Every website should have an About Us page.
Whether we’re talking about a personal blog or a multinational company, this is the page that people will visit if they’re new to your site and want to understand what you’re all about.
It’s also where bloggers and journalists will go if you’re lucky enough to earn some coverage.
If you log into your analytics suite and check out the list of your most-viewed pages, the chances are that your About Us page will be up there in the top ten. Yet despite that, many people simply “set it and forget it”, creating an About Us page when the website is first built and then focusing exclusively on new content for the blog.
This is all well and good until time rolls on and the About Us page becomes outdated.
When that happens, suddenly the most valuable page on your website can start working against you and pushing people away.
Your About Us page isn’t set in stone and like all good marketing assets, it should be constantly tweaked and tested to optimize its performance. The good news is that whether you’re revisiting an existing page or whether you’re working on a brand new one, we’re here to help.
Here’s what you need to know to build a killer About Us page.
The first thing to think about is who you’re expecting to read the About Us page.
In the same way that your social media marketing campaigns have specific target audiences in mind, your About Us page should be specifically written to cater to the people who are most likely to read it. It’s likely that these visitors are closer to making a purchase than the average visitor and that they already know a decent amount about your company, so don’t dumb it down too much.
Once you know who your ideal visitor is, you can start to create content that’s specifically designed to cater to them and to answer their questions. The trick is to do this in such a way that it doesn’t feel forced, and THAT is a difficult tone to get right.
It’s like trying to brag about yourself and your achievements in a CV without coming across as big-headed.
There’s a fine art to it.
That’s why you shouldn’t worry too much about getting the first draft of your About Us page just right.
Like we said, it should be constantly tweaked.
In the meantime, here are just a few ideas to help you out along the way.
Metrics speak louder than words.
Telling people that you can increase the number of visitors to their website is one thing, but showing that your average client receives an increase in traffic of 32% is something else.
Being able to share solid metrics is much more persuasive than going without, and this is especially true for B2B companies and those who sell high-value products with a long buying cycle.
One way to engender trust amongst potential customers is to write your About Us page in such a way that it pre-empts popular questions and provides the answers to them. People will want to know things like the size of your business, how long it’s been operating, who the main clients are, where it’s headquartered and what it has to offer that other competitors can’t provide.
Every brand has something that they believe in.
As business owners, we need to be self-aware enough to know what it is that matters to us and then to communicate that on our About Us pages.
One way to do this is to tell the story of how the company was founded, as it’s likely that those values are the reason that the company exists in the first place.
Your About Us page is the perfect place for you to include the accomplishments that you’re most proud of. It could be a product launch, an acquisition, an investment or an award win.
Think creatively and don’t be afraid to sing your own praises.
Nobody else is going to do it for you.
Your employees are your company’s greatest asset, which is why it’s a good idea to include at least your founding members on your About Us page.
This will also show that there are real people behind the company and that you’re not just one of those faceless mega-corporations that everyone hates having to deal with.
When you’re working on the structure of your About Us page, make sure that the most important information comes first.
What this information actually consists of depends upon your target audience, but remember that we’re talking about the information that’s most important to the visitor and not to the company.
You might be tempted to hit them with a sales message if you know you’re going to have their attention, but you’re better off providing them with whatever information it is that they’re looking for.
Many companies write their About Us page in third person perspective, which essentially leaves them dispassionately talking about themselves as though they’re 100% subjective. This can work well in certain circumstances, but not on an About Us page.
Remember, people are on YOUR About Us page on YOUR website to see what YOU have to say about YOURSELF.
Writing in first person singular (“I…”) or first person plural (“we…”) is a great way to humanize your brand and to start to build direct connections with your visitors.
When we think about our websites, we have a tendency to think about visitors as a whole and forget that every time someone arrives on our site, we’re speaking directly to them.
When someone visits your site, you’re speaking to a person and not to a company.
B2B marketers, in particular, can significantly improve their About Us pages just by addressing their visitors directly.
Tell them how you can help them as individuals, and not just their company as a whole.
If your company is taking steps to make the world a better place, you should shout about it.
Listing any charitable work that you’ve done on your About Us page will help to reflect your values, but it will also help people to warm to your company by showing that it has a soul.
Just make sure that you don’t come across as self-serving or leave people with the impression that you only helped charities so that you’d look good.
Social proof refers to the idea that we trust what other people say about a brand more than we trust what a brand says about itself.
For example, how many of us would prefer to ask a friend for a hotel recommendation than to read what hotels say about themselves on their websites? Even user reviews are a form of social proof, so take advantage of this phenomenon however you can.
If nothing else, consider embedding your social media profiles so that people receive the social proof that comes from your online following.
Every brand has a story behind it.
For example, Facebook was famously founded in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room, while Bill Gates and Paul Allen of Microsoft once stole operation system listings from trash cans so that they could study them.
Telling the story of how your brand came to be will help people to understand what you’re all about and why you might be able to help them.
Nobody wants to read huge chunks of text.
In fact, most internet users tend to skim read web pages by flicking through them and looking for the most relevant information.
By breaking your About Us page up with images, subheadings, and other visual elements, you help to improve user experience while simultaneously boosting dwell time.
Quotes and testimonials are arguably one of the most valuable forms of social proof, and they’re important enough that they deserve their own entry in this list.
They’re particularly important for B2B companies, and it can be a good idea to link through from the About Us page to a fuller case study where possible.
The best testimonials highlight the caliber of the clients that you’re working with, list the tangible results that you achieved for them and portray your company in a positive light.
A call-to-action is typically a small piece of text or a button that tells people what you expect them to do next. On your About Us page, this might be an invitation to “contact us to find out more” or a form that visitors can fill out to join your mailing list.
Remember the audience that you’re expecting to reach with the page and come up with a call-to-action that makes sense for them.
If you don’t include a call-to-action, people will just browse away before doing what you want them to do.
By now, you’re probably tempted to write a 2,000 word About Us page that shares every little detail that you can think of.
Avoid that temptation.
The best writers know that brevity is key and that the goal should be to convey as much information in as few words possible.
Try to be direct and to the point with your first draft and then go back through it again and delete as much as you can without losing the meaning.
Now that you know everything you need to know about putting together a winning About Us page, the next step is to put what you’ve learned today into action. Start by revisiting your existing page, if you have one, and making notes on how it could be improved. Keep your eyes peeled for outdated or irrelevant information and focus at first on pruning as much as you can from it.
The next step is to go through the checklist in this article and to see how many of the suggestions you can implement.
Remember that brevity is arguably the most important factor of all, so if you can’t fit every suggestion into your About Us page then don’t worry about it.
It’s better to be short and to the point than to go on for ages and to labor the point.
The best About Us pages are those that know when to stop.