Musings on

marketing

By April 14, 2014

How to Ace the ‘About’ Page on Your Website

Make a great first impression

Companies only have one chance to make a strong first impression, which is why it is essential to put your best face forward—not just in your interpersonal interactions, but with your website content, as well. Nowhere is this truer than on your company’s ‘About Us’ page. Most likely, you already have an ‘About Us’ section on your company website and you probably know on some level that this page is important.

What you might not know is that, generally, ‘About Us’ pages are among the most-visited sections on any corporate website. Exactly how much traffic an ‘About Us’ page gets will vary, but try this: Log into your Google Analytics account, if you have one, and see how your ‘About Us’ page ranks in comparison to the other sections of your site. Chances are, it’s somewhere in the top five most-visited sections of your site, and likely even second, behind only the home page.

Your About page must shine

This is one reason why it matters that your company has a compelling ‘About Us’ page—because people are going to see it, and it sets the first impression they have of your brand. ‘About Us’ pages are important for other reasons, too. The ‘About Us’ page is your best opportunity to tell the story of your brand in a compelling, narrative way—something that a ‘Products’ or ‘Services’ page won’t allow.

Additionally, an ‘About Us’ section allows you to humanize your company; people prefer to do business with other people, not faceless corporate entities, so this is a great chance to make your business more relatable.

Include your company’s vision

All this is well and good, but for business owners there is an obvious question: How can you make sure your company ‘About Us’ section is just killer? How can you tweak it to be sure that your business is making a strong impression through this all-important piece of content?

The first step is to do some planning, remembering that the ‘About Us’ page should dovetail with the rest of your content strategy. You can’t rush into writing this content, in other words.

You’ve got to think about what your business really stands for: What’s your company vision? What is your company culture, as defined by your company values and mission? These are the considerations to make before you set out to write, as they will ultimately dictate the tone of your ‘About Us’ page.

Ironically, it’s not about you

Another tip: While we call the page the ‘About Us’ section, it’s really not about your business so much as it is about your visitors, your customers and your potential customers.

This may sound counterintuitive, but hear us out.

A first-time visitor to your website, someone who knows fairly little about your business, does not want to see an exhaustive chronicle of your corporate history. The story of your brand may be fascinating to you, but it’s simply not going to be as interesting to those with no vested interest in the company.

All your readers care about is what’s in it for them. Yes, you can share some facts about your company, and you might even explain some of its history, but this all needs to be in service of showing the benefits you offer to customers.

Include ‘just the facts,’ not fluff

A related tip: Strong ‘About Us’ content focuses on facts, not on superlatives. Saying that your company complies with national safety standards, that it delivers all products in five business days or less, that you work only with organic ingredients—all of that is fine. Calling your company visionary, superior, or the best ever is less fine: Simply put, these words don’t mean anything. They’re fluff.

Besides: Wouldn’t all companies lay claim to these adjectives? Set yourself apart by ditching the meaningless buzzwords in favor of substantive facts.

Make sure you’re distinctive

 With that point in mind, think back to your company mission and values, as discussed in the first point here. It’s important to use your company’s identity as the template with which you design your content; that identity guides you in deciding what really sets your company apart.

For example, some companies are set apart because they make products by hand instead of mass-producing them. Some companies are set apart by their convenience, by their low prices, by their high levels of quality, or by their industry thought leadership. What sets your company apart? Make that the focal point around which your ‘About Us’ narrative is told.

Be candid and tell your story

A final tip: Never underestimate the power of candor. Many small businesses try to build themselves up with vague content that makes them seem—in some nebulous way—bigger or more experienced than they really are. Vague isn’t the way to go, because it offers no value to readers.

Instead, own your limitations, your small size, and your newness (if applicable). Make these things work for you. Instead of masking your small size, play up your nimbleness, or the personal touch you can offer. Instead of covering up your newness, emphasize the fresh perspective you bring to your industry.

Every company has a story to tell, and the company ‘About Us’ page is an ideal place to tell it. Tell it honestly; tell it in a way that communicates your value to readers; more than anything, tell it in a way that shows just how unique your business really is!


 

About the author: Josh Hurst is the Content Marketing Strategist for Grammar Chic, Inc., a full-service writing company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. In this capacity, Josh has written company ‘About Us’ pages for manufacturing businesses, personal trainers, doctors, telecommunications companies, and a wide range of others. Connect with him via the Grammar Chic Facebook page or Twitter account, @grammarchicinc.