One of my recent blogs focused on four components of a successful website, including search engine optimization, intuitive navigation, clear call to action, and a clear way that you can solve the reader’s problem.
Today, we’re going to talk about the second most commonly visited page on most websites: the About page.
Philosophy of an About page
An About page should tell who your company is, why it exists, and most importantly, what makes it stand out from its competition.
Notice I said “who” your company is, not “what” it is. Your company is made up of people and as an entity, it should be considered a living being. Buyers are becoming more conscious of whom they do business with and that means you must let them know who are you are as a company. Why should they do business with you over the competition?
Here are a few tips for considering what to include on your website’s About page (and in some cases, subpages of the About page).
Include a brief, but thorough history
Most people fail to realize the importance of including their company’s full history, but it’s important to tell how your company got started and a few major milestones, including a brief explanation of what led to the decisions that were made. For example, if you decided to add a major service, what was the driving force behind that decision? It’s a way of showing your responsiveness.
While it’s important to be thorough, you must also find a balance between providing complete information and letting the reader get too bogged down in detail. If your company history is long and detailed, consider writing a summary for the About page (think a few paragraphs) and then using a subpage to show a timeline. Timelines with pictures are always more engaging!
What if you’re a brand-new company? That’s OK. Tell how you got started and why. Don’t attempt to wax poetic just to make your company seem more established than it is. This is a good place, for example, to talk about your company’s creators and what experience they bring to the company. Your business may be young, but it’s assumed that those involved have experience.
A big tip I give for writing the history:
Use dates instead of the number of years. For example, started in 1997 instead of 20 years ago. This will allow people to know how old your company is and when it was founded without you having to change the information each year. If you say the number of years, people will wonder when the site was last updated.
Incorporate your mission/vision
I can’t emphasize enough how consumers want to know who the company is that they are doing business with. Part of that is sharing your ethos, including your mission and vision. If you do not put it on the about page in its full form, consider it for a subpage. If you do that, however, make sure that the basic values and ethos that your company upholds is clearly stated on the About page.
Include bios of your key people
I get asked a lot if bios should be on the website’s About page. The answer is, “it depends.” Having bios of your key people is important, but often this is more appropriate on a subpage.
If your company is smaller, and especially if it’s key attraction is the services of one or two individuals, then include the bios on the About page. I take this one step further on my own site by making my “About” page my “About Jamie” page where I share my bio and incorporate my values that I incorporated into the business.
Generally speaking, lengthy bios and administration information should go on a separate “Team” subpage. You can always include pictures with names and titles on the main About page and link each person’s name to their full bio on a separate page.
Include real pictures
Including pictures can help tell the story of your company. It’s your story, so make sure that the pictures are not stock photos. That said, make sure the pictures are professional and not simply snapshots from someone’s phone camera. It’s also important to not let your logo be your only graphic representation.
I always like the idea of using pictures of real people who work at your company in their work environment. That can be tedious, however, if you have a high turnover and you have to remove pictures frequently. Other options include pictures of the lobby, customer areas, or even the outside of your building.
Ask yourself this, if someone were writing a blog post or an essay about your company, would there be enough complete and accurate information on the About page for the writer to give a clear picture of who you are? If the answer to this is no, or even if you are unsure, contact me today and we can review and edit your website’s About page!