Make a Connection with Visitors
Creating an FAQ is relatively easy and a concrete exercise which will help you understand customers. Thinking about what customers ask helps you understand what they care about. That should help you build a homepage that’s relevant and therefore resonates with them. In other words, by answering their questions you're demonstrating you understand their needs. When people feel you understand them, they're more likely to believe you can help them.
Build Your List of FAQs by Asking the Right Questions
Come up with a list of 10-15 questions you get asked most often. At this point, don’t worry about pricing, payment or post-sale questions, like "How do I install x?" Go broader, more high level.
Some tips to get you started:
Write the Answers
Transform Your FAQs into Homepage Content
Using an FAQ to create a home page that resonates with visitors involves thinking like your customers and knowing who you are as a business. It will help you build a solid foundation for your website's content, but it isn't everything. You'll also want to consider writing in your branded style. Adding key components like a call to action and trust factors will help you round out a smart and effective site.
Google's Featured Snippets in Search
You may have noticed lately when you ask a question in Google, you see something like the results below. I had asked, "How do I fix a flat bike tire?"
Google calls this a "featured snippet block." When Google realizes someone is asking a question, they detect pages with answers and display a bit of it on the results page. You can't mark your page to get Google to notice it, but it's another good reason to answer questions on your website.
FAQ's may also be used to build out a whole content strategy. Once you've written the brief answers, you can write whole articles that go into greater detail on the subjects. You can post them to your blog, and use the brief answers as links to this deeper content. Or, you can use publish them at other websites to drive traffic back to yours.
Let us know about techniques you're using to create an effective homepage and website, and be sure to share your link to the site.
Keeping a website up to date and running smoothly is no easy task, but it's essential if you want one that will help your business succeed. Here are some ideas for getting your site primed for the New Year.
1. Guide Visitors to Your Happy Conclusion
A website needs to compel visitors to do something -- make contact, buy products, engage. Knowing what you want yours to do is the end game. The challenge is to figure out the steps that will lead them to that happy conclusion.
Put yourself in their shoes. If you were buying a product or service like yours, what would you want to know first, second, third, etc. before making a decision? Make sure the order of your menu is in line with those steps. Use benefit written content, links and calls to action to drive visitors down that road. Respond to anticipated questions and respond to objections. To increase engagement and sharing, write useful information, or posts that warrant an emotional response: controversial, funny, strange, etc. Think about what they would want to share with their networks.
3. Don't Lead Visitors Down a Blind Alley
When was the last time you took a good look at your website, from home page to contact page?
4. Out with the Old, In with the New
Grab a big cup of coffee and take the time to reread all your content to make sure it's current with any changes you've made, such as:
5. Google is Becoming More Human
It's essential that your site work for visitors first, especially with the recent Google Hummingbird update, but it also needs to be readable by the little "bots" sent out by all search engines. Simple changes can help, like naming images with "alt tags" and adding titles to pages. It's the behind the scenes stuff that visitors can't see, but search engines can. Learn about changes you can make in this presentation we gave on how to increase website traffic.
If you're more technical, you may find David Portney's SEO makeover article helpful.
6. The Year of Your Mobile Website
More people are accessing websites with their mobile devices. See if this is true for your site by checking your stats. Then, access it via a mobile device to see for yourself if it's mobile friendly. Is the experience a good one? Are pages getting cut off? Is it easy to navigate? If not, it's time to convert to one that's "responsive" -- one that looks good and functions well, whether the visitor is on their laptops, smartphone or tablet. Try using one of the many website builders that have mobile options, such as Weebly or Wordpress.
Take the time to make these changes, and your site and your business will be soon be humming. Tell us about the changes you're making to your website. What are some of your favorite tools?
Find Customers and Determine Seasonal Demand