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How to Use Support Pages to Boost SEO

Does your site have a product support section, FAQ, or help forum? If so, you may be able to leverage that content for SEO. That’s the lesson that Tom Demers teaches us in a recent how-to, and it’s one I wanted to take an in depth look at today.

We’ve covered similar topics before—for example, optimizing your About page or using customer calls as an SEO goldmine. But Tom’s guide applies this approach to an area of your site that’s almost always overlooked. Help and support pages are seen as almost back-end content that’s irrelevant to marketing. But, if you groom it and link in the right places, Tom believes it can boost your ranking.

The Untapped Potential of Support Pages

The reason support pages offer such a great SEO opportunity is simple: they provide answers when people ask questions. That’s everything a search engine wants from you.

Most support pages aren’t configured to take advantage of that, however. Tom gives a very detailed run through, but I’d break it down into three simple parts:

1: UX First

Although support pages can help SEO, that’s not their main purpose. The main purpose should be to help users find the information they need, and present it as clearly as possible. You have to preserve this focus on UX (user experience) at all costs.

That includes:

  • Only adding links if they are useful.
  • Not cramming in keywords. The title of each section should already be a long tail keyword.
  • Keeping navigation simple.

As Tom says, “any changes you’re making in the way you link internally (particularly with regards to primary navigational elements) should be driven by the overall user experience and business goals of your site, not by SEO.”

2: Expand Your Content 

Now on to the optimization. The main way to optimize support pages it analyze and improve your existing content. Tom suggests three ways to do the analysis:

What you’re looking for are pages that are already ranking well, or that bring in a lot of traffic. These pages can be considered models for your other content. Are they written a certain way, or cluster around certain topics? That implies that you could use the same writing structure for new pages, or add more related topics that would also perform well.

Second, look for what’s missing. Tom suggests the paid tool MarketMuse, but you probably don’t need it to think up new support pages. Start with questions that get asked a lot in your forums, or that customer service staff are asked a lot. Consider also an old fashioned brainstorm, and run the list through the AdWords Keyword Planner to see which ones get search activity. Write these new pages and put them up.

Last, link pages together as much as possible. Consider a “related articles” stub at the bottom of each piece, and make sure all support pages are tagged with categories.

3: Show It Off

The last step in the support page master plan is to make sure all this content is visible. Easy ways to do that include making the Support section visible on the main page (possibly with a category pulldown), linking to product support from the product page itself, and adding a “Popular Topics” widget in the sidebar.

The Payoff

This kind of work won’t rocket you to No. 1 in Google. But you will create more high-value content, more internal links, and more reason for people to link to you from elsewhere. These are perhaps the three biggest factors in improving your site’s rank.

Want more help with your SEO? The EverSpark team is here for you. Contact us for a free consultation today.