Frequently Asked Questions about FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are a list of common questions and answers pertaining to a particular topic. The name may be recent, but the format is not. For example, in 1647, Matthew Hopkins wrote The Discovery of Witches as a list of questions and answers, presented as "Certaine Queries answered."

Why should I have an FAQ page?

Adding a Frequently Asked Questions page to your website will improve your client's experience. You can help prevent surprises for your clients with answers about fees, timeliness of cases, how quickly you return phone calls or e-mails, or what to bring to an initial consultation.

Your FAQ answers can avert issues with future clients whose expectations are unrealistic. A family lawyer's potential client might expect a divorce to conclude quickly because that's what he or she heard at a coffee shop. Another client may think that separation is the same as a divorce. A FAQ page can answer those questions quickly and help your prospective clients.

Your answers to questions about your area of practice can position you as an authority by building credibility and gaining trust. Your FAQ page will save you and your staff time by answering questions about routine matters such as hours, fees, locations, or parking.

How do I write a FAQ page?

To write an effective FAQ page, think of the questions you are often asked about your practice. Where is your office? Do you have parking? What are your hours? Place those at the top of the list, then move to the more complex queries relating to your practice.

If the list of questions is becoming long and may overwhelm the reader, break them into sections. Group similar questions and place them under a subhead such as:

  • Child Custody
  • Adoption
  • Separation
  • Divorce

Using subheads allows readers to scan the page to find the parts most relevant to their situation. Another option is to list only questions with links to the answers. At the end of each answer, provide a return link so they can go back to the top of the FAQ page.

Advantages of an electronic format can also be used on FAQ pages. Add visuals or videos to break up the text. Answering questions with a video helps viewers get to know you and your firm. Promote your blog—if a blog post relates to a question, link to it. That extensive information could be exactly what the reader is seeking.

Don't forget to add a link to your FAQ page on your SBM Member Directory profile. In August, more than 200,000 visitors consulted the Member Directory. A link to your FAQ will help make your profile stand out.

Every time you meet with a client, you are asked questions that could be included on your FAQ page. Addressing concerns and questions early on can comfort and educate potential clients. A FAQ page that addresses expectations and informs potential clients is a resource that can increase your productivity and business.

Roberta GubbinsRoberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of Briefs, the Ingham County Bar Association e-newsletter, and The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.

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