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Adventures Within the New Space

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    Erica DeWolf
    CEO & eMarketing Strategist
    DeWolf eMarketing & Design


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Posts Tagged ‘Design’

Four Out of the Box Ideas for a More Captivating About Us Page

Posted by Erica DeWolf on November 2, 2010

Add a Webcam to your about Us Page

Image Courtesy of Chris Gladis

In my last post, Does Your About Us Page Engage?, I emphasized the importance of an interesting and effective About Us page. Many About Us pages are short, give little information, and give visitors an opportunity to leave the site. In addition to the information I provided in my prior post, I had some ideas to make an interesting About Us Page.

Keep in mind that these ideas will have to fit in with the personality of your company. These ideas will not work for all companies, but may work for yours if used in the right way!

1. Add a Webcam.

Let your visitors see what you’re up to by placing a webcam in your offices/ other locations. This will give you a really personal touch and make you stand out from your competition! The Neopets offices have a webcam up, which fits into their playful, child-like brand. Bungie, the makers of Halo, also reveal “official daily updates and subliminal bungie messages” with their webcam.  I also particularly like the Penn State webcams, although they are not linked specifically to any Penn State About Us pages.

A related idea is to add a video to your About Us page. Perhaps a video of your CEO talking directly to your visitor, or a video of your office having fun, if your company has a more laid back personality. Videos can help visitors achieve a more personable level with you, and as we learned in a prior post, making your About Us page more personable can increase conversion by up to 30%.

2. Make a Funny.

Use comics to communicate your message. Mideast Youth uses this approach to communicate with its younger audience, which may not want to read a lot of text. However, you may want to think about the fact that an image is not as SEO friendly as text, and the visitor could ultimately visit a blank page if the image will not load for some reason. With that said, I think a short comic would be incredibly unique and effective when paired with a few words about the company.

Use Comics to Spice up Your About Us Page

3. Write a Note.

Holly Buchanan of Marketing to Women Online recently wrote about how handwritten notes can increase your conversion. She references a study by Which Test Won, which found that using a version of a product demo featuring handwritten thoughts beside a screenshot, as well as authoritative quote, increased conversion by 85%. Buchanan also provides an example of using the same technique on @thatrobguy ‘s Twitter page, on which Rob Wolf uses what appears to be a handwritten note directly below his picture.

Try handwriting a note and posting an image of it to the site- or use handwritten fonts to draw in your visitors to achieve a higher attention level. It may even increase your conversion, or immerse your visitor deeper into the content of the site.

@thatrobguy's Twitter Page

image courtesy of Holly Buchanan

4. Post Baby Pictures.

Instead of posting the typical head shots or group shots of your staff, try posting baby pictures. This would work especially well for any companies offering children’s products or services. Organizations with a more free or laid back personality could also use this tactic to help their About Us page truly stand out.

A related, fun idea is to have cartoon characters drawn up for each member of your staff and use those in lieu of head shots.

More

For more information about creating an effective About Us page, read my prior post, Does Your About Us Page Engage?, or get in touch with me to ask how I can help craft a unique, usable About Us page for your own organization!

Posted in Design, e-Marketing, Marketing, Usability | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Does Your About Us Page Engage?

Posted by Erica DeWolf on October 26, 2010

How Effective if Your About Us Page?

Image courtesy of Davide Restivo

The About Us page on a website is one that is often overlooked and underestimated by web designers and marketers alike. Research shows that when potential customers get to know you on a personal basis, they may be more likely to buy from you. In fact, a 2006 MarketingSherpa Report reveals that rewriting your About Us page to be more personable can lift e-commerce conversions by up to 30%.

And yet the majority of About Us pages describe what the company is all about and nothing more. However, pictures, videos, and personal bios of key members of the company are rarely used to allow visitors to truly “get to know” you, increasing the likelihood of a purchase, registration, subscription, or whatever call to action you seek to achieve.

7 Guidelines for a More Effective About Us Page

  1. Pictures are worth thousands of words. Be sure to add pictures of yourself or the staff. People like pictures and they are easier on the eyes than words. Humans are attracted to humans, so make sure you show pictures of who they may be dealing with, or who is in charge of the organization.
  2. Don’t make your About Us page another sales pitch. That’s what your landing and sales pages are for. Your customer wants to know about you- that’s why they clicked the link to get to this page. Deliver.
  3. Tell a story. How was your company founded? Let customers in on the history of your company, as well as any interesting facts that may stick out in their mind. You shouldn’t provide the entire history of your company on this page- although if you wish to include it on your site, summarize the history briefly and then create a separate page for this information (don’t forget pictures!).
  4. Include Mission Statements. If your company has a mission statement that is concrete and followed, include it on your About Us page. However, if its empty or outdated- consider rewriting it before adding it.
  5. Lead them deeper. Each page of your site should include some call to action to carry the visitor deeper into the site. Invite the customer to learn more about the history of the company, or to see samples of the work the company has completed. The key is to get them to click again. Often, About Us pages can be the point of exit for some visitors.
  6. Stay Social. Let visitors know where they can find you or employees on social media sites such as twitter or Facebook. I prefer to use images/badges/buttons for access to these pages for recognition and an increase in the likelihood of a click.
  7. Invite Visitors to Stay and Chat. Invite the visitor to contact you, either via a link or a contact form.

