How to Design a Better FAQ Page

What is the purpose of your website in one word? To answer your need

From your visitor’s perspective, this is why your website exists. They have a question.

The website’s job is to answer it. The navigation, the headers, the content, it’s all there to help them get to the answer. One common place to answer common questions? The FAQ page. Marketers don’t talk about these much, so we’re taking it on. We’re answering the most frequently asked questions about FAQ pages*.

  • Why are FAQ pages important?
  • Where to put FAQ on a website?
  • How to design an FAQ page?
  • What questions to include?

We’re also answering some rarely asked questions and finding hidden opportunities.

  • How to use heatmaps to improve your FAQ page?
  • How to use FAQ page analysis to improve your website?
  • Can you do SEO for FAQ pages?
  • What about FAQ schema?

This post and the next one answers all of these questions, has best practices for design, analysis and optimization. Why are FAQ pages important? There is a true story in the life of your visitor. Something happened, they opened a browser and they found their way to your site. Their first question is “Am I in the right place?” That question is answered at the top of the page. Just use a clear, descriptive h1 and navigation labels and you should be all set. Their second question is some variant of “Would this product/service work for me?” That question is answered in the content of the page: the text and visuals below the first page block. If they don’t see their answer, their eyes move back up to the navigation.

The FAQ page is a safety net. It’s a catch all where’s-my-answer navigation item. As long as the visitor thinks their question is common, they click and look there. The question-and-answer structure is so intuitive, you see it everywhere. From the first Dear Abby column (1956) to the latest answer on Quora (there are 100M+), Q and A is a winning format. Google knows this. The PAA box (People Also Ask) appears in 88% of all searches.

People Also Ask They are often top-visited pages on websites, attracting lots of long pageviews. It’s not widely thought that every site should have an FAQ page. Where to put FAQ on a website? The most common place is in the main navigation. Because the navigation label is just three letters, it doesn’t take much space. Here are the places your visitors will look for their answer, in order. On the page where that question popped into their mind. If they don’t see the answer on the page, they’ll look at the navigation. If they don’t see a navigation label that looks like it holds the answer, they may click on FAQ and start scanning through the list. Ideally, the question is answered on the page, but by adding FAQ in the main navigation is the “if all else fails, look here” option for the visitor.

How to design an FAQ page?

The FAQ page design, layouts and features all depend on the number of questions and depth of the content. Design the container with the content in mind. If you’re working with an FAQ page template, make sure it holds everything together nicely. Here are our five FAQ page design best practices:

  • Use clear, descriptive navigation labels
  • Prioritize questions based on popularity
  • Keep the design simple and easy to scan
  • Show contact information in case visitors get very frustrated
  • Add features (search, categorization and accordions)

if you have a lot of Q and A. Here are some guidelines: If you have fewer than 20 questions Just make a list You don’t need to group them. Prioritize them by importance. If you have 20+ questions – group similar questions together That’s because it’s hard to scan through long lists. Subheaders make content scannable. No group should have more than seven questions, if possible, because long lists are much harder to scan. If you have 50+ questions  add expandable content areas or jump links The visitor clicks to “open” each question and see the answer. In UX, these are often called “accordions” because they push down the rest of the page (unlike “overlays” which appear on top of the page) Accordions are that bit of HTML (Javascript, actually) that let you put more questions into the browser viewport, letting the visitor see more questions without scrolling through a long list. It should be possible for the visitor to see 10-20 questions without having to scroll. If you have 100+ questions add a search tool beyond grouping and accordions, you may need to add a search tool for this section. Although visitors would prefer to click (or tap) than type, search is the only way to find needles in haystacks.

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