Against FAQs

1. How do you feel about FAQ pages?

Funny you should ask. I’m not a big fan. With very few exceptions, including an FAQ on your site map or your website is a sign that something is wrong with your content strategy.

2. Don’t FAQ pages add value to a website?

Not really. Most FAQ pages function as the junk drawer of a website — a random collection of little odds and ends that you couldn’t figure out what to do with. And, in many cases, they’re the result of having a poorly structured website.

3. But if I know my audience is asking certain questions, shouldn’t I put that information on my website?

Yes, absolutely. But that doesn’t mean you need an FAQ page. If you know the questions your audience is asking, write content that actually provides the answers.

4. But we’ve always had an FAQ page!

I know! Who hasn’t #amiright? But that’s not a good enough reason to keep it. Also, that’s not a question.

Look, if your content isn’t answering your audience’s questions, then you need to work on your content. This typically means one of two things: Either the content itself needs to be reworked so it better addresses your audience, or things are just too hard to find.

5. Ugh, fine. Then what should I do with all these FAQs?

Use them as a guide for revising your content. Really, don’t feel bad about having FAQs — they show that you know what your audience wants or needs, which is very important. Now take that information and use it to inform your content throughout the entire site.

6. How do I do that?

Go through your FAQs and identify which parts of the website are most closely related to each question. For example, if you keep getting asked about a registration process, make sure that information is clearly spelled out on your Register page. Or maybe people can’t easily find your Register page, so you need to rethink your navigation and hierarchy. In any case, once you’ve put the information in a place that makes sense, delete the question.

7. Okay, I used my FAQs to revise my content, and now I don’t have any questions left on my page. Now what?

Good! Now we can delete your FAQ page.

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