How To Use FAQs To Rank Your Pages In Google
When discussing different types of webpages in terms of their SEO potential, we rarely talk about FAQ pages. They’re usually considered to be almost exclusively functional, and they’re rarely seen as pages that could perform well SEO-wise.
This is a mistake! Especially if we’re also talking about FAQ sections that can be added to pages, and not just pages dedicated solely to FAQ.
In this article, we will be covering both – the “pure” FAQ pages that answer general questions visitors may have about a website or products/services, as well as the FAQ sections that you can add to other pages, such as blog posts or action-oriented landing pages.
Pure FAQ Pages
Before we get into what you can actually achieve with your general FAQ pages in terms of SEO, it’s important to point out one thing – it will never be your primary area of focus. Nor should it be. A FAQ page will still mostly be about the customer experience and guiding people with questions to more actionable pages and conversion steps.
However, if you can get them ranking for certain keywords, why wouldn’t you?
Do an Audit and Find Opportunities
The first thing you’ll want to do is to audit your existing FAQ page, or, if you do not have one, plan what you will include on it.
Once again, the primary function of your FAQ page is to actually provide answers to the most commonly asked questions. This should always be your main focus. Talk to your customer support people and find out what people are asking. Use natural, conversational language. Put yourself in their shoes.
If you already have a FAQ page, run a keyword audit and find out if your FAQ page may be ranking for certain non-brand keywords. You’d be surprised how often this happens without people actually realizing it. You can use the Google Search Console, but for a more comprehensive keyword audit, it’s best to use a tool such as Ahrefs, for example.
If you have keywords you are ranking for, think of a way to improve your copy and put more emphasis on those keywords. Perhaps you can create an entire subsection where you cover a specific topic with an enhanced focus on a certain key phrase.
Evolving Your FAQ Page
Evolving your FAQ page into a whole section with different pages covering different topics is another idea you can try out. This will help your visitors find what they’re looking for more quickly, and it can also help you focus closely on certain non-brand keywords.
Another way to do your FAQ section of the website is in the form of blog posts that people can click on instead of simply providing short answers to their questions (like Buffer’s help center). This requires quite a bit of time and effort to put in practice, but it can be a great way to add structure to a series of helpful posts that can be individually optimized for certain keywords that make sense.
The important thing to remember is that you need to guide this new traffic from FAQ pages to more actionable pages where they can convert into customers. How you do this will depend on the nature of your website and your product.
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FAQ Sections in Blog Posts
Another way to use FAQs to rank your pages in Google is to add FAQ sections in other types of content, such as blog posts. Here are a few solid examples:
- You can write entire blog posts that revolve around answering certain questions – like this post from Eachnight.
- You can add a section at the end of an informative blog post – like in this post from Somnifix.
- Some question-and-answer posts go a step further and add various charts, videos, and other visual aids to answer the questions people might have about a certain topic. You can see a great example in this post from LFA Capsule Fillers.
On the other hand, this article on hydration from Elemental Labs could be an example of a missed opportunity. It’s the perfect kind of content that would work in the form of a FAQ. It is written very well, with scientific facts backing it, but could it have fared better in question-answer form? Here are some ideas:
- Why is hydration important?
- How much water should you drink?
- Can you hydrate too much?
- What happens when you drink too much water?
These are all questions with a lot of search volume, and they are far easier to rank for than just benefits of hydration or generic key phrases like that. Also, this would increase their chances of getting featured snippets for these important questions.
There are a whole number of ways in which this type of content can help you rank on Google.
Cracking Competitive Keywords
It can be extremely difficult to start ranking for certain keywords and groups of keywords without spending months on building links (without guarantees it will work 100% of the time). By doing a FAQ-oriented blog post on the topic, you can start “infiltrating” the results.
First, you will start ranking for questions on the topic (Ahrefs has a great feature for this).
As questions are usually less competitive keywords, you will be able to rise in rankings relatively quickly and without backlinking.
Then, as Google realizes you are answering the questions the right way, your rankings for non-question keywords surrounding the topic will rise too.
Ranking for Position 0 and Voice Search
Position 0 (P0 for short) has been a hotly debated topic for a while now. On the one hand, getting your content as a featured snippet is a great way to gain SERP visibility. On the other, people who get an answer this way are less likely to actually visit your website.
When you weigh it all, in most cases, ranking for P0 will be a good thing.
With a FAQ-style post, getting those P0s will be much easier than with “traditional” content. Once again, it’s about lower competitiveness of questions and the ability to provide succinct, actionable answers that Google has gotten really good at recognizing.
This is especially true if you decide to employ the FAQ structured data markup. This article from Neil Patel covers this topic extensively (with the aforementioned debate in the comments, for good measure).
Another reason why P0 will matter even more in the future is that virtual assistants such as Alexa serve P0 results in response to voice searches. With voice searches poised to become more and more important in the years to come, this is something you can’t ignore.
You may also want to read: 6 Trust Factors That Strengthen Brand Loyalty
Easily Adding Content
Another great feature of FAQ-based content is that it’s very easy to add more of it if you discover new opportunities for ranking. It’s as simple as adding a question and an answer. By updating your content regularly and showing Google that you are doing it, you’re giving the search engines another signal that this is a relevant page with up-to-date content.
This will also have beneficial effects on the SEO performance of the page.
FAQ pages can be used to boost your SERPs, especially if we’re talking about FAQ-supported blog posts that can help you rank for some truly competitive search terms. Even the boring old “pure” FAQ pages can be put to good use if there’s an opening you can use to your advantage.
The important thing is not to consider them as afterthoughts.
Editor’s note: If FAQ’s aid acquisition, a Knowledge Base aids retention. Our article tomorrow will help you to build your own Knowledge Base. Please come back in a day. It’s a highly complementary article for your business.
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