Is your About page working as hard for you as it should be?
For many companies engaged in online marketing, the About (or “About Us”) page is one of the most-viewed pages on their website.
After all, if someone finds you through a tweet or blog post, one of the first things they’ll do is check out who you are and what you’re all about.
This means it’s crucial that your About page makes a great impression, and starts to build trust.
We’ve tracked down some great About pages, and pulled out ten key lessons for you to apply to your own.
Lesson #1: Focus on the reader, not on your company
A typical corporate page, full of business jargon and dull details about your company history, isn’t going to do much to encourage potential customers to trust you.
The best About pages focus on what the reader wants to know – like “what does this company do?” and most of all, “how can they help me?” If your page is full of “we” or “I”, then it’s hard for readers to engage.
The Men with Pens About page does a great job of focusing on the reader while giving details about what the company does, using “you” frequently:
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Lesson #2: Don’t be faceless: include real people (and photographs)
One of the simplest and most effective ways to make an instant connection online is to let people see what you look like.
Does your About page include photos of your company’s CEO or employees? If not, make this a priority. Your photos don’t have to be staged and professional – in fact, casual snaps can often be much more effective.
Copyblogger do this really well with their About page, which starts with a photo of their team:
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Lesson #3: Tell your story, but keep it short and focused
It obviously makes sense to include your company’s story on your About page – but a long series of paragraphs about when you were founded is unlikely to hold reader’s interest.
Instead, look for ways to present your story more engagingly. That might mean telling it as a story (especially if your origins are particularly interesting, or you’re a one-person business telling your own story, as with Neil Patel).
Firepole Marketing use a simple timeline to tell their story, with just enough detail to intrigue readers:
Lesson #4: Share your core values
What’s important to your business? Maybe you place a lot of value on delivering the most cost-effective solution possible for your customer ... or perhaps you’ve got strong eco-friendly credentials.
Whatever your values are, your ideal customers are likely to share them. By explicitly talking about your values on your About page, you’ll help potential customers to trust you.
Conversion Rate Experts do this with a strong statement of their “values, beliefs and quirks”, part-way down their About page:
Lesson #5: Show that you’re authentic
It’s easy for people and companies to claim to be something they’re not – especially online. You can gain a huge amount of trust by demonstrating that you tell the truth. That might simply mean being open and honest on your About page.
Of course, you may sometimes need to carefully consider what truths you should put out there – do make sure that your authenticity fits with your brand.
Neil Patel has an impressively authentic About page on his blog Quick Sprout, giving the details of how he got started in business (even though it involved selling some products that weren’t 100% legal):
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Lesson #6: Help people out by pointing them to the best content on your site
Even though your About page may get a lot of traffic, not everyone who arrives there will be ready to buy from you. So, you want to draw in those casual visitors and help them to get to know your company.
One simple way to do this is to provide links to some of your best content from your About page. Even if readers don’t click on any of the links, their presence helps show that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re there to help – you’re not just interested in making a sale.
Michael Hyatt has a simple list of his top posts, by category, on his About page:
Lesson #7: Include testimonials from satisfied customers
While you may well have a separate page for testimonials, it’s a good idea to include a few on your About page. Your prospective customers will trust what other people say about you more than they trust what you say!
You’ll want to keep these testimonials fairly short, to prevent your page becoming too cluttered. Make sure you link to the full versions (e.g. on your testimonials page) to help out readers who want more detail.
Jeff Goins includes some testimonials very prominently on his About page – several are from well-known figures in the writing/blogging world:
Lesson #8: Give your social media stats (if they’re impressive)
One way to help readers trust you is to offer “social proof” – to show that other people think you’re worth their time and attention. Testimonials help with that, but there’s definitely proof in numbers too.
If you’ve got an impressive Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn following, make the most of it! Display those figures prominently on your About page, so that potential customers know you’ve got a lot of fans. (“Impressive” here varies by industry – take a look at some of your competitors and see if you have better figures than them.)
HubSpot include their social media stats in a “Connect With Us” section at the bottom of their About page (a good point for a call to action, as readers will be deciding where to go next):
Lesson #9: Include contact details to increase transparency
While you almost certainly have a separate Contact page (and make that a priority if you don’t!), your About page is also a good place to put some brief contact details.
This isn’t just convenient for readers – it also helps show that you’re easy to get in touch with, and that your business isn’t some fly-by-night internet company that might rip them off.
Several of the contact pages already mentioned include contact details; Michael Hyatt does this in a very straightforward but useful way:
Lesson #10: Use design to give a great first impression
Like it or not, we all judge books by their covers ... and website by their design. If your design looks dated or amateur, this can knock readers’ trust in your company.
There’s no one right way to do design – if you take a look at the examples on this list, you’ll see they all take quite different approaches. What’s important is that your About page is integrated, in terms of its look and feel, with the rest of your website, and that it’s attractive to read.
Moz do a great job with their About page design, with an attractive timeline and plenty of images. It’s not hugely fancy, but it works well:
How’s your About page standing up to these examples? Is there a particular lesson that you could easily incorporate this week? Drop a comment below to tell us what you’ll be changing.
Content marketing training
Want to build trust with all your content, not just your About page? Take our content marketing course, which will help you grow your brand and your SEO, understand what content to create and how, and learn how to build relationships with influencers and publishers. It’s suitable for anyone involved in marketing or writing content, but is also a great follow-on if you’ve taken our SEO intermediate training.