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Why FAQs Should Be An Integral Part of Your SEO Strategy

Sep 07, 2021   |   Content, FAQ Manager, SEO
FAQ

If FAQs are not yet an integral part of your marketing and SEO strategy, they need to be. When we say this, we get a common reaction, “Really? Are they really that effective?”

Yes, they are! FAQs actually have all characteristics of a good marketing solution.  Most good business or marketing solutions have four characteristics:

  1. They are simple – sometimes unbelievably so
  2. Their timing is right
  3. They solve more than one problem or challenge
  4. They are scalable, resulting in positive ROI

Let’s walk through how FAQs align with each of the above marketing solutions characteristics.

FAQ and How-To – Simple Solutions

Let’s start with a few stats first.

  1. 80% of all searches are informational – your audience is seeking information or answers.
  2. Most marketing content focuses on transactional queries, resulting in a content gap. It is no wonder that 90% of the content created by marketers has no audience.
  3. During their annual conference, Google I/O 2021 announced that about 17% of searches every day are unique in that they have never happened before. This is a direct result of the growth of mobile search voice search on screenless devices.

These three statistics are interconnected. There is a growing disconnect between what the majority of searchers look for and the content that marketers put out. With the explosion of long-tail searches and voice searches, information-seeking queries are growing, and marketers need to find a way to reach this audience.

Businesses often choose to omit this from their marketing effort because of the cost of sustaining and creating high-quality, informative content for blog posts and articles.

Adding FAQ and How-To type content to your existing marketing landing pages is a simple solution that solves multiple challenges:

  • You can reach your audience when they are seeking information with content you already created for their transactional searches
  • Leverage the power of FAQ and How-To schema markup to saturate SERPs when your content appears in Featured Snippets, People Also Ask, Enhanced FAQ listings, and more
  • Execute with minimal design enhancements to (without having to redesign) your pages to align with evolving search algorithms like SMITH, BERT, LaMDA, and MUM
  • Achieve more impact with your content team and budget – resulting in better ROI

The Timing is Right

Search algorithms are evolving to address searchers’ needs, not just on computers and mobile devices but also on screenless devices and voice assistants. This has resulted in a number of SERP enhancements that answer searchers’ questions.

Nearly 25% of SERPs are devoted to answering questions

Milestone research on 575 sites we manage across industries shows that nearly one-fourth of SERPs today are devoted to answering questions.

Most of these SERP features appear in the first fold – above the #1 listing. Answering questions by adding FAQs to your pages can help you appear more frequently in these listings.

Seen another way, if you are not answering questions, you are virtually taking yourself out of contention from a fourth of page 1 listings!

Leverage the SMITH algorithm

With the SMITH algorithm, Google can process entire pages. If the content that matches a query is not at the top of the page, Google now lands searchers at the part of the page that meets their query. This means that you can leverage your transactional landing pages to also meet the need for informational searches by adding FAQs to these pages.

FAQs are connected to other aspects of SEO

A solution that integrates multiple aspects of SEO has the best chance of driving positive ROI:

  • When content is marked up with error-free advanced schema, your chances of appearing in SERP enhancements like Featured Snippets, People Also Ask, and Enhanced FAQ listings go up, helping you maximize SERP visibility.
  • FAQs can also be leveraged to develop an internal linking strategy, creating topical hubs, and maximizing engagement by guiding visitors through your site.
  • Adding FAQs to your existing pages is an effective way to deliver a more comprehensive experience to your audience with just a few design enhancements to create a placeholder for your FAQs. There is no need to create new pages and designs, saving precious resources.

Adding FAQs to your landing pages is great by itself, but you can take the strategy even further:

  • You can also publish your FAQs on your Google My Business listings before local guides answer your audience’s questions. Control the messaging with your brand voice while also maximizing local visibility. Having the same answer on your site and local profiles ensures consistent messaging for your audience across touchpoints.
  • Searches on voice assistants and screenless devices keep increasing with each passing month and year. By publishing your FAQs on voice assistants, you make your content future-ready.

10 Tips for getting voice ready with your FAQ strategy

  1. Build your site to incorporate mobile-first best practices
  2. If you haven’t already, make sure you provide safe browsing by going HTTPS
  3. Focus on page speed & experience
  4. Create local listings
  5. Make question research a part of your keyword research
  6. Research your competitors’ rich results
  7. Keep your content conversational
  8. Use structured data to markup your content with FAQ and How-To schema
  9. Leverage FAQs to strengthen your internal linking structure
  10. Also, publish your FAQs on Google my Business and Voice Assistants

With Milestone’s FAQ Manager, FAQs are scalable

If you are only deploying a handful of FAQs on a few landing pages, they can be deployed on the page through the CMS. But as you scale the strategy, the complexity starts growing.

