10 Key Features of an ‘About’ Page
A great About Us page can make — or even break — your website. For many businesses this can be one of the most visited pages on your website and is a chance for visitors to learn about you and your products.
About Us pages need to be written in clear and simple language and should not be put together as an afterthought. Just like any other page on your site, develop a plan for what message this page should communicate and work from there. Most great About Us pages contain many common elements. Here are 10 things your About Us page needs to include (in no particular order!)
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While it may go without saying that having a description of your company or business is important, it is often forgotten. Even a company as big and as well-known as Coca-Cola explains its business on its About Us Pages.
The company description page should also include your mission or value statement. For larger companies, investor and stock information may be pertinent as well.
There are plenty of other bits of information you can share with a current description of your website. Visitors may want to know more about the history and background of your business. This is also an ideal location for information such as annual or corporate reports, important business practices and descriptions of other items that fall under the umbrella of the company. (On the Coca-Cola page, for example, the company details all of the other brand names that are part of the Coke family.)
Bios or Staff Introductions
One of the things that really makes a business real is to see the faces of people who work there. This is why many websites will include staff photos, short bios and contact information on the About Us page.
The staff bios should reflect both the personality of your company and the individual employee. This can work in several different ways:
- Individual bios and photos: Often small companies will introduce their employees individually, such as Blue Fountain Media (above). This page includes photos, names and titles of each team member and has a fun “party mode” feature that really showcases the company personality. Individual bios can include other information as well, such as links to social profiles, individual contact information or specific job descriptions. While this style can be a lot of fun it requires plenty of updating each time a new member is added to or leaves the team.
- Group bios and photos: Rather than multiple small photos, another option is to take group photos by department or work area. Each photo will show multiple employees that do similar work with a short description. Employees are less likely to be individually named and these photos have a longer shelf life.
- Company bio and photo: With exceptionally large companies a group photo with a company description can be the best option. While a group image can still have plenty of personality, it won’t require frequent updating and still has a personable feel.
An Actual Story
The way to connect to people is with a good story. Do you have one? How was your company founded? How did you come up with the name or mascot or product line? What is unique about the product or service you offer?
Use your About Us page to tell the story of your company. Try to keep the narrative simple and succinct, but engaging. Every good story has a beginning, middle and end and characters that people can relate to. What’s your plotline?
What makes your company better than everyone else? That’s your value. And your About Us page should clearly explain or state exactly what that value is.
For some companies, value is in customer service. For others it might be the product they offer or sustainable business practices.
Copyblogger, for example, does a great job explaining its value, starting with the headline on the About Us page – “We Don’t Just Teach Content Marketing … We Built Our Company With It.” The page further explains what you will get from visiting the site and they content it offers. And Copyblogger backs it up because the company used its own method to get there. That’s value.
The key to getting someone to come to your site and stick around is a great visual. Very seldom do we talk about a great website or great design that doesn’t have a spectacular visual. It’s the thing that draws you in. But often we seem to forget to include visuals on About Us pages and load them down with type.
Some of the solutions above include visuals – such as company photographs or historic images – but you can also showcase some of your work or create art out of type. Other visuals include images of your office space, employees interacting with clients or anything that shows what you do.
Tumblr has an About Us page with visuals that keep you looking at the screen. As an image-based blogging tool, this is what you would expect but the simple presentation – rotating images behind a logo – is attention-grabbing.
Call to Action
Once people have stopped by your About Us page, what do you want them to do? Don’t leave it to chance. Tell them.
Every About Us page should have some type of call to action. Direct users to your product sales page, encourage them to sign up for an email newsletter, give them a phone number to call or email address as a point of contact. But don’t just leave users hanging.
Nerdery (above) tells you very plainly what to do: “Click Around and Get to Know Us.” Once you dig a little deeper and click around, the site asks you to do other things, such as “Talk nerdy to us” with a phone number and subscribe to the email newsletter.
If you tell users what to do, they don’t have to guess. It will make your site easier for people to use and hopefully result in more relevant conversions for you.
While it is likely you will also have a Contact Us page in your sitemap, provide some contact information on the About Us page. It will make users happy that information is easy to find and readily accessible.
While you don’t necessarily need a contact form on this page, make sure a phone number and email address are available. Engine Creative, for example, includes contact information at the top of the page and in a static footer for users.
Testimonials or Accomplishments
Have you done something awesome? Mention it in your About Us pages. They key here is not to go overboard.
A section linking to mentions in other media can be a nice way to highlight positive reviews or coverage of what you do. Working with a specific client for an on-site testimonial can also be a nice touch.
The main thing to keep in mind is to avoid looking too boastful. There’s no need to have five clients say the same thing about you. One great comment can be enough. You don’t need to reprint a review on your website, but a headline and link is nice.
Your About Us page can be a gateway to the rest of your website and online presence. Often an individual who searches for you or your company online will find your About Us page first, so it is only logical that you use this space to help users learn more about what you have to offer.
There are three types of links that you should include on the About Us page:
- Internal links: Make sure elements link back to related pages on your site. Do you mention a top-selling product the narrative? Link to it.
- Social media: Tell users how to connect with your or your brand across channels. Keeping up contact and interaction can help generate conversions and sales. Include all public links to popular networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.
- Partners: Do you work with other companies or brands? Link back to your partners and connecting networks as a way to show how you interact with the community. Local companies should also consider linking to other local groups. For example, if you are restaurant owner and a member of a food co-op in your area, link to it.
5 More Great About Us Pages
Make sure to visit these About Us pages and click around. Each is designed creatively and includes most (if not all) of the 10 must-have elements referenced here.
An About Us page gives users a glimpse into your company. Make sure to add some personality to the page to showcase your company and its culture.
Remember to include key components – company description and bios, value, a story, visuals, a call to action, contact information, testimonials and links – to make your page as engaging as possible. Have you see examples of other great About Us pages? Share them in the comments.