Good insight. In my area of coaching, i find that potential clients often have the same key question they need to get answers to before deciding to contact me. This is where a FAQ comes in handy. Of course, actually answering the real questions and not the ones you think potential clients should have is important.
Adding a FAQ Page to Your Website Can Get You More Clients & Save Time
If your answer is “no,” you could be losing potential clients and wasting valuable time.
In this post, we’ll discuss an easy way to add a FAQ link to your business blog. We’ll also talk about the information you should include on your FAQ page.
What Is a FAQ Page?
You may have seen FAQ pages before on technical websites or on customer service sites. FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions.
Simply put, a FAQ page or link answers the questions that your clients are most likely to ask. In fact, it’s one of the essential pages you should include on your website.
A FAQ Page Saves You Time
You remember all of those times you wasted answering the same questions over and over again?
- Do you accept rush jobs?
- What is your work philosophy?
- What type of freelancing do you do?
- How did you get started?
- Why do I have to pay 1/2 the price of the job up front?
- Can I publish your blog post on my website?
Sure, you can and should respond to every serious email from a potential client. But, imagine that all of your best answers to those pesky repeat questions were already written and all you had to do when faced with one of them was to refer the questioners to those pre-written answers.
It would save you a lot of time, wouldn’t it?
Guess what? A FAQ page puts the answers to all those questions that you hate answering at the tip of your fingers. You can quote them in an email or simply refer your potential clients to the URL of your FAQs.
A FAQ Section Gets You More Clients
How can a FAQ section get you more clients?
Simple. It’s one more place to list your contact information.
FAQs are popular reads for prospective clients who want to learn more about how your business operates without bothering you directly.
Once they have gotten enough information, they are ready to contact you. Including your contact information in FAQs (even if it appears elsewhere on your blog) can be the key to getting a project.
Two Ways to Create a FAQ Pages
If you can, create a single Frequently Asked Questions page that contains all of your questions and answers. This is especially effective if your list of FAQs is relatively short. (For longer lists, you may want to create a FAQ TOC and use anchors to link to each individual topic on the page.)
If you use WordPress as the content management system for your business blog and your theme allows your categories to be included in the navigation of your site, you can create a FAQ “page” simply by tagging certain posts with the FAQ category. When a visitor to your site clicks on the FAQ navigation link, he or she sees a linked list of all posts tagged with the FAQ category and can simply click on the link that answers the question that he or she had in mind.
Common Information to Include on Your FAQ Page
Basically, any information that someone might want to know before hiring a freelancer can be included on the FAQ. However, the FAQ doesn’t replace your About page or any other page that is already on your site. This is one time when repetition is okay. The FAQ is a shortcut for your prospective client that allows them to hone in on the exact question that they had.
Here are some common questions that prospective clients often want to know:
- How much do you charge? While you probably quote projects on an individual basis, your prospective client wants to know if they can afford you. If you have a minimum below which you will not go, this is a good place to put it. You can also write out your payment philosophy here.
- What payment terms do you require? This is a good place to explain that you require a deposit up front, and how much of a deposit you require.
- How can I reach you? Despite the fact that you probably have your contact information listed in multiple places on your site, include it once more here.
- Do you accept rush jobs? Here is a good place to state your rush job policy. Do you encourage them?
- Do you charge extra for…? Write it out and list it in your FAQs.
- Where can I see your samples? This question provides a great opportunity to link to your portfolio.
To get a really good idea of what questions to include in your FAQ, look over your email responses to clients (and others) for the past few months. Are there a few questions that you find yourself answering over and over again? Be sure to include those topics in your FAQs as well, even if some of them seem silly to you.
What About You?
Do you have a FAQ page on your website? What questions do you include?
Share your answers in the comments.
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October 21st, 2010 at 8:51 am
October 21st, 2010 at 8:51 am
I actually never thought about putting up my own FAQ page, but it definitely makes sense to have one, since I use them a lot on other websites. I can also see how this could save time and effort since you don’t have to answering the same question 10 times over.
Thanks for the tip =)
October 21st, 2010 at 9:11 am
If your website is a sales/lead tool, your copy should answer those questions, in other words your entire website is one big FAQ site!
Go to http://www.copyblogger.com and spend some time reading through their articles on sales copy if you feel converting FAQ’s to lead-oriented text would be too difficult…they’re a great resource.
However, if your website is support-related, then a FAQ’s or Knowledge Base articles are more appropriate.
October 21st, 2010 at 9:38 am
Laura, I’ve been waiting for this one since Lexi wrote the “essential pages” post! I am in the process of developing an FAQ and have been researching good questions to post!
You bring up a good point. Many prospective clients might skip right over me because they don’t want to spend the time contacting me directly about a question they have. Such as “rush jobs”. They obviously are running out of time…answering their question on the site will save them time and let them know if it fits into their budget/schedule.