  • Deploying hundreds of FAQs at scale
  • Marking up the content with FAQ schema markup in real-time
  • Taking your FAQs to your Google My Business profiles – including deciding which FAQs to deploy at a corporate level and which to deploy at an individual location profile
  • Publishing FAQs on voice assistants
  • Finally, if and when the answer to a question changes, it makes sure the answers are updated consistently across channels

Milestone’s FAQ Manager helps you centrally manage all your FAQs at scale

  • Find and curate questions being asked on Google search, Google My Business, and People Also Ask into a central repository
  • Bulk upload questions identified through independent keyword research
  • Answer questions in a central location with workflows allowing you to manage reviews and approvals
  • Publish on a single page, multiple pages, a single GMB listing, or across multiple locations and voice assistants.
  • Your FAQs can also power AI chatbots if you use them
  • When the answer to a question needs to be updated, you can edit it in one place and publish it at every touchpoint with the press of a button
  • Get performance reporting across metrics to demonstrate the impact of your FAQ strategy and scale

Milestone FAQ Manager is an end-to-end FAQ management solution where businesses can take control. Create, update & publish verified answers or Q&As to multiple locations, channels, and voice assistants.

When you are ready for your content to get picked for rich results, voice answers, improve your local rankings, and build a consistent brand image; FAQ Manager can help. Please send us an email at [email protected] or call us at +1 408 200 2211

References:

Ask our experts

  • What are FAQs and why do businesses need them?

    FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions, as the name suggests, are those questions that are commonly asked by customers or potential customers. Instead of repeatedly answering each query, businesses can publish these common questions on their websites, local directories (such as Google My Business, Yelp) or to voice assistants. Therefore, customers can discover the answers to their questions even before they ask. Here are some reasons why publishing FAQs is a MUST today:

    • Voice Search: The question & answer format of FAQs match the conversational answer type of voice search. Therefore, there are higher chances of FAQs getting picked as a preferred voice answer.
    • Consistent Brand Image: Customers use multiple channels to look up for answers about business. If FAQs are managed well and are consistent across all channels, that builds trust among customers while building a consistent answer about the brand.
    • Customer Experience: Searching and not finding answers about a business can get frustrating. By proactively answering common questions, businesses deliver a superior experience to customers looking for answers.
    • Reduce Support Time: By publishing answers to commonly asked questions, businesses can reduce the time spent by sales & support teams on individually answering the same question to multiple customers.
    • SEO: FAQs provide great content for SEO purposes and help improve rankings in conventional search.

    Milestone FAQ Manager helps you realize these benefits of effective FAQ management while removing all complexities that are involved in manually managing FAQs across digital channels for multiple locations of your business. The FAQ Manager is an end-to-end FAQ management solution that lets businesses curate customer questions across channels & locations; and helps publish verified answers to voice assistants and other channels.

  • Are Local Questions & Answers Important?

    According to a ComScore Study, 88 percent of smartphone users and 84 percent of tablet owners conduct local searches which are focused around hours of services, directions to the business, address of the business and queries related to product availability. Ensuring that you have FAQs that are locally flavored are integral if you wish to be found by potential customers easily. Of course, not having such content will just add to the frustration of a potential customer and you’ll end up losing potential sales. Monitoring your GMB Q&A and that of other local directories is essential to ensure that you know the needs of your customers and address their concerns in a timely manner.

  • How should you structure an FAQ?

    When building your FAQ page, you want to focus on creating a page that is easily read by your target audience. They should be able to find the answers they seek quickly and efficiently. You can use a few different structuring options.

    The two most common options are to organize the FAQs by topic or to just create a list. The list option tends to work best if you will only have a few FAQs so that customers can quickly find your answers that apply to them.

    If you choose to group questions by topic, you can organize them according to the target audience, areas of service, or other groupings that make sense for your business. If you have a high number of FAQs, you might also find it helpful to include a search feature on your FAQ page to help customers find the answers that matter to them the most.

    As you write the FAQs, you want to then structure the answer according to SEO best practices. This means:
    • Mimicking customer language
    • Answering the question early on the answer so that customers find what they seek
    • Making the answer easy to quickly read and digest, rather than a wall of text
  • What makes a good FAQ page?

    A good FAQ page will be useful and provide immediate value to your customer. This means that you should follow these best practices:

    • Provide an answer quickly and clearly for your audience. Requiring them to click around to other pages or not answering the question until halfway down the page will not create a good user experience.
    • Focus on topics and questions customers actually want to know. Do not just make up questions to fill up a long page of text, as this can make it harder to find the relevant questions.
    • Use a question and answer format. This makes it easy for the customer to find answers to their questions.
    • Write answers that are concise and easy to digest. Using text formats that are easy to scan, such as lists, can help customers quickly absorb the information they wanted to find.
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