E-commerce Link: Smart Questions
2. Make sure your FAQs are actually frequently asked and not just open real estate for marketing fluff. Mine call centers, customer service emails and your site search logs as input resources for your question list. This isn't a section of your website you can set and forget. Like the rest of your key content, FAQs should be timely and fresh. This is the best way to ensure your FAQs are meaningful and relevant to your end users, even as their needs change over time.
3. Keep your FAQ list short and easy to scan. This list shouldn't be divided across multiple pages, nor should it need a navigation system unto itself. Edit your list down to a manageable number. Also, based on eyetracking studies, most users read websites in an F-shaped pattern—looking first across the top of the page and then reading the first few words of each line down the left side. By front-loading your FAQ questions—skipping the question words and strategically placing meaningful keywords at the start of each line—you'll maximize scanability for your users. Being purposeful about your keywords also may help your organic search rankings.
4. Offer a Web form or other feedback mechanism at the bottom of your FAQ page in case your user's question isn't part of the list. Set expectations for when users will see a return phone call or email, should they choose to contact you with this Web form. Build confidence that you're taking their questions and concerns seriously and they're not writing to a black box never to hear from you again.
5. Usability test. I've advocated for usability evaluation in previous articles and I'll do so again here. While it's probably not necessary to devote an entire study to your FAQ page, you might want to include a task or two in a more general site study that will take your participant to the FAQ. Figure out at what point in a browsing session a user might refer to your FAQ section and gauge their expectations for what might appear there.yy