An effective website does several things to help your business succeed. Having information on your site about your products and services is absolutely critical. Further, having useful tips about buying your product or service is also very helpful. One of the most overlooked pages on a website; however, is the high quality About Us page.
A quality about us page provides a visitor with information about you or your company. Like every page on your website, as much as the words are written by you, the message is for the customer, and, by extension about the customer. It sounds like a paradox, I know, writing your companies about us page and making it about the customer but this works better than a dry history – let me explain.
An about us page that is customer focused provides your information in a way that informs the customer about reasons to trust you, reasons to identify with you, and ultimately reasons to buy from the great person, or company that you are. That doesn’t mean that your high quality about us page is completely a sales snow job either.
The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is determine what your company is about. If the value you bring to the consumer is quality, then that message should be massaged liberally into your site’s content. Same thing with any other corporate messages – generally there are three “biggies.” The first is speed of service or product, the second is quality or efficacy of a service or product, and the third is cost of service or product. Usually we work on at least two out of the three as core company values (something you decide as part of your vision and strategy).
The best approach to integrating messages that encourage trust and inspire customers to identify with you or your brand is to use your history to illustrate your values. Consider this statement:
“Our company has been serving the tri-state area for 25 years.”
To be sure it contains information, but is missing many opportunities to demonstrate values. Try this instead:
“XYZ Corporation and their dedicated employees have been delighting customers near and far for over 25 years.”
This sentence illustrates two different company messages: dedicated employees, and delighted customers. We also removed the tri-state area reference because it may not blend with longer term objectives, and, of course, there are reasons to go out of the area if the money is good. This brings us to a second consideration.
Like the friend that shares too much at parties, you too can share too much information about your company. Companies that provide too much specific information on their “about us” page regarding what they do give reasons for customers to weed them out. There is a delicate balance of how much is too much versus not enough. You know it’s too much information if you can measure people leaving your site on your about us page.
As a corollary, your about us page should also highlight your brand persona. If you are shooting for corporate and sophisticated, then keep your wording on the about us page formal. If you are an edgy startup with plenty of rules you are willing to break, then make that about us page an expression of your corporate identity. Whichever it is, remember, when a customer doesn’t know what you do, one of the first things they look for is a quality “about us” page.