When you think about it, it makes sense. As consumers researching a product or service, we want to get a sense of a company’s legitimacy. Is it for real? How long has it been around? What sorts of customers does the company have? A thorough About Us section goes a long way in easing minds and eliminating concerns – concerns that can become a barrier to buying. So what sort of information should you use on these pages? Glad you asked.
Let’s take a look at the anatomy of an effective About Us section.
The main page. If you have only one page, make sure you take time crafting the copy. Include a clear, non-salesy overview of what your company does. Provide some background on the company (e.g. when it was founded) and briefly discuss your company’s values. If you have different pages in your About section (which is what we recommend), keep the main page brief – consider it a gateway to other pages where people can drill down and learn more specifics, which we’ll discuss below.
History. Keep it personal. Talk about when your organization was founded, why it was founded, and how the company has evolved/changed into its present-day incarnation. For companies with a long and storied history, it makes sense to break up the text and make it skimmable (perhaps by year or major milestone). A visual timeline can also be an effective way of conveying your company’s history. One we like: the timeline for Green Giant.
Philosophy (Culture/Mission Statement/Values).This is an especially important page for service businesses. If you can’t compete on service offerings or even price, a great way to distinguish yourself from the competition is by sharing your philosophy around important hot buttons like customer service, quality/craftsmanship, integrity, etc. The About section is the perfect place to share these messages. (For some inspiration, we recommend listening to Simon Sinek’s interview on Marketing Over Coffee podcast.)
Team/Management. People like to know the folks they’re doing business with. Your team/management page is the place to include bios and head shots for all of your key team players. Avoid corporate speak! You want your whole About section to sound personal, friendly, even conversational. Do not make the false assumption that a professional tone and a conversational tone are mutually exclusive. You can sound approachable and friendly while remaining professional.
Media Center/Newsroom. Your About section is the place to highlight news centered around your company. This could include press releases, a newsletter archive, awards, speaking engagements, and so forth.
Careers. If your organization receives calls/queries regarding employment or internships, this is a good section to include. It should outline available job openings and next steps (this will also help cut down on unnecessary phone calls and emails since you can lay out exactly what is and isn’t available).
Testimonials. If your customer testimonials aren’t part of your main navigation, consider adding a page in your About section. We recommend sprinkling customer testimonials throughout your site (and elsewhere, including other media and even on your promotional products), but you should have a main repository for them.
Check out the Amsterdam Printing “About Us” page, where we include our history and videos.
Do you include any other items in your organization’s About section? Share in the comments.