I should clarify the above. Almost every website needs a FAQs page (a page with “frequently asked questions”). However, there are of course exceptions to this rule. For example, the mini sites which are themselves basically FAQs pages don’t happen to need a FAQs page.
Most blogs don’t need a FAQs page either (though an “about us” which explains why you’re qualified to write on that subject and what you intend to write about would be helpful). However, most ordinary websites should have a FAQs page. Here’s what you need to know:
Why Do You Have a Website?
Unless you run a blog or a mini site, the odds are good that your website exists for the purpose of selling something directly to the public (even blogs and mini sites do this, though often not directly). This means that your goal to is to get people comfortable enough with your product or service so that they’ll want to make a purchase.
Or, if they’ve already made a purchase, you want them to feel comfortable enough with your product or service to recommend it to friends and or to buy another of the same when it comes time to upgrade or replace the old product. In short, your goal is to make a sale.
Why Do People Visit Your Website?
By contrast, people visiting your website may come with the hope of making a purchase. However, they’ll also show up primarily with the hope of getting to know you and your products better. They’ll be looking for information about the product – what it’s good for, what the limitations are, what they can expect when they own your product.
Or, they’re showing up at your website having made a purchase and hoping to gain additional insight, either to understand some features or to fix a problem they’re having. In short, they want to feel as if they’ve gotten to know your product.
What a FAQs Page Does
In essence, a FAQs page cuts through all the red tape and lets both sides get what they want. Ultimately, you want your customers to know more about your product so they’ll make a purchase and your customers want to know more about your product so they’ll be comfortable with making a purchase.
Now you could go about providing that information in one of two ways. You could for example provide the information in the form of articles on your website which have the information buried deep inside of them. Or, you could have a FAQs page which answers questions that people calling tech support tend to ask all the time.
Starting a FAQs Page
That last bit of course presents a conundrum. On the one hand, you want to make your website appealing so that your customers will want to make a purchase. On the other hand, when initially starting out, you don’t know for certain what questions are going to be asked.
The only solution I’ve found for this problem (and it’s hardly ideal) is to try to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Imagine that you were the customer and try to figure out what you may need to know about your product. Then, try to come up with succinct answers to those questions.
Alternatively, consider getting some “beta testers” for your product (whether it’s software or some physical item is not relevant – you can still have people test it) and ask them to ask you questions about the product. Then, cull from there the beginnings of your new FAQs page. Just remember to update it periodically as additional questions come in.