How we create quality About Us pages for our web design clients that convert
Your “About Us” page is likely to be the second or third most-viewed page of your entire website. If you have a basic, boring About Us page — or worse, no About Us page at all (yikes!) — you are absolutely losing conversions.
Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone. We’ve had a crack at creating effective, high-quality About Us pages more than a few times (not to toot our own horn). And we’re going to share with you some of the secrets of making yours a high-performing killer one!
1. Your About Us Page Is Not Really About You
This might seem counter-intuitive, especially considering what we just said above. However, the context for your About Us page isn’t simply telling your audience who you are.
How many times have you gone onto another business’s About Us page and saw giant blocks of text that prattled on about the CEO’s personal backstory or the company’s corporate history — with no relevance to you at all.
That’s the key: your About Us page is really about your audience, aka, your potential new customers. They want to know, “What’s in it for me?” As Copyblogger puts it:
Although it seems like a natural place on your website to talk about yourself, a strong About page is really about empathy for your visitors.
When you write an effective About page, you dig into your readers’ minds and then communicate that you have what they need or want.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t talk about yourself. Rather, keep the right context in mind: your About Us page is there to address your client’s needs, assure them they’re in the right place, and establish trust in you to deliver.
2. Avoid Sales-y Clichés
We can’t tell you how often we’ve DIY About Us pages littered with phrases like these:
“Well, then you’ve come to the right place!”
“We are your go-to [insert service/product] experts.”
“We’re the best in the business!”
“We’re the leading / #1 [insert business type] in [location].”
Ask yourself a real, honest question: Has any of those clichés ever actually convinced you? Of anything?
Reading an About Us page that’s peppered with these clichés is like walking into a grocery store and seeing a “Premium” label on every cut of beef and frozen dinner box. Or those “World’s Best [Whatever]” signs…
Worse, they tell your potential client nothing… except maybe that you couldn’t think of what to say. They add no value. If anything, your reader will be more likely to bounce.
The rule here is one that’s drilled into the minds of every writer: Show, don’t tell. More on actually illustrating your claims in a minute…
3. Tell Your Story (the Right Way)
This might seem to contradict all that stuff we said about keeping your About Us page customer-focused, but again, that’s the context. Your customers do want to get to know you a little.
It doesn’t need to be long or complicated. If you’ve been in business for several years, mention your founding date. (Whereas, if you’re a startup, it’s probably best not to mention that, at least not in your first sentence.)
What were the circumstances or inspiration that led you to found your business? And are they relatable to your target audience? If so, then talking about that is a great way to connect with them on a personal level.
Your About Us page is also a good place to quickly review your core services or products. (And a chance to link to your Services page, which is good for your SEO, too.) Maybe mention what sets your core service or product apart. For example, is your product locally made? Or if you offer services, what extra steps do you go to in order to provide your clients great value?
Pro-tip: Make sure to avoid technical jargon. Your Services or Products page is a better place to get into details. You don’t want to make your readers’ eyes glaze over!
4. Talk About What Drives You
Merely saying, “You’re in the right place,” doesn’t add value for your readers, but actually demonstrating it absolutely does. One of the main reasons your visitors come to your About Us page is to decide if your values align with theirs.
And let’s be honest, you don’t want clients who don’t agree with your values, either. If for no other reason, because they’re less likely to pay!
You’re ultimately trying to foster a business relationship with each client, and that goes both ways. That’s why telling them about your mission and core values in your About Us page is a great idea, in both directions:
- You can engage your visitors on a personal level.
- You can also vet them to ensure the right people are contacting you.
Your values are what motivate you, what get you out of bed in the morning, where you find a bit of peace during chaotic times. These are reflected in how you do business, and there’s no better place to talk about that than on your About Us page.
A fantastic example of this is Coca-Cola, believe it or not. It’s hard to image a company with a bigger brand, or one more faceless, than Coke. But they’ve worked hard over the last few years to personally engage their customers. Their About Us page has an entire section devoted entirely to their “Mission, Vision, & Values.”
Whereas Google makes their mission statement so straightforward, it’s the first thing you see on their page:
While it’s best not to get too personal right out the gate, expressing your values, vision, and mission is a great way to connect with your audience and humanize your brand.