Personable About US Pages Increase Conversion by 30%

It’s also important to remember to keep with the personality and general feel of your company. If you’re a fun company, make your About Us page fun. If you’re selling a more serious service, such as banking or security, stick to a more professional approach- but be sure to remain warm.

Takeaways

Don’t waste your web space. Instead, strategically use your About Us page to gain trust by showing visitors that there are real people behind the organization or site. A heavy disadvantage to the website-visitor relationship is that you lack the personable contact of a meeting or sales call-use this page to try to counter that disadvantage. Doing so will give you a leg up over the competition and the basis for a loyal, and perhaps profitable customer-company relationship.

Learn More

To learn more about how your About Us page can be improved, inquire about a full website evaluation and analysis via email or contact form. You will be provided with a usability rating, areas that need to be improved upon, and specific guidelines for how to rectify the weak areas of your site. For more information on this and more services I provide, check out my available Services.

Unlock Your Site’s Potential with a Website Evaluation

More Tips for a Great About Us Page

Posted in Design, e-Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

CSS Garden: Inspiration Breeds Creativity

Posted by Erica DeWolf on March 6, 2008

zen_gardenI’ve been a big fan of CSS Zen Garden for a rather long time. I visit the site and browse the designs featured when I feel the need for some inspiration or when I’m stuck in a certain dull, boring design. The site forces me to think outside the box and think about what can be done, not what has been done.

I also like the site because you can download the sample .css and .html files of each design so you can find out exactly how a certain effect was achieved. I learn by seeing and doing, not by reading about how to do something, so this is the perfect site to teach me all about how to write a CSS sheet, and how to do some really cool things with a few lines of CSS code.

The Zen of CSS Design I want to highlight a really cool product that grew out of the CSS Zen GardenThe Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web. Based on those who have purchased and read this book, it seems that this is a book all about the importance of CSS design, with many beautiful pictures of successful and attractive CSS Designs. This is definitely going on my Amazon Wish list. It seems like a great book for inspiration, because sometimes we all need a break from staring at the computer. This would be a great airplane or coffee table book to browse when you want to see CSS design in clean, crisp colors.

However, as pointed out by W. W. Van Broeck in a review on Amazon.com, “If you’re looking for inspiration on how to design your site, this book could help you. If you’re looking how to use CSS, buy another book. The book doesn’t clearly show you how to make the sites…” That said, I would encourage anybody interested in web design to check out this book and see what can be accomplished by using cascading style sheets (CSS).

Posted in Web design | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Publish a Baby Website in 20 minutes

Posted by Erica DeWolf on January 24, 2008

Do you want to create a website, but don’t know HTML? Do you know HTML, but want to submit a quick and relatively static page in a very small amount of time? Google Page Creator is the perfect space for “extreme beginners” to get their feet wet with web design and development, or for a web design professional to publish content to the web in a hurry without the hassles of saving and resaving, publishing and republishing pages through FTP.

The following is a step by step guide to using Google Page Creator to create a mini website in under 20 minutes.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Google, Web design | Tagged: , , , , , | 21 Comments »

My First Time with Squidoo

Posted by Erica DeWolf on January 15, 2008

SquidooAfter coming across several “getting started” with Squidoo articles and blog posts, and continuously telling myself that I was going to sign up and check it out, I finally created my first Squidoo lens. The whole experience took me about fifteen to twenty minutes, including writing my lens content.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Squidoo, it is a site that allows members of the its community to create lenses, or easy-to-build, single web page that can link out to blogs, favorite links, RSS feeds, Flickr photos, Google maps, eBay auctions, and more! Lenses usually contain educational material such as how to guides and handy tips and tricks on every topic you can think of, from Raising Seahorses at Home to Everything You Wanted to Know About Fraggle Rock (oh how I miss that show).

The sign up process of Squidoo was quite harmless, not asking for too much information, but simply collecting the basics so I could do what I went to the site to do: create my first lens!

Step 1: What is your lens about? After deciding what you would like to make your lens about, come up with a title for it.

2Step 2: What do you want to do with your lens? Here, you indicate how you plan on utilizing your lens. Is it a way to get the word out about a topic, make money by promoting related products, create a list, or something else? In my experience, it seems that this option simply changes which modules are included in the initial lens. We’ll talk about modules in a little bit.

3Step 3: Title and URL: Here, you come up with the title of the article and the custom URL (www.squidoo.com/your-lens-names), as well as a category and a rating for your lens- is it R rated, or is it a more kid friendly G version?

4Step 4: Help People Find Your Lens: choose tags for your lens so people will be able to more easily find your site.

5Step 5: Modify and Customize Your Page: At this point, your page has been created. Add content by editing the different modules that have already been added. Those that have been added depend on the type of lens you said you were making in Step 2. Modules are simply chunks of content that make up your whole site.

I was quite pleased with my first experience with Squidoo, and plan to create some more lens soon. I plan on experimenting some more with the best ways to monetize Squidoo, and I’ll be sure to share my findings.

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Posted in social media, Web 2.0, Web design | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

 
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