Frequently Asked Questions are valuable addition to most websites. They provide information that might be missing from about us pages, product pages or service pages. The good thing about FAQ pages is that they directly answer what a question might be entered directly as search queries.
But many FAQ pages are formatted not in a way that they take advantage of the benefits described in the previous paragraph:
1. They are contained in singular page. Many websites maintain FAQ section contained only in one page. While not necessarily bad from a usability point of view — you can simply scroll down if you have several questions about say, a retail product — replacements, payment option, refund policy, expedited delivery and so on. But for SEO, it means that singular page likely could not focus on one or all items at one time.
2. They are very short. Sometimes yes or no answers are enough. But many other questions deserve longer answers, and such elaborate answers could be the differentiator your FAQ items should be ranked higher than another similar one. Also, a well structured and well-documented FAQ page (quite a challenge for a page with limited content) could get featured as Rich Answers,
So how should we optimize our FAQ pages?
The answer depends on how elaborate or how brief (2-3 sentences only) the answers to each FAQ item.
Example: Grana Questions
Example: Hong Kong Tourism Board FAQ
a. If answers are short.
Consider using name anchors and create a table of contents with name anchors, applying H2 tags (main FAQ title gets the H1 tag). Additional content within answers include link to other relevant pages, relevant images and other informative content.
Use descriptive name anchor since, once processed correctly on search results, this becomes the text that follows “Jump to” similar to specific subsections under Wikipedia entries.
b. If answers are long.
Create one main FAQ page and list down all FAQ items, grouping them together based on topic. For example, in the case of Hongkong Post, it grouped together questions related to sending mail, receiving mail, postal facilities and so on.
This approach is good because it creates “keyword silo” by grouping together similar questions/topics and helps build the core keyword/topic in one page. Each FAQ is then linked from this page so that once a visitor clicks a particular question, a separate page opens.
Example: Hongkong Post FAQ: Sending Mail
For example, if you look at the first question, “How to post a registered mail item? What is the delivery time? How to collect it? How to get proof of delivery?” it is linked to a separate page as shown below.
Example: Hongkong Post FAQ Sample
A separate page not only helps create space for an extensive answer to the question, it also helps optimize content based on that specific question.
Hongkong Post could have gone further by optimizing the page title so it reflects the same FAQ item and helps it rank better than its current visibility.
FAQ pages are very important sections in the website as it provides answers to questions. By formatting it properly for the benefit primarily of users, and accessibility to both users and search engines, these pages can be delivered within search results in a more user-friendly manner, thereby helping your website get more search engine visibility and your brand, products or services better understood.