Here’s a quick way to add some content to your local business website that helps your customers, shows off your expertise and gives Google something to reward you for: Write an “FAQ page” of short answers to frequently asked questions about your business.

It’s a simple Q&A format; take a look at these good examples of frequently asked question pages from divorce attorneys Woods, May & Matlock and Sanderson Auto Repair.

FAQ pages are more important than ever in search, now that Google is looking for little chunks of info it can feature at the top of search pages in short answer boxes (or “featured snippets”, as Google calls them).  You can learn more about all that here: Fast Track to the Top: Google Answer Boxes.

And read these FAQ’s to learn how to create a great FAQ page:

How do I find the questions for my FAQ page?
Listen carefully to the frequent questions of your customers, in person, on the phone and on social media, and copy their language. Examples from Woods, May — “Can I throw my spouse out of the house?” and “Can I just throw out my spouse’s stuff?” – and Sanderson Auto repair – “Why is engine oil milky brown?” – sound like exactly what customers want to know.

Is it OK to make up questions that I want to answer?
Yes, but remember that you know too much. This question we found on a dentist’s FAQ page, “Can I have a composite filling placed in a posterior tooth?”, probably never got asked in real life and goes over the heads of readers. If you need to explain a complicated subject like choices for fillings, handle it on a separate page on your site.

What questions should I avoid?
Avoid questions that need long answers—the Q&A format gets unreadable with a lot of scrolling. No broad questions like “What are your services?”— instead, do a Services page on your site. Need-to-know questions like “What are your hours?” should be handled prominently on your home page, not buried on the FAQ page. In other words, the FAQ should not be a catch-all page or a substitute for good website structure.

What’s a good frequently asked questions page design?
If your page is going to be more than a simple line-up like the divorce attorneys or auto repair examples, you can group questions and answers under section heads or try these bits of programming your web developer can easily do for you:

  • Anchor links. The questions appear at the top of the page as links. A click on a link jumps the user to the answer lower down on the page.
  • JavaScript expand/collapse. Click on the question and the answer expands out of it.

Besides Google answer boxes, can an FAQ page generally bring in more web traffic?
Google does look for “expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness” on websites, according to its guidelines so FAQ’s should help with that. And, as a reaction to increasing searches through mobile devices, Google is orienting toward “natural language” searches, conversational phrases such as “Why is engine oil milky brown?”

Did you just make up these questions so you could write this blog post?
Yes. Does it show?