Does Your About Us Page Engage?

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 However, if its empty or outdated- consider rewriting it before adding it.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

GoErie…still the same site.

GoErieIt’s been exactly one month since my follow up post, Go Erie: One Month Later, to my original evaluation of the GoErie site in Web 2.0 terms, Brief GoErie Web 2.0 Evaluation. Now, just to review, this first evaluation stirred quite a bit of discussion about Web 2.0 and what it should be on websites, as well as comments by people agreeing with me, as well as comments by those who are slightly in charge of the GoErie upkeep.

My second post highlighted any changes that had been made in response to that first post (very few, if any), and included screen shots of what the site looked like at the time for your reference, as well as mine. This second post resulted in a very friendly and encouraging comment by Kristin Lynch, Interactive Brand Manager of CyberInk and manager of GoErie.com. In this comment, Kristin said:

“I won’t make excuses for anywhere we’ve fallen short, because I hold the site to even more stringent standards than any site visitor possibly could imagine. I could probably list (but won’t!) lots of shortcomings a visitor or consultant would never even notice. But it’s a work in progress and our goal is to keep building on what is essentially a great web site and work hard to make it better. And I’m confident it keeps getting better. Some of the suggestions you mention here are already on my tick list, and some others are worth adding now.”

Now, Kristen, it’s been a month since I’ve received this comment, and I still see zero changes made to GoErie’s homepage. In fact, I find the ads and videos flashing at me a little bit distracting and annoying.

The Text Alerts application, which I was pleased and surprised to realize was included in their site, is still hidden quite a ways below the fold. The recognizable RSS feed logo is still nonexistent on the home page, although the tiny, size 5 or 6 RSS Feed link, located on the very top of the page is available. Once clicked on, the user is asked which of the 9 GoErie feeds the user would like to click on (Isn’t this a little excessive when the user just wants to hear about Erie?) The RSS feed hiding on the page is NOT helping GoErie increase its RSS subscribers, therefore NOT helping increase its reach! I’m sorry GoErie, you only have 15 subscribers to your GoErie Top Stories blog on Google Reader, and the others aren’t even found when you do a search on it within Google Reader. Any type of search NOT finding your items is a bad thing.

I’ve made these and other suggestions already, so I won’t continue with what I think should change, especially since my comments and opinions about the site have already been acknowledged and praised by a GoErie representative (which I do appreciate very much, by the way). My question is, why hasn’t anything changed? If it takes a small, locally based website one month to make small changes to their website, and multi-million dollar corporations, like Google, about five minutes to make an online change, is that not a hint that things need to be changed?

Recognize the changing need of users. Listen when users are telling you something. Acknowledge that your users are being heard. And do something about it. It’s nice that you like your site the way it is. But your site doesn’t exist without its users.