within a search engine. The use of FAQ pages is just one of them. If I were to disagree with the WebProNews article – it would be in the title. The use of FAQ pages can increase your rankings in all search engines, not just Google. As a part of web site SEO, they are almost a must do.

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