Learn how to use your about page, what to write, and how to use it effectively
“Back in 2009, we began our business with a mission to change the world by providing the best carpet cleaning services to our customers. We’re dedicated to…” *hits back button*.
Almost every about us page on the internet seems like it’s a little unsure what it’s meant to be doing. You’ll see corporate text going on about intense subjects that nobody understands in an effort to be seen as experts, or unfocused pages chatting about the whole team, where they went to school, who their favourite football team is…
Writing about your business is hard. What exactly do you write about? Do customers really want to know about your story? How do you compress years of your business into one single webpage? Do you even need an about page?
About pages give you a place to show off who you are and what you do, your qualifications, mission and goals, products, and explain all the interesting information that doesn’t fit in other places. Of course, not all sites need an about us page, and unless it’s going to benefit your website marketing in someway, you’re probably better off optimising other parts of your website instead.
While there are no set rules on what this page is meant to be (we’ll come to that a bit later on), we’ve put together a quick list of useful tips to help you write a killer about us page:
1. Keep It Clear, Simple, and Relevant To Your Products
The rest of your website is built to sell services, products, and provide simple information. The about page should have that exact same purpose but with a personal element. Think about your about page as if you’re selling your products face to face. Explain a little bit more about who you are, then touch on the benefits your service or product offers.
2. Get Your Business Voice and Mission across in the First Few Lines
Are you fun and exciting? Are you a cool, calm professional? Are you totally awesome at what you do? Make it clear who you are, what you do, and how ridiculously passionate you are about it in the page title and the first few lines. People connect with businesses that have a personality, so if you can explain what you’re about, you’ll keep the reader’s’ interest for longer.
Moz has an awesome way of doing this. The first thing you see is this headline:
“Making the web a better place and loving every second of it.”
Their company voice, basic services, and business mission are right there. They’ve placed unnecessary information into smaller buttons on the left. The design flows nicely, and they describe their entire history in one paragraph!
The timeline below the page fold is also great. Not only does it start with the most recent events first, it also explains major milestones all the way back to when the company started.
3. Provide Readers with Information about What They Get, Not What You Give
Explain to your readers what they’ll get by using your services. Try and avoid content that makes your page sound like you’re listing all the services or products you sell. Instead, focus on showing the benefits of your product. We’ve gone into more detail on this on our web copy supercharge blog.
4. Our Team
Many about us pages go into detail about their team, but without actually doing anything to promote the best parts of the business. Writing about the team is a good solution provided it helps to market the company, but it’s not something that should be relied upon unless that’s fundamental to the business. For example, a dentist might want to have an about page to show off qualifications, and a sustainable business might want to explain how the founder built the business due to personal circumstances.
MailChimp has done an excellent job of broadcasting their business message with their about us page.
Rather than rely on the generic “about the team” copy, MailChimp hits you with a big colourful image of their team, and what they do in the first paragraph. They’ve then filled the rest of the page with some really interesting and awesome looking photos that get their business voice across.
5. Make Sure Any Testimonials Are Edited
Your about page is not the best place to stuff all those 5-star reviews. Remember to focus on giving your customers the information they want first and foremost. Although it’s a good idea to have some extra backup testimonials on the about page, leave the majority of them on a testimonials or reviews page instead.
It’s also important to edit the testimonials you get too. You might have spent ages building a highly professional page, only to break the mood with something like this:
“5 STAR!! AMAZING!!!! SO AMZING!!! ABSOLUTLEY INCREDEBLE!!!1!! 10/10!!!!!”
While it feels great having such a passionate happy customer, it’s better to pick the reviews that fit in most with your company voice, read well, and help sell your services. Although false reviews are (or will be) a no no, editing them to make sense is 100% recommended.
6. Send Them to the Right Pages
So you’re talking about how incredibly awesome your services are. You’ve got all the right awards and testimonials to match. Your customer is frantically looking for the “buy” button… but they can’t find it!
Make sure to point your customers to the page you want them to go to, otherwise they’ll have to browse through your site looking for the right information. Remember to put useful internal links to relevant services and information, and keep your call to action visible at all times too.
7. Optimise It
Optimise your page with keywords, inbound and outbound links, and well-written, original content! Although your customers will rarely land on your about page, it still has a good use for SEO. Make sure you have useful, well-optimised keywords throughout, and link it to other useful places on your site with the right kind of anchor text.
8. Don’t Send People to This Page Unless It Promotes Your Services
Unless your about us page has some significant selling value (a sustainable business might like to go into more detail about where it sources its products), it’s best to leave it by itself for customers who are looking for more information about you as a business.
Yellow leaf hammocks shows a little bit about their products, a bit about their business mission, and shows the real people who they work with to create a sustainable product.
It’s immediately clear what their business does the moment you land on the page.
9. Use a Video to Get the Message Across
If you’re struggling to get the message across with copy, a video is a perfect way to fill the space in. Not only does this give you a really personal message for your customers, it can also be used as shareable content on social media. Also, when done properly, it makes you look head and shoulders above the competition.
National Geographic uses an incredible video to explain what they do and it makes the page work like a well-oiled, turbocharged content machine. A stunning and inspiring video captures the attention of a visitor, then moves to content that includes you, links across the entire site for those who are looking for a specific page, and offers some subtle product images on the right. Perfect!
If you’re looking for more information on using videos? Check out our post on how to make a Ninja promotional video.
Building an about us page is a difficult task. However, with some fresh thinking, you can create something that really grabs your customer’s attention. Don’t be afraid to try something completely unexpected either.