If you have a website that’s been around awhile, chances are you have an FAQ page. But even if you’re diligent about keeping your FAQ current with real questions your customers and prospects are asking, it’s not doing much in terms of traffic and Google search rankings. If you want to drive more traffic to your website, it’s time to turn that FAQ into a full-fledged blog.
Sounds hard? Overwhelming? The good news is that you’ve already won half the battle, because the hardest part for most people is coming up with blog post ideas. Every question in your FAQ is a blog title waiting to happen, so all you have to do is dive a few hundred words deeper into each answer (easy – you know your business best!) and put the right keywords in the right places. You’ll have a living, breathing blog in no time, and Google will reward you with more traffic.
Why an FAQ Page Doesn’t Bring Traffic to Your Site
See, an FAQ page is just that — a page. One static, humdrum HTML page filled with text that maybe you edit from time to time, but nothing else really changes. The URL doesn’t change, the page title doesn’t change, the meta description stays the same, and it probably doesn’t have any links on it. Google is so busy indexing sites where things are actually happening, that it doesn’t think to come back to your lonely FAQ and see if you have anything new to say.
Google wants to serve up the most relevant results to its users, so it’s looking for elements such as a page URL, title, and meta description that matches the search, in addition to the page content itself. Let’s dissect what happens when I search “juicing recipes for kids:”
While I’ve only included the top 3 results, I can assure you there wasn’t one FAQ in the four pages I perused (though there are 1.26 billion FAQ pages online, according to Google). So even if you have an FAQ with a great answer about the best juice recipes for kids, I’d never be able to find it because the bloggers have outsmarted you. Now let’s look at how they did it.
A Blog Gives You Google Authorship
Did you notice the first result with the blog author’s photo? This is something Google started called Authorship, which rewards bloggers who verify their content by bumping them way up in search results. By linking your Google Plus account to your blog, their algorithm sees you as an authority in your topic, and someone more likely to answer their users’ questions.
While it may seem confusing and like a pain in the ass to set up, it’s really just a matter of creating yet another account and uploading a nice photo of yourself. The
good great news is you’ll be a few steps ahead of your competition, who probably haven’t a clue about this Google perk. And you’ll be ready to use Google Plus, which I will get into the importance of in another post.
A Blog Allows for Page Titles and URLs With Relevant Keywords
Your page titles and page addresses are super important when it comes to optimizing your website. Titles stand out more than anything else in Google’s search results: they are the big blue call-to-action links that all of us click on, several times a day!
With a static FAQ page that covers many topics, the title might be “Juicing Incorporated – FAQ” and maybe the URL is “www.juicingincorporated.com/faq.htm.” Neither tells the user anything about whether you’re going to answer their question, so why would they click on it (if it even appears in the results, which it won’t).
Blog tools like WordPress and HubSpot automatically take your blog title and turn it into the page title and the URL, making it easy for Google to know what your page is about. Brilliant, and really vital for better search rankings.
A Blog Gives You Meta Description Variety
Oh, why do they have to use words like “meta?” I think it’s meant to confuse us and make us hire SEO experts, but you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to a consultant, because it’s actually simple. If you take a look at that kids juicing search again, the meta description is the “under the hood” code which tells the reader what your page is about. Unlike an FAQ page, you can change the meta for each blog post and provide a summary of its content — this makes Google happy, and more likely to show you in their results.
Think of your meta description as a slightly longer Tweet, and keep it under 155 characters. Again, blog tools like WordPress and HubSpot have tips and SEO plugins that tell you where to put this information, if you’ve written too much, or if you’ve forgotten to include your target keywords.
A Blog Encourages Sharing
Have you noticed that every blog post you read includes social sharing buttons? Sure, you could put these on your FAQ page, but who would share a whole page of questions and answers with their friends? With a blog, you’ve written about a specific topic, so your readers are much more likely to send it to people who share their concerns or who would benefit from your product or service.
So what do you think? In upcoming posts I will show you real-life analytics that prove blogging the answers to your customers questions really can drive more traffic to your website. It’s so cool, and kind of magical. :)
Photo credit: @gapingvoid