5 Steps to a Great About Us Page
The About Us page is one of the most important components of any business’s website, but it’s also one of the most overlooked. When it comes to building your site, it’s important to have a page that communicates your company’s identity to the world.
According to data collected by Blue Acorn, people who visit an About Us page are five times more likely to purchase products or services than those who don’t – and also spend, on average, 22.5 percent more on their purchases. A particularly high-quality About Us page nearly doubles those stats. This tells us both that people who visit your About Us page are more likely to buy in, and that better About Us pages increase that rate of conversion and the amount each individual will spend.
There’s no question as to whether you should have an About Us page; it all comes down to whether or not you have a good one. Here are five tips for creating a great About Us page.
1. Don’t Be Long-Winded
Your job is to explain your business fast enough for snap decision-makers. The foremost function of your About Us page is to let visitors know exactly what your business does without beating around the bush. No one wants to dig through paragraphs of flowery language, especially when consumers’ brains actually make judgments almost as fast as their eyes take in information. According to research published in the UK-based journal Behaviour and Information Technology, people can take in information and form opinions within the first 50 milliseconds of viewing it – so it’s important to make a memorable first impression.
Check out the homepage for I Shot Him, a design studio with a snappy one-liner that communicates not only what the business does, but also the passion behind it: “I Shot Him is a creative studio that is hell-bent on making this world just a little bit better.”
Text isn’t the only aspect of a webpage that travels fast; images can do wonders to convey a brand’s attitude or personality. Consider this About Us page from Eight Hour Day, an illustration studio run by husband and wife Nathan Strandberg and Katie Kirk. The images of the illustrators convey both professionalism and personality, and their slogan – “A Couple That Loves to Create” – shows a human side we don’t always get to see in business.
Finally, check out the About Us page for CafePress, an online retailer for user-customized products created on demand. The top half of the page consists of a video and a short, to-the-point summation of the company’s mission: “We’re passionate about helping individuals forge connections and celebrate their identities, interests and obsessions through unique products and content.”
2. Show What You Can Do
Yes, an About Us page is about your business, but it’s also about recognizing precisely why users want to know more. A potential client will visit the page to become informed about how you can help them. Consider rethinking your company’s features to make them into benefits for the reader. Don’t just say your services are awesome; talk briefly about how your awesome services can impact the lives of your clients.
Try this exercise on for size: State a feature of your business – such as “we do HVAC repair” – and then ask yourself, “What makes that so great?” Your snappy answer belongs on your About Us page.
One great example is Letters Inc., a Japanese web design firm. Each category visually unfolds as you scroll down, and so its claim of “creating attractive and beautiful designs for modern websites” is shown literally throughout the page – definitely living by example.
Popular microblogging site Tumblr is known as an online space for users to create and share content, and its About Us page tells the user exactly that – but it also lets visitors know about its versatility and focus on user experience. Not only can Tumblr users post content from anywhere, but they can also customize colors and HTML, and the About Us page makes it known. It also shows the social proof of what the company does by keeping active counters of how many total posts and blogs are live on the site.
Digital marketing agency SingleGrain’s About Us page takes a different approach by walking the reader through the process of working with the company, from learning about each client to executing ideas and measuring success.
3. Show the Faces Behind Your Business
People don’t place their trust in businesses; they place their trust in people. Use your About Us page to show the human side of your business with photos or videos.
The folks at MostlySerious have an illustrative take on this concept. Each staff person, from designers to developers, has a caricature drawn of their face. This is a fun and graphic way to humanize your business, while also showcasing how creative you can be.
Kickstarter offers a genius approach by showing a silent, horizontally scrolling video of various employees reading newspapers, blowing bubbles, bouncing balls and otherwise interacting with each other or the camera.
Similarly, Red Wire Design shows moving gifs of each team member. Each portrait has an activity it performs every few seconds, such as winking, raising one eyebrow or looking off to the side.
4. Show Your Fun Side
Business doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Your customers will enjoy seeing the fun side of your company. This is another part of making your company’s digital presence feel more human, more approachable and more trustworthy.
Instead of using photos of team members, Team Cornett shows photos of collections of items that represent each employee. Each photo shows a personal touch, and while some items are more serious – such as clothing with college names or a flag from the team member’s country of origin – some offer a sense of humor to show the team’s widely varying interests.
Etsy is built and maintained by a huge community of volunteers. There is really no great way to gather a team from all around the world for any kind of organized team photo, and such a huge group of volunteers would make it too hard to maintain a long list of bios. Etsy gets around that problem with a contributor wall. Their volunteers contribute a photo with a silly face, funny pose, or even props, and they are added to the wall, with a rollover to credit them by name. It’s a unique and fun solution to an About Us page that could otherwise become a logistical nightmare.
Digital agency Mondo Robot also takes the rollover route to show the fun side of business. Each staff member photo, when rolled over, turns from grayscale to color and shows an animation of that person taking a shot of tequila. Well, that’s one way to do things.
5. Tell Your Story
One great way to connect to your client base on your About Us page is to tell an inspiring story – maybe of how you got started as a business or an adversity you overcame. Stories are an excellent tool to hold reader interest – but it’s still important to keep the focus on the customer. After all, the user is the one asking for more information. Consider whether your story gives the reader evidence that they can trust your business.
Anthony takes a different approach, using video to tell a story. The video linked here includes an interview with the company’s founder.
Meanwhile, SEO consulting giant Moz’s About Us page shows a timeline from the present back to the company’s beginning in 2004, demonstrating how the company has grown and, in turn, how it has built itself into a brand that users trust.
You can also use this as an opportunity to share your company’s mission. Google does this succinctly on its About Us page: “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
What’s on your About Us page? Does it have current information about who’s behind your business? Does it give a sense of your company’s culture? Now is the perfect time to take a good hard look and give it a good update. After all, how are your visitors going to buy in unless they know what you’re about?