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It’s funny how we, as marketers, can spend so much time focusing on the big picture of branding that we’ll overlook seemingly minor but crucial details. The “About Us” page of your typical business website is a perfect example. While many brands are worried about their homepage, SEO, and social media, the importance of creating a solid “About Us” page often flies under the radar.
But consider that the “About Us” page is one of the most important features of your business. It makes sense when you consider the reality: this page is one of the first things people see in a general search. So you’ll want to make sure yours is designed in a way that engenders conversions. Here are six ways to achieve just that.
Write a strong headline
Catchy, compelling, clear—these are some adjectives that describe writing the perfect headline. Typically, business owners and marketers focus on headlines in relation to email subject lines, blogs, and social-media posts. But make no mistake; your “About Us” page needs an effective, benefit-driven headline as well.
What’s also effective is adding a sub-header below the main headline that further expands on the benefits your company offers to customers. This sub-header will help solve the problems and needs of your site visitors and (hopefully) compel them to take action. In fact, you should make the notion of solving problems the cornerstone of all content on your “About Us” page, from top to bottom.
Try avoiding what GM did in their “About Us” page. Sure, one could argue the headline is short and to the point—but the point doesn’t speak to the customer. GM states that their mission statement is to “earn customers for life” and nothing else. That only speaks from their point of view and gives no indication how their products will benefit their customers.
Include a supporting image
There’s a lot of merit to the old adage that pictures speak louder than words. This is especially true in marketing. You can have all the compelling text in the world, but it will often fail to land without a strong accompanying image that provides an attractive visual anchor for the viewer. Including a clear, hi-res image on your “About Us” page helps to build on the nascent relationships you’re trying to develop with the site visitor. It’s a visual window into your brand and its character.
Also, contrary to popular belief, it’s not mandatory to include a headshot. You can add a company logo, avatar, video clip, or whatever. This is an opportunity to get creative with the supporting image you select, so don’t be scared to think outside the box. And if you do go the headshot route, know that it doesn’t have to be a photo of anyone within your company. You can make the supporting image one of your customers, complete with a tidy testimonial at the bottom. This is another creative way to help build trust on your “About Us” page.
Most importantly, ensure that any image you use is of the highest quality. Blurry or amateurish images are, needless to say, going to reflect poorly on your brand. If you opt for stock photos, for example, ensure they are of the highest resolution that the site will support.
Tell a story
Also contrary to popular belief, this story doesn’t need be only about you and your brand. In fact, you’re going to provoke more goodwill among your audience if you tell an interesting story that benefits the reader while avoiding self-promotion.
And if you do tell a story that features your brand as the central theme, make sure it’s relatable to your audience. How you go about this will depend on your particular background. Some “About us” pages, like that from Starbucks, feature anecdotes about engaging with customers. Some, like Whoa Nelly Catering, relate through an overall vision that connects with the viewer.
What you don’t want to do is take the “everything but the kitchen sink” approach and just flood your page with content. Take this example from Wells Fargo. Instead of speaking directly and succinctly, they link to eight other pages of content. And just when you think they’re getting to the point with their vision statement at the bottom, it gets subdivided as well, going right from their “five values” to their “six goals.” And of course it links to another page of content.
Is your head spinning yet?
The goal is here to be concise while relating to your audience. Don’t open up the floodgates of information.
Position your most important info “above the fold”
“Above the fold” is an old newspaper term that refers to the portion of article text that appears above where the paper is folded in half. Why is this a notable area? Because it’s where people’s eyes first go when picking up a newspaper. Therefore it was often mandated that journalists position the most vital and eye-catching info of their articles “above the fold.”
Despite advances in technology that have changed how we consume and process information, we are still living in an above-the-fold information world. To compete with humans’ now notoriously short attention spans, you’ll want to place the key information on your “About Us” page above the fold (i.e. the portion of the page in the browser window that appears before scrolling).
Don’t forget the CTA
Adding a call to action on your about page is mandatory. It doesn’t benefit either your brand or the reader if you get their attention with all this great information only to have them unsure how to act on it. This CTA can be a link to a blog post, opt-in form, or anything that is going to provide value to your readers. “Learn more,” “Act now!” “Get your free offer!” are all powerful, actionable CTAs.
And don’t overlook the smaller details—colors, especially. Whether it’s the design of the CTA itself or the background of your “About Us” page, the colors you choose can and do influence customer decisions. Researchers found that red is a particularly inviting color for businesses to use, as it is exudes warmth and passion. Conversely, blue has proven endearing to viewers as well. Above all else, make sure the color scheme you use matches the colors on your other pages and is consistent with your branding.
Consider an email opt-in form
On top of having a solid CTA on your about page, you should seriously consider adding an email opt-in form. Why? Because who doesn’t love a quick and easy solution to growing their subscriber list? Aweber reported that Quality Stocks wanted to augment their already robust email subscriptions, and they didn’t waste much time and effort doing so. Instead, they simply added an opt-in form on their about page.
Quality Stocks knew their “About Us” page was getting a lot of visitors (presumably because they had adhered to the above tenets of creating a compelling page), so they decided to add a lightbox form inviting readers to join the mailing list. So after visitors read to the bottom, the invitation appeared front and center. It turned out to be a savvy move, as that little addition resulted in a 158% increase in subscriber growth.
Ultimately your “About Us” page should be engaging without hard selling your audience. If your brand image is warm and personal, then err on the side of relatability. You can be engaging without being aggressive—remember that the “About Us” page is merely the springboard for starting a deeper conversation with your audience.
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services
An expert search, social and content marketer, Ryan leads Elevation Marketing’s digital strategy department, helping brands achieve their business goals, such as improving sales and market share, by developing integrated marketing strategies distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion. With a proven track record of energizing brands, engaging audiences and managing multidiscipline marketing teams, Ryan is a respected expert in achieving consistent results through creative design, thought-provoking narratives and innovative problem solving.