The Importance of SEO Optimized Help Documentation and FAQ’s
One of the essential parts of any website is its documentation. This includes help documents, FAQs, tutorials, and manuals about using your product or service.
The quality of your online documentation will significantly impact user satisfaction, which has downstream benefits for customer retention and word-of-mouth marketing.
Constantly Updating Your Documentation
Updating your documentation should be part of every iteration plan in each sprint because it’s one of the best ways to provide users with remarkable experiences, which are at the heart of what makes products successful. Better documentation means better results.
But often, companies shortchange their docs by writing them just once before publication, then never looking at them again after that initial push out the world. Skimping on documentation is easy, especially if it’s not currently measured or tied to conversions.
If you’re already writing documentation that your users need, then congratulations on doing the right thing. This article is for you if you aren’t already doing this (i.e., most companies). If you are already producing high-quality docs, this will be an excellent way to boost their effectiveness further.
Your company might be tempted to produce “just enough” documentation once and leave it at that. But in reality, documentation needs some TLC after initial publication – a little love and care go a long way.
Many companies don’t understand what makes excellent help docs and instead settle for mediocre or terrible experiences for their customers – or they don’t provide any help at all.
Establish Great User and Help Experience
Everything that makes a great user experience also makes the best help documentation. Great UX designers are driven by an insatiable urge to find better ways for customers to accomplish their goals, solve pain points, and ultimately provide delightful experiences with their products or services. Helping people use your product is no exception.
The only real difference between good user experiences and good help experiences is the words used to convey how users are supposed to interact with it. As long as one single person on your team is passionate about creating remarkable customer support, your entire organization can achieve this standard of excellence.
Customer service doesn’t have to be treated like it happens after the product is delivered. This is a huge mistake.
Building excellent help documentation starts with defining what makes great content. But it doesn’t end there either – once you have something that works for your customers, keep iterating until you can make it even better!
How to Optimize Your Help Documentation and FAQ for SEO?
As you probably know, your website’s help docs and FAQs can be a goldmine of traffic once you have performed a thorough SEO Optimization. They are also extremely easy to update once they’re created, making them one of the first places you should visit whenever you need to update or add new content to your site.
Unlike regular articles, help docs and FAQs tend to include lists of specific items (tutorial steps), so they aren’t only perfect for search engines but also for people looking for quick answers on how to perform particular tasks.
And because many websites offer them in multiple languages, there’s potential to rank well in dozens of countries all at once by targeting just a few keywords!
Optimizing your help documentation can be broken down into three steps:
- Create a keyword list that covers every step in the doc/FAQ
- Optimize each page to rank well for its specific keywords
- Rewrite/translate the pages to target country-specific keywords
What are your goals?
First of all, determine what you want to achieve with this project. Do you need more traffic, or would you instead monetize better? If the goal is increased traffic, think about short-term impacts (how many visitors can be expected within one month) and long-term effects (how many visitors can be expected in six months).
If you’re looking to monetize these pages, think about what your conversion rate is on average. This metric will tell you what type of revenue per visitor you need to get from the page so that it’s worth more than any alternative source of traffic or monetization.
Step 1: Create a keyword list for every step in the doc/FAQ
When optimizing help docs and FAQs, it’s essential to start with highly relevant keywords to the steps covered by each document.
It would be pointless for us to create an SEO-optimized version of our “How To Make A Website” tutorial only to discover that most people use our tutorials to learn how to perform specific tasks such as “how to make a blog” or “how to make a photo gallery.”
Since there are hundreds of steps in our tutorial, we need to create a list of keywords that can rank for all those different step-related searches.
This is not as easy as it sounds and involves some creative thinking: we don’t want to choose keywords that cover the topic only (for example: ‘website’) but instead keywords that include the keyword we’re targeting (for example: ‘make my own website’).
Before you continue, find your help docs and FAQ pages and open them in Excel or another spreadsheet program. You can then start creating your keyword lists by following these steps:
- Write out the complete text for each step in the doc/FAQ.
