Did you know that the “About Page” on your website is the second-most-viewed page*?
Recently I read in the March/April 2016 issue of “Costco Connection” that visitors are most likely to land first on your “Home” page to learn about your business and then they want to know who you are. I find this to be true for myself when visiting a website for the first time. After a quick view of the “Home” page, I want to see the people behind the business. What am I looking for on the “About” page? I want to know if they are someone I would like to do business with. Do they seem trustworthy? What are their credentials? Are they experts in their field? The “About” or “About Us” page is the place to answer these questions and point the viewer in the direction you want them to take.
Think of this page as an Introduction – like when you meet someone for the first time with a handshake. In that meeting, you have the tone of voice – which can be thought of like the tone of the language used on the page. Does the tone sound like your business? Is it sophisticated or casual? It is helpful to think about the reader when you write – who they are, what you want them to understand and their familiarity with the product/service you offer. Speak to them on their level.
Think of the body language in that first introductory meeting – it is often subconsciously absorbed but very important. This is also apparent on a web page in the appearance of the page and the clarity of the content. Is the page layout clear and welcoming? It should be organized with the most important information easily accessible. There should be links to other pages of content for quick access to more information. While confidence can be felt in the grip of a handshake, your “About” page can be direct, pointed and articulate with headings and subheadings and bullet lists.
And how about eye contact? We all know this is vital in a meeting – it is the real connection; the acknowledgement of mutual respect. Is your “About” page open and transparent with information? Provide pertinent content for what visitors are searching for – giving them respect of their time and knowledge. It helps to make a connection by using personal examples of how you overcame difficult situations or solved a problem.
The “About” page concept can be a single page or developed into an “About Us” section of your website which may include sub-pages such as “Team”, “Office Locations”, “Company History”, etc. Keeping this in mind, here are some tips to building an effective “About” page or “About Us” section.
Tell Your Story
When I come to the “About” page, I am looking for what got the owners started in business. Was it an interest that became a passion, a passion that became a vocation? Or a family business years in the making? I want to get to know them a little here – to make a personal connection. It’s worth giving some background – “show some human skin” – to the visitor that is more likely to do business with someone they “know” than a stranger.
Pictures reiterate your story and reinforce your brand. Whenever possible, either office/location photos or staff/service pictures are great. Photos of the owner/founder and other key personnel show more transparency and an effort to connect. If not already on the “Contact” page, an outdoor location photo is helpful to give me an idea how to recognize their building when I come to visit their office. Photos should be professional or at least high-quality with good lighting. For me, as a viewer, I make a direct connection between the value placed on high quality imagery (photos and graphics) and how professional your business is. Read more about the importance of high quality imagery and where to source images.
Mission Statement & Brand Promise
Why should I choose to do business with you? Tell me what makes your company do things better or differently than the competition. Your Mission Statement tells me what you stand for and what you care about. It may connect with me on a personal level if my values are similar. Your Brand Promise is what you intend to deliver to the market. Convince me that I need you in my corner.
Give me proof. Here I want to see associations; reputable affiliations. Include logos from organizations that I can immediately recognize – ie. BBB. Has your company been in the news or received any awards or commendations? Wow! Show off! Do you have some well-known or superstar clients? Tell me! Bragging is encouraged all over this page/area.
Call to Action
What do you want me to do now that I am well-informed and convinced I would like to start doing business with you? Perhaps you have an “Estimate Form” or “Contact” page you’d like me to go to. Add some links here so I don’t wander from page to page wondering what my next step should be. When possible begin creating a long-term relationship with me. Perhaps you could offer me a coupon on my next purchase in return for my signing up for your email newsletter; or direct me to your social media channels so I can follow you and keep up to date with your promotions and news.
SEO – Search Engine Optimization
Throughout this page – or series of pages – keep in mind keywords that will be used in searching for your business and use as many of these as often as you can. Use location-based terms wherever you can – ie. “We serve in the areas of Richmond, Delta, White Rock, South Surrey” or “Growing from our roots in South Delta, we now offer the same unparalleled customer service to the neighboring communities of North Delta and Surrey and across the Lower Mainland.”
Remember, your “About” page has the potential of landing the most visitors from search engines – make the most of it by delivering the most powerful and firm handshake you have.
*according to HubSpot.