Writing A Business Website FAQ

By: Joel Walsh

Everyone on the web thinks they can write a FAQ. But then whyare so many FAQs so lacking? How often have you read a FAQ andthought, "that didn't tell me anything I needed to know!"?

Two Worst FAQ Writing Faux Pas

* Many websites don't separate their FAQs for existing customerswho need support from their FAQs for prospective customers whojust want the information they need in order to decide whetherand how to buy.

* Many websites that do provide a special pre-sales FAQ turn itinto yet another advertisement--ugh! Your prospective customersneed pre-sales information that truly helps them come to adecision.

Tips for Writing a Pre-Sales/Marketing FAQ:

* You should divide your FAQ into sections that will make senseto a prospective customer. Naturally, what sections you use willdepend on the content of your own website and the nature of yourbusiness.

* If you have a complex business or website with many productsand services and/or options for them, you may need to have a FAQthat is very long. Traditionally, webmasters would simply createone very long page for the very long FAQ. However, very longpages are almost never good web practice from a search-enginepoint of view. Multiple medium-length pages will get you moresearch engine traffic than one long page. If you have a FAQ thatwould go over 1000 words, you should put each section on its ownpage, and have one front page with a table of contents for theentire FAQ, linking to each section and providing a list of thequestions in that section.

* Usually, a FAQ will have a list of all the questions up top,with links to the questions within the page, sort of a table ofcontents. If you have a briefer FAQ, you don't need this.

* Keep your answers brief. If an answer requires more than twoparagraphs, you should create an entire web page for it, andsimply provide a link to that page in the FAQ answer.

* Your answers should cast you in the best possible light whilestill being believable. Do not confuse this FAQ for prospectivecustomers with the more common support FAQ! You do not want yourprospective customers to see a laundry list of everything thatcould conceivably go wrong with your product or service.

* In order to keep your FAQ believable and informative, do notfill it with marketese and hype. Keep the exclamation points toa minimum! Yes, you want to portray yourself in the bestpossible light--but the best possible believable and informativelight.

In the end, remember this: your web visitors who read your FAQare among the most qualified, interested prospects on your site.If your FAQ lacks your site may lack sales

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