- Include every word that would typically come after that keyword to complete the sentence (for example, if your tutorial is called “How To Make A Website,” the first step should be “Choose a domain name”).
- For each keyword you’ve identified, write down every possible variation (this may include plurals and misspellings). You can also use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner Tool to find additional keywords.
- Add all these keywords to one master list.
Once you’re done with this step, move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Optimize each page for its specific keywords
Now that we have our master list of keywords, it’s time to take the next step and ensure that each page ranks well for its specific keywords.
For example, if your tutorial is called “How To Make A Website” and one of the steps is “Choose a domain name,” you should optimize this page for search queries like ‘how to make a website / how to create / how to build a website, etc.’
Exactly which keywords you choose depends on your current traffic levels, but here are some suggestions:
- Step-by-step tutorial names + targeted keyword (for example: ‘Make my own website’). This will tell visitors exactly what they’re looking for before searching.
- Most popular searches related to your topic (for example: ‘website builder’). This is a good tip for FAQ pages that might be more specific than the rest of the site.
- Best-converting search queries (for example: “how to build a website” with an average conversion rate of 10%).
This step will vary depending on your chosen keywords, so you’ll need to do some research before moving on to Step 3.
Step 3: Rewrite/translate your help docs and FAQs into target country-specific keywords
If most of your traffic comes from one region, optimizing your documents for those keywords makes sense. However, if English is only one of many languages you target, choose localized keyword tools or even consider rewriting/translating your help docs and FAQs into target country-specific keywords.
Remember that the process from Step 1 to Step 3 should be fully automated so you can have thousands of pages optimized in a few minutes.
Benefits of SEO Optimized Help Documentation and FAQs
One of the top-rated questions that come to mind while planning for an online product or service is, “how do I make this help section effective?” Well, here are five benefits of performing SEO Optimization on help docs and FAQs for your website.
1. Get more out of less
The first benefit of SEO-optimized help docs and FAQs is how you get more value from your resources. Unlike other pages on your website, these pages don’t require many resources in terms of time and money which makes them ideal to use instead of hiring a new person to create content for customer support.
The investment in professionals who can write well-optimized descriptions will be much lower than what you’d spend on creating brand new pages.
2. Good for branding your company
One of the best reasons you should use help docs and FAQs on your website is that it provides people with an opportunity to interact with your brand without actually approaching a customer support representative.
Your target audience can easily reach out to your business through these pages, especially if you’re using the right kind of language to create compelling content. Furthermore, interested people will be more willing to provide their contact information so you can follow up with them later on or share relevant offers they might have missed the first time around.
3. Easy access to accurate product information
Since search engines love pages with fresh content, you’ll most likely rank when someone searches for topics related to your product or service. However, it will take some time before someone lands on your page if you don’t have something to offer them right away.
Use SEO-optimized help docs and FAQs pages to ensure that people looking for information about upcoming products or services can easily find the relevant material they need.
4. Incorporate multiple support channels with one platform
SEO-optimized help docs and FAQs are great platforms for providing customers with different support options through each article without having to redirect them back to another page once they’ve found an answer.
Customers often contact businesses through different avenues like email, phone calls, live chat, or social media; therefore, you can provide all of these channels in a central location by utilizing help docs and FAQs pages.
5. Gain access to valuable customer data
One of the most significant benefits you can get from using help docs and FAQs is that it gives people the chance to regularly share their feedback, which helps you gain insight into what they like or don’t like about your product or service.
Moreover, by understanding why they’re leaving, you can create better content for SEO-optimized help docs and FAQs, which means gaining new customers in the long run. If nothing else, at least these pages provide you some time before they hit back at your business through negative online reviews on review sites like Google Reviews or Yelp.
SEO-optimized help docs and FAQs are helpful resources for any business since people often look for information before deciding to buy.
You can gain even more out of this marketing strategy by using these pages as a platform for providing customers with different support options through each of the articles without having to redirect them back to another page once they’ve found an answer.
The content you publish on SEO-optimized help docs and FAQs will most likely rank better than that used on other pages, which is another advantage that helps your business grow. Use these benefits to create compelling content for your business’ online presence today!