The Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) format dates from the dawn of the Internet but has stood the test of time. This is because the Q&A format is a great way to get key information about your product or service across to your customers. When done right, FAQs are a very useful tool that help customers make informed buying decisions. FAQs also serve as a great source of starter content for more detailed blog posts or other articles. But what techniques are used for writing frequently asked questions?
Here are some guidelines for writing frequently asked questions that your customers will appreciate.
Some guidelines for writing frequently asked questions
- Keep it real. Make sure the questions are indeed ‘frequently asked’ and not just artificial questions that help you spruik your message. For example “Why is product x the most truly awesome widget on the market?” Avoid ‘marketing speak’.
- Finding FAQ content. When writing frequently asked questions don’t reinvent the wheel. Go through customer emails and Facebook and Twitter conversations to make sure you cover all the questions that customers have asked over time. Review you blog posts and recycle any relevant content into an FAQ format. The answers you have provided will form the basis of your FAQs. If you use a CRM review this also.
- Consider whether there are other ways of getting the information across rather than text e.g. video FAQ, diagrams, photos etc.
- Link to other relevant content from within the FAQ.
- Include illustrations and diagrams that help explains the concept
- Keep your FAQ concise and to the point. As with all writing use the active voice rather than passive e.g. Widget x costs $20.00 rather than The price of Widget X is $20.00 or Widget X attaches securely to your existing apparatus rather than Widget X is to be secured to existing apparatus.
- Categorise your FAQs especially if the list of FAQ is long. Don’t just lump them all in one long list. Use a classification system that makes sense to your customers e.g. Before your Buy, Ordering, Delivery, etc.
- Use a WordPress plugin to do the heavy lifting. A good plugin will let you create a post for each FAQ and apply categories just as you would for regular posts. You can then display categories of FAQ using shortcodes. One useful feature of a good plugin is that it will hide the question content until the visitor clicks on the question to reveal the answer. This helps save space so your answers can be quite detailed.
Here are some examples of FAQs developed by us that we believe come close to meeting all these guidelines: