If you have a question while you’re in a local shop, you ask. But what are your website visitors able to do if they have a question?
Sure, they can email or call, but the bulk of visitors aren’t going to take the time to do that unless they really need the product now. Otherwise, they’ll leave and “come back later” (unlikely).
And it’s not the visitors fault… You may think your website has all the answers visitors need, but this is never the case.
If you don’t have a solid process in place for knowing what questions visitors have and to update your FAQ page frequently, then you’re missing out on sales.
You’re deep in your business every single day. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible for you to anticipate the questions that visitors have when they first get to your site, or when they’re researching products on your site.
Here’s a few ways you can read their minds.
Read the minds of your website visitors with these tools and tactics and increase sales
Look in Google Analytics at the top “exit pages” on your website. These are pages where the greatest number of website visitors leave.
You might need to group pages together to get meaningful data if you sell a wide range of products (i.e. group together the “product-specs” pages of multiple pages).
If you notice that many people leave on a specific type of page (i.e. product spec pages), then there’s probably something about that page that’s confusing that needs to be made better.
Here's how to know if a specific webpage is confusing visitors and causing them to leave
Once you’ve fixed the obvious issues with your top exit pages, there might still be room for improvement. Using “exit surveys” is one way to identify specific reasons why people are leaving.
You can setup a really simple “Why are you leaving?” question to popup on certain pages to get specific answers from website visitors. This data can lead to valuable insights that wouldn’t be possible to get any other way.
There's a lot of exit survey tools available, but Qualaroo seems to be one of the more popular ones.
Warning - Use exit surveys carefully, and monitor results. If you configure exit surveys for every single visitor leaving any page on your website, you can annoy your visitors. Test it out on a few specific pages of your site first, such as the checkout pages.
One of the easiest and most valuable tools you can use to read the minds of your visitors is website live chat software. With live chat enabled on your website, you can chat directly with website visitors while they’re on your website.
Here's an example on a website that sells parts and accessories for golf carts. The question being asked here is "which charger do I need for my golf cart?":
Once you start to see that this question is pretty common, you can add an FAQ page for it.
Using live chat is a great way to understand exactly what questions visitors have that might stop them from purchasing, without having an annoying automated generic software-based popup box.
Pro Tip - You can configure the live chat box to invite people to chat based on specific actions they take on your site (i.e. time on site, specific pages, etc.), and even customize messages. For example, if someone hits a 404 error page, you could popup and ask “I saw you hit an error page. Can I help you find something?”.
Show an automated but personal live chat invite if visitors hit an error page, or leave the cart
The above tools will give you valuable insight you can use to constantly make your website better for visitors, and also continuously add to your FAQ page, but below are the basics of how to create a good starting FAQ Page.
Start by answering the most obvious questions for your product.
This might be tough for you if you’re “in the business” every day. If you have trouble thinking from the perspective of a 1st time visitor, ask some of your newer employees, family, friends, etc.
We're managing over 1,000 website chats per week for customers of HelpFlow. Here's the most common questions we see across a wide range of websites our customers have:
Here's how these relate to the golf cart accessory website mentioned above:
Think of the questions that are most common, and make sure to provide simple but complete answers for these on your FAQ page.
I see a lot of FAQ pages by working with many sites, and I occasionally see ones with lots of content that isn’t really helping visitors.
By “fluff”, I’m talking about these questions:
I’m not saying these questions are not important, but if most of your FAQ page is fluff questions, then you’re missing the point of an FAQ page.
Assume visitors will feel safe on your site, that they’ll trust you to keep their information safe, and they are confident you’re a “real business” - what else matters to them?
Don't just answer "fluff" questions on your FAQ page. Make it truly helpful for visitors
Answer the important questions on the FAQ page.
The secret to having a helpful FAQ page is to start with a reasonable one (see above), and then have a simple but effective process for adding FAQs as needed over time.
Here’s a process that works well that our best customers are using.
If a customer asks a question on the website live chat, or via email, save this for future reference. For example, put a copy of the email in a folder, save it to Evernote, or save it in some other way.
We keep a steadily growing list of answers to common questions for each of the websites we manage website chat for.
When we have to answer question that isn’t in our list of answers or on the customer’s FAQ page, we answer it in a way so it can easily be added to our list of answers and the customer’s FAQ page.
For example, we type the website chat response in a way so it can be copied into our system for future use and will sound great (and personalized) to future people asking the question.
Leverage your time: Answer questions in a way so you can copy / paste to an FAQ page
Do the same when answering questions yourself. Write them in a way that answers the question being asked, but so it can easily copied into your FAQ later.
Don’t immediately jump in to your website system and update the FAQ each and every time you answer a question.
Batch the work and / or delegate it to someone:
By batching the work and having a simple process for it, you won’t feel like “wow, this FAQ page stuff is a time suck for me”.
Creating and updating your FAQ page doesn't need to take a lot of time.
It’s fast, if you batch it. And it’s easy to delegate since the content will be already created based on your answers to customers.
Here’s the next steps you can do now to get immediate value out of this blog post.
Let’s get list of FAQ page examples going below. Share yours, as well as any tips you have that could help other readers with their FAQ pages.