5. Back Up Your Claims with Facts
For many people, one of the of the hardest aspects of creating their About Us page is they don’t like to brag. Of course, for some others, it’s actually the opposite side of the coin: they want to, “Always be closing,” often at the risk of turning off their would-be customers.
The SEO experts at Moz.com put it like this:
If you’re still finding it hard to strike a happy medium between highlighting your selling points and plain boasting, then simply present your readers with the facts. This could be anything from your client retention rate to the amount of new products you offer each month to the number of awards you’ve collected. No one can argue with raw figures.
On the other hand, this isn’t exactly easy for startups. It’s not a great idea to talk about awards or customer ratings if you only have one of each.
That’s where you can substitute data with “social proof.” Almost every business website has a testimonial section somewhere, and for one very good reason: testimonials work. People are influenced by their peers.
However, they’ve also been burned by infomercials and paid actors posing as clients. Be selective with the reviews you post. If you can get a review that’s specific as to how you helped your client and the benefit they received, that’s far more valuable than just, “I love Joan Smith, she did a great job!”
6. Put a Face to Your Name (and Get Social)
In a post-social media world where everyone sees faces and names next to the content they ingest every day, readers simply expect to know who you are before they choose to talk to you.
If you’re a solopreneur, this is your chance to inject a bit of personality into your About Us page and “close the deal” with a digital handshake. Don’t be afraid to let your quirks hang out a bit.
However, if you have several employees or retained contractors in your team, adding bios for each person can kill two birds with one stone:
- You can humanize your company by showing who’s working behind the scenes.
- You can project the sense of an established business by showing that there’s more than one professional contributing to your work.
Adding headshots and small bios can accomplish this. Your bios can be one line or a whole paragraph. You can talk about your professional experience, or simply give each person’s position and maybe a fun quote from them.
What matters most is that your profile or bios are consistent with the culture you’re trying to project. MailChimp brands themselves as fun and different, so back in their startup phase, they posted profile photos to match:
While this is a great way for a B2B software company to stand out from the crowd, it might not be such a good idea for a lawyer or doctor, for instance. Sometimes boring reads as reassuring.
It all depends on you, which is the real point of your About Us page.
This is also the perfect section to invite your readers to your Facebook page or Twitter account, etc. Everyone’s so used to seeing Facebook buttons and social icons everywhere that we become blind to them. There’s no incentive to act!
But adding a short, personal invite to “like” or “follow” after introducing yourself is an effective means of encouraging a wary or time-pressed visitor to engage with you, rather than simply clicking away.
7. Close with Your Call to Action
One of the biggest mistakes that lots of DIY’ers — and even some professional web designers — frequently make is simply ending their About Us page, often with no contact information or any guidance on what the reader should do next.
Put yourself in your visitor’s place: you’ve had your needs addressed, you’ve been reassured that you’re in the right place, you’ve seen some data or testimonials for proof, and you’ve even kind of meeting the person or people behind the company, and then *bam*, “The End.”
Would that not leave you feeling cold and maybe confused? “Now what?” you might ask yourself.
Instead, give your visitors one last nudge in the direction you’ve been guiding them toward this whole time. Where your Call to Action leads depends on your own goals with your website, your sales funnel, and your buyer journey.
Are you trying to build your email subscriber list? Close with a CTA that includes a subscribe button and email form.
Do you prefer to talk to your clients over the phone or have a dedicated sales team? Ask your visitor to “call us today” and include your phone number, even if it’s already all over your other pages.
Closing with your Call to Action can actually be the difference between converting a visitor into a qualified lead (and hopefully a sale) and adding another “bounce” to your dreary analytics report.
So How About that Call to Action?
Here comes ours! (Wink, smile, glint on our teeth that goes *ding*.)
We hope that our blog has given you insight into how you can get the most value out of your About Us page.
If you find yourself a bit daunted now, don’t worry! This post is born of our own working experience in crafting websites that embody each client’s unique brand and culture.
Message or call us today to talk about creating your own killer About Us page, website, and more!