This blog originally appeared on Whittington Consulting’s Online Results blog.
When we talk to companies about online marketing, some will inevitably ask, “Why do I need a blog?”
Because we say that a blog is a great place to answer specific questions that your buyers might have, it’s easy to confuse a blog with an FAQ page. Both answer questions, but a blog has some distinct advantages over an FAQ page.
FAQ pages are typically written, posted on a website, and then forgotten about. They are contrived by people at your company — not usually based on questions customers actually ask, but what people at the company think they want to know.
But what an FAQ page lacks is the catalog of in-depth content that a blog provides to readers.
Need more reasons that a blog is good for your business? Read 14 Reasons Why Your Business Should Start A Blog.
Here are some ways that a blog is different than an FAQ page, and what a blog does differently:
A blog is a library of information, not a single page.
A web page with “frequently asked questions” are generally used to quickly answer a variety of questions about a specific product or service. It’s very broad in focus and covers things like price of a service, product specifications, product usage, ordering, shipping or support.
FAQ pages are great for short questions about your offering, but a blog can provide so much more and gives you a chance to be a hub for information for your readers. Picture your blog as a library of information, ready to answer your reader’s specific questions with depth and clarity.
Blogs provide more detailed information and explanations.
To get another picture of the difference between an FAQ page and a blog, we generally ask our clients to think of every possible question they get from customers. We ask them to write down these questions over a period of time, then take a chance to look back and compile them into categories. Most of the time, these questions range from inquiries about the actual product or service, to broad and general industry questions. Many of these questions could go into a single FAQ page, but many require a long-form explanation.
Unlike an FAQ page, it’s not irrelevant to answer these specific questions in a longer form on your blog. Questions that would have little place in an FAQ page make for great blog posts. For example, if your offering is a software product, it would be interesting to write a blog post about how people commonly use the product. By writing about things that your readers care to hear about, you’re creating a space for them to come to learn more.
Two “frequently asked questions” by nearly any prospect are price points and product specifications. A blog is a great place to get into the specifics of these questions that provide insight to your customers.
Blogs have better search engine benefits.
An added perk of a blog over a FAQ page is the value the pages that make up your blog have in terms of search engine optimization. The more pages you create on your website (i.e. individual blog posts), the more pages search engines are going to index. A search engine indexing your pages, especially optimized pages, gives you a great chance to rank in search when your readers are looking for information.
FAQ pages rarely have a chance to rank in search, mainly due to their broad focus on many topics. Individual blog posts on narrow topics have a great likelihood of being found in search – another added benefit of a blog!
See how a blog can improve your website traffic in this case study.
What’s holding you back?
If I’ve managed to convince you of the differences between a blog and FAQ page, it’s time to get to work! There’s no need to trash all the work you’ve done answering questions on your FAQ page. You can further enhance your FAQ by using it as a hub for additional resources provided by your blog, or you can link directly to articles in your blog that clarify or go into detail.
Set your website apart from your FAQ page and create a blog full of stories, statistics, and best practices. Whether it’s more about your industry, the people who use your products, or the type of product itself, a blog can help you delve deeper into your consumer’s biggest concerns.
A blog gives you a chance to be highly narrow in focus. Touch on subjects at a high, broad level in your FAQ, and then delve deeper in a blog post. Use the FAQ page to link to your blog – further explaining topics to your reader, while enhancing views to your blog.
If you’re having trouble getting started with writing blog posts, check out our blog planner template. It helps your organize your thoughts and plan out posts in a way that’s relevant to your buyers.
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