What to Do and not Do with an “About” Page
Static pages are all well and good for explaining the specifics of what your business does, but your web site’s “About Us” page should be a quick way for visitors to know who you are and why they should care. Unfortunately, not all web sites offer this. Often, the “About” page is a thrown-together set of marketing or self-centered puffery that doesn’t offer any benefit to the curious reader.
An “About” page has one of the longest shelf lives of any piece of content on a web site, so it’s extremely important to make sure you get it done right. Here are some simple tips to avoid common mistakes.
DON’T Mindlessly Talk About Yourself
This point likely seems odd on reflection. It is easy to find “About” pages that are nothing but blatant self-promotion advertising “dynamic solutions” and “agile business solutions.” Many have short (or not so short) descriptions of the company’s history and evolution. While it is fine to include this information on your web site under tabs like “Our History,” it is not suitable for the “About” page itself.
The “About Us” page is best imagined as an elevator pitch. If you are trying to convince someone of an idea, you don’t talk about your childhood or your education. Instead, you go straight to the meat of the matter and outline your proposal and emphasize how it can benefit the person you’re speaking to. This doesn’t mean you have to abandon all forms of self-promotion—confidence is important after all—but you should be aware of how that promotion is framed. Feel free to mention any awards won, company records, or information about the scope of your business, since these are concrete details that can emphasize your abilities without the “heard it all before” problem of vague marketing terms.
DO Have Fun
Mission statements and elevator pitches are great, but they are not always particularly thrilling subject matters. Depending on your business and preferences, spicing up an “About” page with some fun or personality can help humanize your company and relax the readers and even put a smile on their face. This can come in handy when having to write about staff members or when creating your own personal biography for the site. For the record: a biography is usually only a good inclusion on an “About” page when the service is based around a person (like a lawyer or realtor) or if it is for a blog. In instances where you would be describing a management team, a separate “Meet the Team” page would be a better idea.
Regardless of where you use them, biographies can be a good way to let the human beings who make up the company shine through. For an example of how this can be done well, look at the “About” page for the Lowering The Bar web site. Since this is a humour site, owner Kevin Underhill has a leg up in matters of fun, but the “About” page shows a particular dedication to his personality. It contains phrases like, “Kevin is known for his analytical and writing abilities and also for his irritating tendency to write his own biographical material in which he talks about himself in the third person,” among other gems.
DON’T Abuse Jargon
“About” pages benefit best when they are straight to the point and unambiguous. Jargon, business acronyms, and an excess of industry terminology are on the opposite end of the spectrum from this. While certain business or industry terms may be unavoidable, they should be kept to a minimum. Write in a conversational manner when possible, and consider how to deliver your points clearly but in an engaging manner. If your business seeks to fill a need or niche, try to talk about how annoying that problem is or how it can be hard to find the right kind of service. As the reader nods in agreement, you can make your case.
A good example of this is Wave, a software company that caters to small businesses. Their biographical content (which you will notice is categorized), clearly outlines what the company offers, who they help, and how they help them. There are even a few flashes of personality while still keeping with the above tip.
By the way, it’s a good idea not to tinker too much with what your “About” page is actually called. “Our Journey” or “Our Story” or even “Mission Statement” may seem better or more unique, but it won’t be what a reader is looking for when they quickly scan the page.
DO Have a Call to Action
Presumably, readers have clicked on your “About” page because they want to know what you do. They read through the information and, by the time they reach the end of the page, they have gotten an idea of the kinds of service you provide. What do you want to happen next? Do you want them to click on a link to your history page? Or would you prefer they follow you on social media? Maybe you want to encourage them to sign up for a newsletter or peruse more detailed product or service pages.
“About” pages can benefit from a call to action just as much as any other content piece on the site, but not everyone realizes this. Think about what the reader’s path should be after going over the “About” page and leave the necessary trail for them to continue on.
DO Get Quality Help
Numero Uno Web Solutions is a provider of search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and mobile optimization solutions for startups and small companies from all industries and fields. As a trusted Google partner, we stay on the pulse of industry changes and adapt our practices to produce quality SEO and mobile optimization plans to fuel the growth of businesses across communities. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 905-856-2012 to learn more about marketing techniques and how we can help improve your search profile across all platforms.