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Lee Polevoi

Who Are You? How to Craft a Killer About Us Page

By: Lee Polevoi | October 1, 2013 | 
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about us page

By Lee Polevoi

Depending on who you ask, the About Us page on a business website is the “second-most” visited page, “among the top three pages” visited – certainly “one of the most-visited” pages of any company website.”

Get the point? Sadly, a lot of businesses don’t. They spend vast amounts of time, money, and resources elsewhere on the site and at the last minute slap on a brief CEO bio and the company’s mission statement.

Then they wonder why prospective customers click through and move on, without sampling all of their wonderful content.

Crafting a powerful About Us page can significantly enhance the success of your business by answering the question every first-time visitor has: “Who the heck are you and what do you do?”

Your About Us Page

A knock-out About Us page provides an opportunity to:

  • Connect with people
  • Set yourself apart from the competition
  • Show there’s something more to you than just your product or service

With these goals in mind, here are some tips for getting the most out of this much-visited page:

Tell us a story: Every business, like every superhero, has an “origin story.” Not every story is equally dramatic or compelling, but it’s your job to make your story at least interesting.

Talk about why you started the business, the niche you sought to fill, maybe something about how life experiences guided you toward this business opportunity. As important as facts are, people sitting around the virtual campfire will respond to the passion with which you tell your story.

It’s only sort of about you: Yes, people want to learn something about your business, but what they really want to know is, What can you do for me? How can you solve my problem? Think about the questions customers usually ask during a sales call and work your answers into this page.

Don’t make yourself out to be something you’re not: There’s a fine line between reeling off impressive statistics and outright bragging—and visitors generally know it when they see it.

Describe how your product or service is uniquely qualified to benefit customers, but leave off the marketing fluff and grandiose adjectives (“visionary,” “unprecedented,” “the best thing the world has ever seen”).

Be human: Spoiler alert! People like doing business with people. Go beyond job titles and add a line or two about what makes you and your team tick. Photos are always a good idea (formal or informal, depending on the nature of your enterprise). Prospective customers need to know they’re dealing with flesh-and-blood individuals when they purchase your product or service.

One additional tip: Include each person’s Twitter handle and invite people to follow you and your team.

Throw in a call-to-action: You already have calls-to-action scattered throughout your site, so why not on the About Us page, too? Add a link or button that moves visitors to take the next step – check out your products, download a free newsletter, etc. It’s another way to keep visitors engaged, rather than wandering off to a competitor’s site.

Don’t bury the page: Remember how we established early on how many people go to the About Us page first? Imagine the frustration they feel (and remember your own frustration) when they have to scroll around a company’s home page just to find it. Always have a link to “About Us” in the main navigation bar, where no one can miss it.

Remember to keep it fresh: Your business and your career keep changing, so it makes sense to update the About Us page on a regular basis. Have you recently upgraded a product? Expanded your menu of services? Relocated your bricks-and-mortar establishment? New visitors to the page will be suitably impressed with all the activity, while loyal customers will be happy to hear about how well business is going.

What’s your secret to an irresistible About Us page?

About Lee Polevoi


When he isn't writing for Arment Dietrich, Lee Polevoi is an award-winning freelance copywriter and editor. He is the former senior writer for Vistage International, a global membership organization of chief executive officers. He writes frequently on issues and challenges faced by U.S. small businesses.

21 comments
Word Ninja
Word Ninja

Super information and great links to other resources. I'm inspired.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

Great tips  Lee! You are right we pay too little attention to the About US page. Took me 2 years to convince @ginidietrich to include her stint as a Professional bowler in the late 90's in her bio.

I would just add it is a fine balance between confidence and arrogance and humanity. When I see people bragging about awards without bragging about achievements it is a big red flag.

KateFinley
KateFinley

Hi Lee! This post is very timely for me as we are working to revamp some of the aspects of ThinkBelle.com and the 'About Us' page is one of them. I'm saving this to Evernote! :) Thank you for sharing ...

IpjRobson
IpjRobson

Love the points you made here. 

It always surprises me how neglected about pages are. I am sure mine has been a bit too. 

I'm a big fan of using videos on about pages. It can help people get to know you even better. Also, it adds that be human quality you mentioned. 

High five

Unmana
Unmana

These are great points and I agree with all of them. I hadn't thought it out like this, but I *tried* to include all of this when I re-wrote our About Us page a couple of months ago.

I made some of the same points in this round-up post where I collected tips for and examples of About Us pages. http://markitty.com/blog/marketing-reading-about-us/ Now I'm trying to decide whether to edit that post to add yours or do a follow-up. :)

jasonkonopinski
jasonkonopinski

Some great points here, Lee! About pages seem to trip up a lot of businesses, usually because they don't have a strong sense of their own origin. When I write About pages for clients, I try to carry a narrative structure through from beginning to end.

It still boggles the mind to encounter About pages that are just lousy with the royal we or one sans photos of key personnel.

Latest blog post: Poetry Friday: Ezra Pound

yvettepistorio
yvettepistorio

If I click on an "About Us" page, I want to see a good story, what your company does, and what it can do for me. I hate when I see a bunch of marketing jargon and you ask yourself, what does that even mean?

These are great tips Lee! And YES BE HUMAN!!! Write like you would talk to a customer! Love your idea of including each person's Twitter handle - it's a great way to connect and to let customers get to know who they are doing business with. Love it!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

You are my hero right now! We are redoing the Arment Dietrich website and I am overwhelmed with all of the content we need to create. You just gave me about 16 different ideas with your tips and, for that, I thank you a million times over.

lpscribe1
lpscribe1

@Howie Goldfarb @ginidietrich Great point re: awards/achievements. This is where some subtlety comes into play & the tone of your 'about us' page must be finely calibrated. Always good to show your copy to others in yr network & get objective feedback.

lpscribe1
lpscribe1

@yvettepistorio  Great point, Yvette. "Write like you talk" is the best advice you can give to a business owner, executive, front-desk employee. Doesn't have to be anything fancy about it.

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