Your About page is one of your most powerful website conversion tools … really? Yep, it’s true. Stay with me and your opinion of this humble and often overlooked web page is likely to be completely transformed.
Our parents grew up saying that they never met a stranger. We grew up being told to never talk to strangers. And nothing is stranger than the nooks and crannies of the web.
In a world full of fake news, identity theft, data privacy, and the need for the creation of organizations like the Online Trust Alliance, trust has become a brand or website’s most valuable asset.
Within the crypto community, there is talk about replacing trust with technology where technology provides proof of authenticity. While technologies and ledgers will continue to be developed, the most powerful tool for trust has already achieved market acceptance – the About Us page.
In this article, we’ll be look at the art of creating a successful About Us page and using it as cornerstone content in establishing your authority and authenticity with your audience.
Building A Better About – It’s Where Business Finds You
Having looked at hundreds of client analytics reports, we find that the most visited pages on any website are 1) the index, 2) the About page, and 3) the Contact Us page. There is a lot of great guidance on creating a great home page but there isn’t much information on a great About page.
The good news is that clicks to the About page are buying signs. Visitors go to the About page for information that establishes trust and builds a user’s confidence in doing business with the site.
The key to a better About page is to assume your audience doesn’t know anything about you. While we all want to believe that they already know everything about us, DON’T make that assumption. In this case, pull a Sgt. Shultz and assume they know nothing.
The About page is a marketer’s dream version of your Wikipedia entry. Be sure to address ALL of the relevant information about your company. This should include addressing who you are, what you do, why you do what you do, and how you do what you do. This is your story so be sure to tell it.
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
You can tell a lot about a company by what information is first listed on the About page above the fold. Though you need to provide a complete picture about your company, there can only be one piece of content listed first.
Just like every other page of content, what you place first tells your users what’s “most important” about you. Here are some general guidelines to help you decide what to list first, above the fold:
Who (Team members and bios): Even in our digital world people still do business with people. This is where you can introduce yourself and your team and immediately start to develop trust and authority. This is especially important for professional services companies where clients want to know who will be doing their work.
What (Background, Innovation): Share your history, the company’s journey and exactly what you offer. If you are a leader in your category or have a unique selling proposition clearly communicate that. Talk about what makes you different and why that is important. Differentiation can be difficult, but it can help you get more opportunities, so the effort is worth it.
Why (Mission, Vision, Inspiration): Great companies often thrive on the emotion and culture they create. Often, the culture can be a powerful reason for people to want to work at the company and/or do business with it. Listing information about your mission and vision can immediately establish rapport with the audience. Starting with Why can benefit Home services, financial services, and niche eCommerce brands that are looking to demonstrate that they understand and identify with the audience.
How (Memberships/associations, Technology, Methodology): Share your methodology and how you fit into the broader industry or community. Consider listing upcoming presentations or events that demonstrate your involvement in your industry. This is particularly useful for brands that are part of larger supply chains. If your success is tied directly to a broader ecosystem, like media, raw materials and travel, consider sharing your How before all else.
Of course, each site and company is unique so be mindful about what is most compelling about your company. Sell that first on your About page.
Your Reputation Precedes You
“I’m great … No, really … I AM great!” It is important to have a strong sense of what is great about you, your team, and your company. And, you need to be willing to sell yourself. But let’s face it, the more you talk about yourself, the less people are going to listen.
More importantly, the more you talk about you the less they’re going to believe you. Remember, the goal of your About page is to build trust and confidence. The answer is recommendations and testimonials.
I don’t recommend using review sources (social, 3rd party apps, Google Reviews) on the About page. Those belong on your home page or product pages but you need to get validation from verifiable sources. The mini-case study is the perfect content element for the About page. These case studies can be as short as 4 sentences:
- Client identification: who you helped
- Problem: what did the customer need your help resolving
- Solution: what you did to help the customer
- Quote: Customer affirmation of the value of your help
Try to have at least 2 but no more than 5 mini-case studies. These can be loaded in an accordion or scrolling content block if you lack space. The goal of these is ONLY to prove that you really are great … without you telling your audience.
Pictures Do Matter
Less than a generation ago, we didn’t recommend adding images to the About page. It was seen as being self-aggrandizing and the extra load time for images didn’t add value. That is no longer the case. Social media has trained users to expect to see the people they do business with.
Team photos don’t have to be boring headshots; let the images reflect who you are. Consider a single shot of the whole team or an illustrative style instead of the traditional mug shot. (Mug shots could be a fun way to show the team, especially if you gave each team member a crime that fit your services …)
Pictures on the About page don’t need to be limited “just” to the people. Consider including images of your office space, your community, or even activities that embody the spirit of your company.
Another good visual opportunity on the About page is an infographic or diagram that further details your differentiators. As visual search continues to grow in SEO impact and traffic generation, having an informational image on your About page can be a great way to invite new traffic to your site.
The Story of You
Lastly, the About page is your story. While there are great templates and even content block tools for building the About page, don’t forget your About page is yours.
Include as much specific detail and information as you have to “prove” who you are, establish your authority and trustworthiness through advocates, and validate a user’s interest in your company.
One More Thing …
From the beginning of this article, I’ve framed the About page as a landing page … and that means it’s a powerful tool of conversion. But, conversion to what?
Our recommendation in most client cases is that you should always work to build your email list. In this case, the punchline is very simple …
Does your About page properly and prominently resolve into an organic call to action to join your email list? If not, you’re wasting some of the most effective conversion horsepower you have available to you!
That said, if the idea of writing an About page that converts seems a bit overwhelming, know that you don’t need to go it alone. We’re in this with you. If you need a little help, just drop us a line, anytime.
Rainmaker Digital Services