Whether you’re starting from scratch or revisiting an About Us page in need of a little TLC, you can take yours from forgettable to memorable by incorporating these tips.
It’s one of the most important elements on a company’s website and also one of the most undervalued: the ubiquitous “About Us” page—that section on your site that has been collecting virtual dust because you haven’t bothered to read it since, well, you first wrote it. You may not be paying it much attention, but visitors to your site are. And considering that your About Us page is where the world clicks to learn about your company and the services you offer, which can mean the potential loss or gain of a customer, it deserves a little more consideration and a lot more respect.
“Most of our clients don’t realize how much their About Us page is visited,” says Thomas Harpointner, CEO of AIS Media, an award-winning marketing and interactive media agency in Atlanta. “It’s among the first three pages consumers go to when they visit a site. We’ve worked with both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies, and we spend more time consulting clients on the About Us page than any other. Companies are so focused on the design of their site, their products, and how they’re going to market them that they simply overlook it. It’s an afterthought.”
How to Design a Great “About Us” Page: Make the Human Connection
The primary purpose of your site’s About Us page is to provide information about your business and what it can deliver, so it should include the basics, such as who your company serves, how long it’s been around, and its long-term goals and mission. Don’t forget to include your address. And if your company has multiple locations or does business globally, this is the perfect place to mention that information, or at least link to a page on your site that does, such as your Contact Us page. But don’t stop there, which is a mistake a lot of businesses make.
What results is a stale, unoriginal, and downright boring About page. Fortunately, spicing it up is easier than you think. By incorporating a few strategic components, you can go beyond the yawn-inducing jargon. Simple tactics can make your About Us page a more exciting read and your company seem more accessible, says Lorrie Thomas, aka The Marketing Therapist, a marketing strategist, educator, writer, web marketing expert and speaker, and that can ultimately drive business and increase sales. Avoid writing a soliloquy (too much text is a turnoff) and focus on connecting with your site visitors. For example, Thomas, who just returned from a 10-day speaking tour on better Web marketing, told her dozen or so employees to write their own bios for her company’s About Us page. Her only mandate was that in addition to providing a snapshot of their professional history, they include personal information, such as hobbies or their favorite activities. Some even set up links to their blogs and personal websites.
This might also be a good place to include e-mail addresses for your staff. Readily available contact information shows customers that you want to hear from them and that you have nothing to hide. “The About Us page needs to reflect the organization,” says Thomas, CEO of Santa Barbara, California-based WebMarketing Therapy.
“It’s the story of how a company started, but it should also be the story of who’s behind it. Is the CEO an avid skier? Or a yoga guru? We’re no longer in the world of B to B, or business to business; we’re in a world of what I call P to P, people to people. Relationships are the name of the game. Your clients want to know you, like you, and trust you.”