Using FAQ Pages To Capture Organic Search Traffic

A few weeks ago, I was over at my wife’s sister’s home letting my daughter play with her cousins. One of her cousins, Ellie had just purchased a bunny rabbit as a pet. I told Ellie that I had once heard that you can potty train rabbits and have them as indoor pets. She immediately asked me, “Well, how do I do that?” I replied, “I have no clue.” Jumping to her feet, with a big grin on her face, she said, “I know… Let’s Google it!”

I find it very funny that Google has become quite the household name. My niece Ellie is just 4 years old and already knows what Google is and understands how it works. To me, that is amazing!

In a recent report published by Hitwise it talks about how the length of search queries in Google have increased over the last year or so. Longer search queries of 5+ words have increase about 10% from January 2008 to January 2009. If you ask me, this is because searchers don’t consider their search query to be just keywords anymore; they are starting to expect the search engines to understand exactly what they are trying to research or learn. For example, if I wanted to potty train a bunny rabbit, I wouldn’t just search for “bunny rabbit”, I would search for “how to potty train a bunny rabbit”.

In doing keyword research for clients over the last few months, I have noticed that many people are crafting questions, like the one above, as search queries. Noticing this, I wanted to craft some FAQ pages on a few of my personal websites and find out if I could easily generate laser targeted traffic to my sites without much effort on my part.

Using the Google Keyword Tool, I found questions that are being searched for in the industries that I am targeting with my sites and created FAQ pages using these search phrases. In addition to the questions, I would add about a paragraph or more of keyword rich content in reply to each question.

After crafting about five questions for each site, I stopped and built a few links to the page to get it indexed quickly. To do this, I used Propeller, a social bookmarking site. I have found that by adding a link to a new page in Propeller, it usually gets indexed in about 4-6 hours. I left the sites alone for the rest of the night and logged into Google Analytics in the morning. Not expecting to see anything different, I was amazed to see that I had gotten traffic from all of those questions in the last 10 hours or so.

I immediately jumped over to Google and keyed in the questions. I was ranked #1 for all but one of the questions. Do you want to know what is even better than being ranked for those questions? The site changes that I made the night before took me less than one hour to implement per site.

I am very careful and cautious when implementing new ideas on client’s websites. So, after testing my new idea on my own web properties, I am of a firm belief that just about any web business can benefit by creating FAQ content that is targeted at answering real user questions about their products. All it takes is a little research and a little time to implement the changes and you can be pulling in new traffic that is searching for exactly what you provide. When pulling in this type of traffic, you will increase your revenue and build a stronger brand.

This works well and from what I have seen, this just might be the direction of future of search queries as well as a huge part of SEO.

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13 Comments

  1. Dave Bascom says

    I think this goes back to the fundamental principle of providing a better answer to the questions searchers are trying to solve. If you can do that, and provide real value to humans, the search engines are likely to notice and reward you accordingly.

    Have you noticed whether the FAQ pages only show up at the top because it’s fresh content, and then drop in the rankings over time, or do they stick?

  2. Greg Shuey says

    I haven’t noticed too much of a drop in rankings yet. I would imagine that as more people realize this strategy is out there that it will take some extra work to achieve those top rankings and then keep them.

  3. David Scoville says

    I used to think that “search volume” was king. Now I’m convinced that proper keyword targeting is a greater priority. What a better way to take advantage of the long search queries than with the FAQ page! Thanks for the post, Greg.

  4. Jack says

    Yes, this is absolutely one of the good SEO methodology. Google snippet will grab from the FAQ content for more long tail SEO results. However many people has overlooked this perhaps?

  5. Chan says

    This is a good idea. We can apply this to a blog as well. Just write a post on FAQ.

    Let me start here and think of making the best use of this idea with other creative thoughts!

  6. Chan says

    @David Scoville,

    Why don’t we combine the best of both worlds?

    We combine the FAQ pages, FAQ like questions on titles of posts, and in all of them targeting long keywords (3-4 relevant and mostly likely used words apart from say what is, how to etc.) should work well.

  7. Jim Mueller says

    Greg, one of the more helpful posts I’ve read in a long while…thank you.
    Question…did you just type your question into ad words tool or is there a special tool to research longer phrases or questions?

  8. Greg Shuey says

    Jim…

    You can just use the Google Keyword Tool to do this. You can do it one of two ways. One, you can just enter your main keyword that you are trying to rank for and see if any longer question like keywords pop up in the results. Two, you can actually key in the question that you think might be asked and see if there is any search volume for it.

    In addition to this, I would ask a non biased family member or friend what kind of questions they may have about your product or service. I like to ask kids and teenagers what kind of questions they might search for. Ultimately, you want to think like a customer when doing this.

    I would then add those to my FAQ pages in hopes to capture at least some traffic that Google didn’t even take into account. This method may or may not bring in traffic to your site, but the time it takes is so minimal that it is worth it!

    Let me know if you have any other questions

  9. Joe Mescher says

    Great Landing Page Strategy…

    Link to Relevant Content, Get More Traffic.

    There must be a million and one web page developers trying to rank #1 for intensely competitive keywords.

    In the meantime there’s so many more relevant terms with less competition to rank for.

    Thanks for the FAQ advice Greg, looking forward to investigating and experimenting with it more deeply for my niche.

  10. Aubree says

    I would call this Long Tail SEO. It doesn’t have to be just questions – you can do SEO on a bunch of keywords that they aren’t so much competitive.

  11. Vishal says

    Hi,
    Neat article. I was wondering if you can write another article on how to find those looOOng questions :)

    Cheers,
    Vishal

  12. Caleb says

    Hi! That being said, So would you recommend a FAQ page that has all the questions or one question per page so that we are able to target on the right type of questions?

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