SEO Your FAQ Section

A wealth of content opportunities

to soft sell your business

Your “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) section on your website is undoubtedly one of the most visited pages on your site. It’s a straightforward way for curious readers to find the answers to their questions about your business and its offerings. Your FAQ page is an indispensable element of your overall customer care strategy.

In addition to providing a wealth of helpful information for your visitors, your FAQ section can pull double duty as a means of getting your website to rank high on search engine result pages (SERPs). Appearing high on the SERPs will drive new traffic to your website. You can get your FAQ pages to appear high in the SERPs by leveraging their content to gain greater exposure for your keywords.

How can you utilize your FAQ section to drive more traffic (which can translate to sales) to your website? Of course your FAQs need to be written in clear and uncomplicated terms but using some search engine optimization strategy on the page will help it come up contextually in an Internet search.

Anatomy of an FAQ Section

Let’s dissect a typical FAQ page into its individual components to discover how to optimize each so that it will help the page itself be ranked high in searches.

  • Heading - Title your page descriptively, being certain to use keywords in it. When the title is displayed as a heading in the page’s code, the search engine is even more likely to discover it.

Example: Instead of the heading on the page reading a generic FAQs, name it using a keyword or two about your services, such as, FAQs About Care for Curly Hair. By embellishing the heading title with the keywords Curly and Hair, the search engine can latch onto those words which describe your services and display them in its results.

  • URL – The URL of the page displayed in the web address box is an important way that search engines locate information. Rather than a default URL that may be automatically generated by your website’s content management system (CMS), customize yours to include the actual page title.

Example: Your content management system will create a “name” for each page of your website automatically but it may consist of numbers, letters and characters that have meaning only to your CMS itself. You can manually access this system and change the default URL to include whatever you have named your individual pages. A search engine friendly URL will look like this: www.hairaplenty.com/FAQ-care-curly-hair. By using actual words, the search engines will find your keywords.

  • Questions and Answers – When crafting your frequently asked questions and their answers, be sure to include your keywords, as appropriate.

Example: To a reasonable extent, make certain to utilize your keywords generously so they will be present on the page when the search engine spiders crawl your content. Instead of a question reading, “Do you do bridal styles?” try something like, “Does Hair-a-Plenty do bridal hair styles for wedding parties?” Those extra uses of your keywords will help your FAQs appear in SERPs for your keywords Hair-a-Plenty, bridal hair styles and wedding parties.

  • Anchor text - When linking to other pages on your website, be sure to create your links on your actual keywords.

Example: Rather than linking to the words, click here, click to the keywords that actually describe the link, such as, hair conditioning treatments.

  • Embedded media – This includes any photos, diagrams, videos or audio files that are used in the presentation of your FAQs. Be certain to add your keywords to the titles and alternate text for this media on your website. Search bots crawl that text as well, so it presents yet another opportunity to have your content found in audio, image and video searches on your keywords.
  • Tags – Tag your page content with descriptive tags that are your keywords. Search engines look at tags, too, in order to discover the content of a webpage.
  • Sitemap – First of all, have one! While not a part of your FAQ page, it is important to make certain that your Sitemap does include your FAQ page.
  • Keywords - A strategic note on writing click-worthy FAQ pages – Be conscious of keyword placement on your FAQ page. Because SERP readers are more likely to consider a result relevant when they see their search terms appear in the snippet that is displayed on the SERP, it’s especially important to use relevant keywords as close to the top of  the page as is appropriate.

These strategies for search engine optimization present a wealth of opportunities for your FAQ page to be one of your most effective at driving traffic to your site. Qualified traffic that comes from strong keyword placement means more sales.


Debra Leitl is the Mentor in Residence at eMentormarketing.com you can find her on twitter@MentorMarketing. Her specialty is interactive marketing with a focus on ecommerce and online marketing strategy. She has over 15 years of professional experience in online retail, ecommerce consulting, and new business development.