Thanks for the tips; this is a great post!
October 21st, 2010 at 10:06 am
a timely article, thanks. A FAQ page can also aid in higher rankings in search engines, especially if you’re answering the most common questions people ask about your particular products or services
October 21st, 2010 at 10:07 am
What a great and simple idea! I’m going to put it on my list of to-dos for my portfolio. A FAQ is actually the first place I go when I’m researching a business or service, so it makes sense that my own clients would do the same. Thanks!
October 21st, 2010 at 10:36 am
Yes, an FAQ page is definitely a must for all freelancers and businesses. I think it really helps out some people that might be a little too shy or hesitant to ask some “dumb” questions (of course no question is ever dumb). Having this page on your site makes them feel more comfortable. It also might trigger a whole other list of questions that they might not have even thought about. It’s hard to ask a question when you don’t know much about the subject (that’s why they are hiring you).
One thing that I don’t quite agree with is about posting prices. Even though I think it’s good in some instances, I think it also opens up the door for problems with your competitors and them undercutting you. Also, people that are only price driven will more than likely take that info and shop around with it. It doesn’t matter how good you are if they are only looking at price. If you do not post prices a truly serious person will contact you for more information, including your pricing.
October 21st, 2010 at 10:36 am
Really helpful content. Cheers..
October 21st, 2010 at 10:38 am
Eduard – People Skills Decoded and Create My Mind Movie, I’ve found this to be a great time saver on my own site. Plus, clients like have that FAQ link.
Stephan, I respectfully disagree. I think CopyBlogger’s advice is really great for a product landing page or a very small site that only contains a few pages. However, this advice is geared towards the typical freelancing site which can have a blog, a portfolio, an about page, etc. Note, that the FAQ section doesn’t replace the marketing copy. It merely supplements it by presenting the same information in a different way. Plus, some clients look for this page.
Jen @ Adrinah Design and Lauren Dugan, I’m so glad we were able to help you out. When you’re ready, share a link to your FAQ page. :)
Roger, I’m not exactly sure how a FAQ page will help search engine ranking. I mean, I guess if your business name is mentioned often there it could help. That makes sense. Can you provide more insight on this?
October 21st, 2010 at 10:40 am
Good information, thx!
It can also help to think about FAQ-as-objection-handling–at least, for those objections that fall into the “I just need to know a little more about…” category.
Which reminds me…. I need one…
October 21st, 2010 at 10:43 am
Whoa Chris @ SyracuseCS and Balagopal P, We must have been commenting at exactly the same time.
Chris @ SyracuseCS Thanks for chiming in to support a FAQ page. I’m not really in favor of posting specific prices either, but I’ve found it helps to have a range or minimum price included somewhere on your site. The FAQ page can be ideal for that. These weeds out those clients who are only willing to pay a few dollars for your work. But, you’re right. There are some downsides to it as well.
October 21st, 2010 at 12:43 pm
I’ve never thought about including a FAQ page either but after reading this, I think it may be something I take a deeper look at. Thanks!
October 21st, 2010 at 5:12 pm
Karen Tiede, @Adam Bluhm, I think they are helpful. I know some clients look for them.
Jen @ Adrinah Design, It looks good to me. If you find yourself answering a lot of the same question over and over, you can add that topic. :)
October 21st, 2010 at 5:20 pm
Jen @ Adrinah Design – Looks good to me too. Another thing that you could do is add a link on your contact page to point to your FAQ page. “Have you checked out our FAQ’s?”…or something like that. It might help direct people to your new page.
October 21st, 2010 at 6:21 pm
That clenches it. I’ve been considering adding an FAQ to my new site design. And now I absolutely will. I get about a half dozen questions from every customer I get. It’s a no-brainer.
KostasNiOctober 21st, 2010 at 7:45 pm
I will have to agree with Stephan, FAQs are overused and often useless on sites. Yes, they sometimes are helpful (some examples are mentioned in this article) but more often they are used: a) For questions never really asked but wish were asked, b) As a selling tool, c) To include stuff that did not fit anywhere else on the site.
Stephen Gracey wrote a great article on A List Apart a few months ago: Infrequently Asked Questions of FAQs
Relly Annett-Baker followed up on the Boagworld podcast, that you can listen here (it’s at around 8:00)
October 21st, 2010 at 8:06 pm
Good job Todd G. If you’d like, you can share the link when you’re done.
KostasNi, Thanks for sharing the link. I think that article works well as a follow up to this post. This post explains why FAQs are important (and how they can be helpful). That article explains how to create more usable FAQs. Two different topics, but related to be sure.
October 21st, 2010 at 8:51 pm
Thanks Laura for the FAQ tips! I actually have a FAQ page ready for my site but didn’t know what other Q&As to add to it. But thanks to your post, I’ve got my eyes set on fixing it up again.
