FAQs can be a great way to boost your SEO efforts. I will explain why FAQs can help, and I will share the techniques that have worked in my experience to best use questions and answers for organic search.
What are FAQs?
FAQ stands for frequently asked questions. FAQs are questions that your target audience will often ask about either your offering or a topic relevant to your business. For example, FAQs pertinent to our business include:
- What is SEO?
- What is content marketing?
- How much does SEO cost?
- How long does it take to see results with SEO?
Why are FAQs for important SEO?
People often search for FAQs, so creating content around questions your target audience searches for makes much sense. FAQs benefit SEO as you can drive more organic traffic from FAQ search queries, but also FAQ content can increase the relevance of your landing pages for your target keywords. In my experience, whenever I have added comprehensive FAQ content to a landing page, there have been positive changes in rankings and organic traffic.
Multiple FAQs on a single page or separate pages?
You might be wondering whether you should have your FAQs on a single page or whether each FAQ should have its own separate page. Well, it depends on the FAQ and your objective.
If the FAQ has a relatively high search volume and it is a competitive search term, then it will make sense to give the FAQ a page of its own. This approach will allow you to optimise the title element, H1, and internal links specifically for that question.
If you aim to improve UX and to boost the relevance of a landing page, then it is okay to include multiple FAQs on a single page.
I have used both of these methods in the past with success. The trick is to figure out which works best for your situation.
How to come up with FAQs
Now you might be wondering, where do you come up with FAQs? Well, there are several sources you can use to find FAQs:
- Google Ads’ Keyword Planner – A free keyword research tool direct from Google themselves.
- AHREFS – This SEO tool has a bunch of functions, one of which is keyword research. Navigate to their keyword Explorer tool, and you will see they have a filter for ‘questions’. It is a pretty handy feature that saves much time, and I have used it in the past on many occasions.
- Online communities – You can check relevant online communities for your industry to see which questions your target audience are asking. Facebook communities, LinkedIn groups and subreddits are great ways to find FAQs that may not show up using the usual SEO tools.
- Your own site search data – Check what people are searching for on your site. You may be able to find this data in your CMS. If not, Google Analytics allows you to track site searches. Find out more about using GA for this here.
- Search Console – Take a look at your Google Search Console Performance report to find FAQs in the Queries I personally find this useful as you can discover FAQs you might already be ranking for, but that may be a quick win to improve rankings further with some straightforward on-page optimisation.
- AnswerThePublic – This online tool generates a list of questions, and other search terms, that your audience may be typing into search engines. Sometimes I find the results from this tool a bit obvious and likely questions you would already have thought of. However, AnswerThePublic provides several free searches a day, which might be enough depending on the volume of topics you need to research.
How to optimise FAQs for SEO
Okay, so now you have a list of FAQs, let’s look at how you optimise these for search engines.
Include the exact FAQ on the page
This step is the most important – make sure that you include the main FAQ within the content. You want this to match the exact question your audience is asking closely. This optimisation is the same as when you include your target keyword within your content.
Optimise the title tag for the FAQ keyword
If you are dedicating an entire page to a single FAQ, then you can include the FAQ in the title tag. Page titles are an essential element for SEO, and so this should be one of the first things that you optimise.
Use the FAQ keyword as the H1
Similarly to optimising the title tag, you should also use the FAQ as the H1 if the page is dedicated to a single question. If the page features multiple FAQs, you can set each question as an H2 tag, or other relevant heading tag depending on the document outline, instead of an H1.
Add internal links to the FAQ
I have found internal links to be important for SEO, so I would recommend adding internal links to your FAQs from other relevant pages. Make sure that you use keyword-rich anchor text – ideally, the exact FAQ you are trying to rank for.
Optimise the answer text
It is not just the question that you can optimise, but also the answer. Consider that search engines want to provide their users with the best search results possible. Therefore, you should try to give the best answer possible. Do your research on the topic, speak from your own personal experience, and craft a truly useful answer.
You can also optimise your copy by using related terms that search engines would expect to find on a page about the topic upon which you are writing. A thesaurus can help with this task, or if you want to get fancy, you can also use word embeddings.
Use structured data
I am a massive fan of using structured data for FAQs because you can have your FAQ rich results appear in the SERPs (search engine results pages) if you use FAQPage schema.
You specify the question and its associated answer, and machines can then easily understand that the content is a Q&A and each of its elements.
In my experience, FAQs have been a valuable way to drive traffic for my clients, increase the topical relevance of landing pages, and improve the user experience. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.