How To Trigger Universal Elements in the SERPs with Rand Fishkin on #seochat

On Thursday, January 20, 2011 Search Marketing Weekly will be hosting an #seochat on Twitter. Rand Fishkin (@randfish) will be our guest answering questions about How To Trigger Universal Elements in the SERPs.

Details:

Starts at 7:00 pm Mountain Time
About 1 hour long
Use hashtag #seochat
Host: Ash Buckles
Transcript
Questions Answered:

  1. How do you influence images, videos, etc. to show up in universal search?
  2. What methods increase your ability to have multiple images/videos displayed?
  3. Does universal search give more weight to YouTube than other video platforms?
  4. Have there been any recent changes in universal search? Are they coming?
  5. How has universal search changed SEO? For better or worse.

About Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin is the fearless CEO & Co-Founder of SEOmoz, based in Seattle, WA. He became interested in search marketing in 2002, started attending industry conferences, participated heavily in online forums and eventually began SEOmoz. SEOmoz is a leader in the field of SEO software and throws amazing parties with very creative swag.

Rand is very enthusiastic about online marketing and genuinely wants to understand the data and share his findings.

Rand co-authored the Art of SEO from O’Reilly. He was named on the 40 Under 40 List and 30 Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs Under 30. He’s been written about in The Seattle Times, Newsweek and the NY Times among others and keynoted conferences on search around the world. He’s particularly passionate about the SEOmoz blog, read by tens of thousands of search professionals each day. In his minuscule spare time, Rand enjoys the company of his amazing wife, Geraldine.

Rand on Twitter
Rand on LinkedIn
Rand on Facebook
Rand on Google

SEO Spyglass

The following is a guest contribution by Tim Biden of Village Ads, an SEO service in Los Angeles.

You’ve been fighting and fighting to move up in the SERPs only to receive limited results. You have been on a major linkbuilding campaign and have tried everything you can do to get the most valuable links for your site. So why haven’t you overtaken your competitors in the SERPs? If you’re in this situation it’s time to check to see what your competitors have been doing, who links to them and then go get links from the same domains.

There are many tools that will automate the process of checking competitors’ links and I’d like to focus on one that I use, SEO Spyglass from link-assistant.com. No I am not an affiliate. This is honestly a tool I use and I am receiving no compensation for the post.

To start with, when you run the program, you have the option to choose the specific website that you want to spy on, or you can choose a keyword and then choose the Search Engine that you want the program to find a competitor from. The default is Google. The software will find the site that ranks highest and give you a report based on it.

With SEO Spyglass you can see information about each link including

  • Which search engine listed the link
  • What page it is linked from
  • The page title
  • Is there a reciprocal link
  • What anchor text was used (if any)
  • What URL is being linked to
  • The PageRank (though there is debate as to what that is worth these days)
  • How many external links are on the page
  • Total number of links on the page
  • An approximate value for the link
  • The domain linked from
  • The server’s IP address
  • Domain PageRank
  • Does the domain have a DMOZ listing
  • What country is the server located in
  • Does the domain have a Yahoo Directory listing
  • Alexa Rank
  • The domain age
  • And much more. There are probably 25 different factors available to check.

One search recovers all those factors for thousands of different links and you can sort based on any of them.

What are you looking for, high PR sites that link to your competitors? Rank them from highest to lowest. Are you wondering which domains didn’t require a reciprocal link? That’s easy. Do you want to know what anchor text they use? You can even sort by that.

This software creates a road map for your domination of the SERPs over your competitors.

There are 2 versions, free and paid. I personally use the paid version because I bought the entire SEO Suite, but for most people reading this, it isn’t necessary. Having the paid version may help you if you want to create a PDF or HTML report. Otherwise you can just open the program and start running down the list. The vast majority of the paid report is completely unnecessary for most of the people who would be reading this article but gives exact instructions for the n00b in SEO. It is made up of sections telling where to get links from, describing what a link and anchor text is, a list of press release sites, telling you what PageRank is, and well, you get the picture.

So get the free version of SEO Spyglass to spy on your competitors’ strategy and beat them in the SERPs.