While many law firm websites include Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), these pages are often added to the site with little thought given to the questions users might really be asking. In order to develop a good FAQ page you need to spend some time thinking about the specific questions and concerns your potential clients may be struggling with. Even though FAQs are meant to be a helpful resource for individuals visiting your site, these pages also offer a tremendous opportunity to market your firm and its expertise. By providing thoughtful answers to commonly asked questions you are making a user comfortable with your firm and starting to build a relationship with a person who may eventually become your client.
Guidelines for Developing Your FAQs
When you are starting to think about writing an FAQ page it is important to follow a few guidelines. The tips set forth below are designed to assist you in delivering information that your users are actually looking for in a helpful and user-friendly manner.
- Do Your Research. Take some time to think about the questions that clients typically ask when they first contact your firm. Keep a running list of the questions that crop up again and again and be sure to check with the staff members in your office who answer the phones and serve as initial points of contact with clients.
- Organize Your Questions. FAQ pages are meant to provide users with quick access to information they need the most. If your FAQ page covers a lot of questions you may want to break it up – consider using categories with headers or having different FAQ pages for different types of information. For instance, you may want to have one FAQ page specifically answering questions about your firm, its services, legal fees, etc., and other FAQ pages to address common questions about the law and legal procedures for your largest practice areas.
- Keep it Short and Simple. Just like anything else on the Internet, if your FAQs are too long or overly complex your users will ignore them. Your questions and answers should be direct and easy to understand. When you have a complicated question requiring a lengthy answer, consider adding a blog or article to your site covering the question in detail. Additionally, if other pages on your website address the question provide a link to these pages – there is no need to repeat information over and over again.
- Review and Update. Nothing stays the same forever. It is very important to review and update your FAQ pages on a regular basis. When important changes in the law occur or you revise your firm’s services or policies you need to provide users with this new information. Sometimes questions will become irrelevant or out of date – be sure to remove these so that your users have access to current information they actually need.
- Be Available to Users. Your FAQ page is never going to be able to answer all of your users’ questions. If you want to come across as being a firm committed to helping clients solve their problems, you need to be accessible. Be sure to include a link to your contact page so you can respond to questions not included on the FAQ page.
Your FAQ page is an important part of your website and should be designed to meet the needs of your users. The key to a good FAQ page and a good website is to provide information your users are genuinely looking for in and easy to find and easy to read manner.