FAQ Pages Are A Bad Idea On Your Ecommerce Site –– Here’s Why
Is the FAQs page on your ecommerce site doing more harm than good?
Experienced ecommerce website specialists will tell you that an FAQs page is an overstated concern. As Shopify experts, we agree, and go a little further to suggest that it’s an unnecessary component of an ecommerce site altogether.
In fact, experts like Neil Patel recommended that deindexing certain pages will ultimately win you more traffic.
The FAQs page isn’t just unnecessary, it might actually be killing your sales, and ultimately, your business.
Relevancy. You want traffic to be directed to relevant pages –– those that answer a query –– to prevent unimportant pages from showing up in the SERPs.
Wouldn’t you rather your browsers land on the page that effectively gives a potential customer the information they’re searching for, rather than being directed to a page that only provides a partial answer? As a consumer, you know how frustrating such an experience can be.
Why do many digital marketing experts push FAQ pages then?
- They’re easy to keyword-stuff
- There’s an incorrect belief that it’s the first page site visitors go to
- They help business owners avoid interacting with potential buyers (just send them to the FAQs page!)
In this article, we’ll explore why an FAQs page is unnecessary and provide some options for living without one (don’t worry, you won’t even miss it, and no one else will either!).
But first, let’s look quickly at what does belong on your ecommerce site:
Necessary components of a website
- About Us page
- Contact page
- Blog page
- Products or services page
- Search results page
- Header & footer
Unnecessary components of a website
- FAQs page
- Thank you page
- Rarely-visited blog pages
- Any page that gets very little traffic
Why Your Site Doesn’t Need An FAQs Page
Most of the information commonly included in the FAQs page could and should be in the pages it’s most relevant.
A prime example is shipping costs and return policy. Why make people who want to buy from you hop around your site trying to find your policy on shipping, returns, and refunds?
The point is to make the buying journey as easy as possible. That means fewer steps to the order confirmation page (this saves you a lot of work too!).
The easiest way to determine whether your FAQs page is helping or hindering your sales is to check your analytics. Let us know if you need help sussing out the data.
FAQ pages aren’t an SEO requirement. The main components that affect your ranking include things like relevant content, solid backend data, an impeccable user experience, and pages that load quickly.
For tips on creating engaging and relevant content, give this a read. And incorporate an interlinking strategy in your content to keep feeding visitors useful content as part of their journey. This will keep them on your site longer and give them a stronger impetus to buy.
Although the following may not be the case with your business, one of the biggest but hidden shortcomings of FAQ pages is that they’re not accurate. Busy ecommerce owners usually hire out this kind of content creation, so it’s unlikely that the questions are based on real customer inquiries.
Many business owners use them to “stuff” the leftover bits of information that don’t seem to fit anywhere else on the site. They’re also notoriously used to defend the company, rather than respond with a genuine interest to meet the customer’s curiosity.
Here’s a tip: if you are set on including an FAQs page on your site, base it on actual customer data. It’s not just more honest, it also boosts SEO because those questions will naturally include organic search terms.
What To Do Without An FAQ
Make the buying journey obstacle free and easy.
Think about it this way. You’ve just set out for a nice leisurely walk. That’s the idea, anyways. The point is to get some fresh air, exercise, and grab a coffee from that new and highly-recommended coffee shop in town.
But that’s not what happens. Instead, you’re met by a barking dog. It begins to rain. And a recently-started construction project is blocking the road you planned to take. Now you’re startled, soaked, and stranded en route to that delicious brew you could almost taste a few minutes before.
What do you do? Screw the coffee. You turn a heel and either hit the coffee shop closest to home. It’s not the one you wanted, but it’ll have to do.
Now obviously, those roadblocks aren’t within the cafe’s control. But on your website, they are.
Pave a clear and direct path for your customer:
Don’t make them ask.
Put the answers on the product page so they don’t have to ask the question.
Treat customer feedback like the goldmine it is.
Use customer feedback to improve your site and process rather than defending your tactics.
Don’t assume to know what your customers want.
Don’t guess what your customers’ questions are. Do the research. Find out what they’re asking and give their inquiries attention.
Analyze their inquiries.
Pay particular attention to requests for information that is already on your website. This is a clear sign that you need to rework some of the content or structure.
The takeaway: Be a person-first business. Don’t treat your customers as “buyers” or “users” (user is a term for drug addicts, after all!). Regard shoppers as unique and individual people who need something.
Less Is More...
So, here we are meeting yet another situation in which less is more. When it comes to website content, quality always wins over quantity. Relevant information. Highly-searched keywords. Succinct delivery.
Reduce website bloat and get more relevant and real traffic to your site. If you need assistance with the logistics of ecommerce website design, structure, user experience, or anything else related to creating an outstanding online business, give us a call. We’re ecommerce website specialists, and we can help.
July 26, 2021