Cascade Tip of the Month: To FAQ or not to FAQ?

It’s the first day of classes for spring 2016, so what better way to kick off another great semester than by refreshing your web content? We know our audiences want quick answers, but are FAQ pages the best way to ensure the content they are looking for is front-and-center? You may want to take a step back and ask yourself if the FAQs you are showcasing really are frequently asked questions, why is that info not readily available on your site? Try to view your site as the source of the information your audience is looking for in a structure that makes it easy to find. So, how do you know what your audience is looking for? Here are a few helpful pointers:

  • Monitor what your users are asking on social media. If your audience consists of prospective and incoming students and you maintain a FAQ page addressing future students, do your FAQs bear a resemblance to the questions you are answering on social media? If they do (and they should), it’s probably time to start thinking about ways to better feature that info on your website (outside of an FAQ page).
  • Take notes and set up meetings. By enlisting the help of offices and staff who interact directly with your audience (e.g. Admission, First Year Experience), they can help recommend new content based on the questions they encounter the most.
  • Ideally, your site’s content will answer your audience’s questions. However, if you find your FAQ page is getting a significant amount of traffic and you think it’s appropriate to keep it, that’s fine. But if there’s a particular question that comes up over and over, consider adding that information to one of your primary pages instead of only featuring it on your FAQ page.

Happy editing! And try to stay warm out there.

~Erin

 

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