This is part of the Total Usability Series that was originally published in 2007. A decade later, usability is more important than ever, so we are revisiting this series and updating all of the articles. This post was updated 10/19/2017.
Depending on the nature of your site, Help and FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) can span a few or many pages. Building up these sections of your site can greatly enhance your visitor’s experience with your website. These pages are often sought out by shoppers who are looking for just a bit more information to help them feel confident about their purchase.
Comprehensive Help and FAQ pages can often reduce visitor confusion, lessen support call frequency, and create higher conversion rates as more shoppers are satisfied and confident that you can meet their needs.
Zero In On Visitor Needs
The most important aspect of your Help and FAQ pages is that you answer the questions visitors actually ask, not just the ones you want them to ask. Talk with your customer service and sales department to find out what those questions are, and check back frequently. You want to be sure you aren’t missing any new questions or issues that your customers are having.
Once you know what questions customers have and what they need help with, you need to make sure your Help and FAQ pages comprehensively cover those issues.
Here are some additional tips to make your Help and FAQ pages as helpful and usable as possible:
- Don’t limit Help pages to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s). Provide links to other helpful resources, including:
- User guides
- Contact details
- Product support
- Customer support downloads
- Customer forums
- Allow vistors to use your site’s search function to search the Help and FAQ pages exclusively. If the information being sought can’t be found in the Help or FAQ sections, the search should produce more results from the rest of the site.
- Make Help sections printer-friendly. Visitors often print up the answers to their questions to show other decision makers. Having easy-to print pages benefits you and your visitors.
- Avoid marketing. Help and FAQ pages should not contain any marketing hype or sales material. These pages are there simply to guide your visitors to the answers they seek. Stick to the basics.
Help and Convert
Help and FAQ pages can be critical to your conversion process. The better your site is at addressing visitors’ questions and issues, the more likely you’ll be to gain and retain long-term customers, all the while reducing strain on your sales and customer service teams.