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Many commercial websites contain a link with the abbreviation FAQ, which stands for "Frequently Asked Questions". Indeed, many new visitors to a website gravitate towards this page as a way to orient themselves. A good FAQ page should answer almost all of the most common questions concerning a website's policies, content or procedures. By anticipating these questions, website owners often reduce their email volume considerably.
An FAQ page is usually written in a question and answer format, and may be separated into different categories for easier discovery. For example, an FAQ page for an electronics website may be divided into sections such as merchandise, return policies, technical support, vendors and advertising. Each section would have its own questions, generally asked and answered by knowledgeable staff members in each department.
FAQ pages are not required to be comprehensive, but it should address the majority of questions customers or other visitors may have. For questions not covered, many websites offer online forms or email links which will forward those questions to the appropriate department. Visitors may be strongly encouraged to read the entire page before submitting specific queries, since the answers they seek may be listed under other categories.
While specific questions vary from website to website, there are some common queries usually covered in FAQ format. Basic questions about the company's history and mission statement often appear on FAQ pages, along with information on key staff members and their contact addresses. Questions about payment schedules or methods may also be answered in this page. Return policies and shipping information are also frequently found there. Some website owners have been known to create a less formal FAQ page, complete with obscure questions or tongue-in-cheek responses. Some website owners have done away with a traditional question page altogether, or else have revamped their pages to avoid the familiar question and answer format.
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