October 21st, 2010 at 9:48 pm
I do not currently have a FAQ page on my blog or web site. After reading this post I will be adding them. Thanks for the good, useful information. I am sure your advice will make my readers happier.
October 21st, 2010 at 11:57 pm
I’ve had one since the get-go. I find that it helps some, but not all. No amount of info and pages, laid out intuitively or not, will help all prospective clients. Some people literally just rush for the contact page and ask everything in the e-mail. It’s like they don’t even bother to see what I do. Kinda reminds me of how I used to run a huge online guide for taking care of reptiles. People would e-mail everyday asking things like “What do you feel this lizard?” -and- “What size enclosure do I need for 5 lizards?” -and- “What type of bedding do I use and do I need lighting?”
October 22nd, 2010 at 12:43 am
Thanks for this post, Laura. I agree — FAQ pages can be very useful. While working on FAQ pages for clients, I’ve learned that:
1) It’s okay to repeat what you’ve said on other pages. Some visitors can be lazy, and you want to make it as easy as possible for them to hire you or buy your products.
2) There’s no need to answer every question customers could possibly ask. You don’t want them to know everything; you want them to know just enough that they’re interested in what you have to offer.
In fact, if you offer customized services or anything whose fees can’t just be spent on a whim, you WANT them to contact you and make a connection. If they know (or think they know) everything about your offerings, they won’t email you, and may eventually forget about you. If they have a question, they’ll email, you’ll get their contact information, and you can follow up and nurture.
Personally, I have a private FAQ which contains templates of answers to common questions. When the questions are actually asked, I copy-paste and customize.
It also matters how you structure your FAQ questions. I wouldn’t write “Why do I have to pay 1/2 the price of the job up front?” If you have to convince prospects that a deposit is necessary, they probably won’t be the right clients for you. It’s a little like adding “Why should I hire you when I can do it myself?” to your FAQ page. It’s better to rephrase it to “What percentage of the project fee do you require as a deposit?”
Sorry for the long comment. I’ve been a lurker here for far too long, so I thought it was time I chimed in. :)
October 22nd, 2010 at 1:48 am
@Maddy – Excellent points, thanks for sharing. You’re right, it makes a huge difference in how you word your FAQ questions.
This article and the comments have given me a lot to think about and some great advice.
October 22nd, 2010 at 9:49 am
@ Chris @ SyracuseCS – that’s a great idea! Thanks for the tip!
October 22nd, 2010 at 11:52 am
FAQ page. Sounds like a good idea for our upcoming website.
October 24th, 2010 at 1:37 pm
One thing I look for in a website is its FAQ page. It gives the readers more information. It addresses usability concerns of readers as well. It makes them want to come back. It can generate some search engine traffic.
Allow me to share with you an article on Building Brand Recognition Online. Hope you find these tips useful.
October 26th, 2010 at 6:10 pm
I recently started to freelance and want to start my own web design & development business. Thanks for the help and pointers. I’ll be adding a FAQ page to the site. Working on it as we speak/type… :)
October 31st, 2010 at 3:28 pm
I recently added a FAQ page to my website, thanks to this blog post. I had tossed the idea around in my head, but it wasn’t until I read this post that I was inspired to act.
Some of the questions I included in my FAQ page were:
“What is the first step I need to make if I need design work?”
“What is your payment process?”
“How do you accept payment?”
“How many revisions do I get?”
I’m interested to see how adding an FAQ page will impact my website and interactions with clients.
March 6th, 2011 at 8:23 pm
First time i visit blog. I found very interesting stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! Keep update stuff regualry.
March 16th, 2011 at 9:35 pm
Thank You for such a great idea!….
April 4th, 2011 at 7:29 pm
Hi Laura — Since Roger never came back to respond to how FAQs can benefit your search results, I figured I’d share some info.
While they won’t help you rank higher for your name, unless as you mentioned you include your business’ name several times, they can help you come up in searches for keywords on your industry. For example, one of the FAQ questions on my site is “What is the difference between copyediting, line editing and proofreading?”
Since in the response I use all three terms several times (and I also use them through out my site) they become keywords. When someone searches “what is copyediting vs. proofreading” it increases the likelihood they’ll come across my page and my explanation of exactly that.
If you make sure to address common questions customers have about your industry (like my example above) your FAQ can easily contain the exact phrase many people will search when beginning their research when considering hiring someone in your field. And being the first name they see, and providing them with an indepth answer to their question can help you secure their business.
February 29th, 2012 at 7:39 am
I have been checking out a number of amazing sites over the last few weeks. I must say this post was a great read. Thank you.
February 22nd, 2013 at 9:45 pm
With faq pages we can get more traffic as well as we can encourage visitors to stay long at website.
Recently posted: How to make FAQ page for blogger with css,jquery and Google drive?
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