In building a website, many businesses make the mistake of rushing through writing an ‘About’ page or skipping it altogether. Most businesses don’t have the prominence in American society such that every visitor to the website already knows all there is to know about the business. Even The Coca-Cola Company has an Our Company section of their website. For professional services, website traffic statistics show that ‘About’ pages are usually the second most visited page. Without an ‘About’ page, your website is anonymous and so has limited credibility. Think about the last time you did some online shopping. You hesitate to buy from a company whose sole piece of identification is an address. You buy from Amazon because you know them by reputation, but realistically, does your company have the reputation of Amazon? Probably not, and so, you need to instill some trust with your visitors by having an ‘About’ page. Here’s how to write an effective ‘About’ page.
‘About’ pages will vary in their composition depending upon the make-up of your company, but these are the essential components of an effective ‘About’ page.
- The difference between your company and your competitors
Where did you come from? This is a basic piece of information that tells the visitor who you are. How long have you been in business? Who were the business’ founders, and what got them started in the industry? The history of your company is critical to establishing credibility, showing that you’re not a fly-by-night operation.
Adding an element of humanity to your ‘About’ page is like a virtual handshake. Talk about your founder’s personal background an interests. If you’re a professional services provider like a doctor or lawyer, give some details of your personal life like, “Dr. Smith has been married for 25 years and has two lovely daughters. He is an avid fly fisherman.” By getting to know you, the visitor feels like they can better trust you and is therefore more likely to contact you and do business with you.
This is sort of a no-brainer, but if you’re a doctor, lawyer, barber, or professional clown, you need to show the visitor that you know what you’re doing. This goes hand-in-hand with history, but goes into detail about your education and certifications. Use trusted names, such as “Invisalign-certified” if you’re an orthodontist.
Why should the visitor choose you over your competitors? This is your chance to make your case. You have a captive audience. Don’t assume that the preceding details have convinced the reader. If you have more experience than your competitors, say so! Think long and hard about the little things that make you the better choice. You may find that some of the information you put here is duplicative from your home page. That’s okay. You can’t assume that the visitor has read your home page, and even if he has, you can drive home the point here too.
You know what they say about what a picture is worth. A picture shows the visitor that you are real. If you have an impressive building, show it off. Include photos of the principal members of your business. Smiling faces add another touch of humanity. Notice the bolded face on “smiling”. Just because you’re a professional doesn’t mean that you have to look like a bad a—(I’m talking to you, lawyers!).
Remember, who you are is just as important, if not more important, than what you do. Even if you think that no one will ever read it, make a priority of adding an ‘About’ page. Don’t hide it in the navigation either. What do you have to hide? That’s a very real question that visitors have when they land on your site. Have your answer ready, and knock that ball out of the park.