Questions and Answers
Having already used our content guides and other helpful areas of this site regarding onsite SEO, the next step which you can take is to incorporate a questions and answers section. This is actually a relatively easy page to create, and could well give you ideas on what further articles you can write; in putting a one or two line answer to a question, it could become obvious that the answer to this question needs to be elaborated and can actually become a whole article in its own right. If you do this, dont forget to link the short answer to the whole article using anchor text – this contextual link will pay real dividends.
Your questions page is a natural place to group all of your main keywords together and form a central repository of every search term you are likely to want to hit. In the end, a search query is mostly based on a question anyway. A customer entering “personal trainers in Ipswich” is most likley actually looking for a personal trainer in Ipswich and wants to know where to contact one. So, your questions and answers page could include a question along the lines of “Of all the personal trainers in Ipswich, why should I be using you?”. This then gives you an opportunity to answer this very important sales question in your own way, and as well as being SEO friendly, it is also your chance to convert a visitor into a paying client. You could then use this at a later date to build a whole page dedicated to your virtues and track record, in which you can invite testimonials.
Picking your Questions
The starting point for your questions page should always be the questions you are most frequently asked by your customers. Whether it is about your delivery terms, refund options, guarantee, ingredients in your products, opening hours, or even your history within your industry. Don’t be afraid to add new items to your questions page at a later date either – every industry is evolving and the questions customers ask will naturally evolve at the same time. This one page is your showcase where you can turn possible clients into paying customers, where you can demonstrate your product or industry knowledge and where you can convince the search engines that YOUR site is the one that should be ranking highly. The links you put on your questions page should go to relevant areas of your site – even if you are not adding whole articles to answer a question in more detail, the chances are that you already have specific pages where the answer is more apparent. This could be your delivery details page which elaborates on the speed each delivery option normally takes, or it could be a link to a product page showing what you recommend as the best product for a common request.
In a traditional retail environment, customers get the chance to ask a sales assistant the little questions (and the big questions too) which pop up and form the basis of a buying decision. On a website, this process is harder and sometimes completely ignored by the webmaster. The customers are the same people who visit bricks and mortar shops, so will probably have the same questions – there will be web specific questions too of course (where is your company actually based, delivery timings, payment security concerns etc etc) – but the idea is that you can provide your customer with the solution, and write information that will help to inform their buying decision.
Questions – Getting Inspiration
If you really are stuck as to what questions you can add to your site, use the web! You can do an amazing amount of research from behind a keyboard, and you are sitting in the perfect place to find the questions that people are actually asking. Whilst doing your research incidentally, you also have another opportunity to boost your SEO….
And type in some of your keywords. You will find (normally) a dizzying array of queries from customers in YOUR marketplace who are looking for information. When you find a suitable candidate, ANSWER the question. Sign up for an account then and there, and actually post an answer. If it is suitable to do so, include a link to your site within the answer. If it is NOT suitable, don’t do it, as it will be counter productive and could well result in your answer being removed. However, even without a link, your answer has just added to your credibility for future questions, so when you ARE able to include a link, it is a more natural occurrence which will serve you a better response from the search engines.
Now that you have answered the question, include it on your own questions page, along with your answer. It might pay you to reword your answer slightly so it doesn’t look like you have simply copied content (albeit your OWN content) from another site.
And finally, encourage your visitors to post their own questions. A simple link to your contact form asking for any questions will normally suffice, but the best inspiration for the questions your customers are asking is the questions that your customers are actually asking.
Your Q&A section can boost your entire site’s credibility as more people visit to ask and answer questions.