Most "about us" pages are boring. Many are terrible. Precious few are very, very good.
So what should your "about us" page say in order to avoid the former and shoot for the latter?
Well, there are no hard and fast rules, but these simple guidelines will set you on the right path…
What your “about us” page should contain
1. An Introduction
Your “about us” page has one job above all others, to answer these 2 questions:
- “Who are you?” and
- “What do you do?”
Fail to answer these and nothing else really matters.
Your answers should be clear and concise. Even if someone is completely unfamiliar with your business it should take mere seconds to find and comprehend this information.
People do business with people, not businesses. So give your “about us” page a human touch.
Use language that demonstrates characteristics like humor, humility, or passion. Just make sure the tone matches your company culture.
If your brand is scrappy and unconventional, feel free to create an "about us" page that is edgy and irreverent. But if your company is reserved then stick to demonstrating professionalism on your “about us” page.
What qualifies you to do what you do? Why should a customer trust you to do it well?
There are lots of ways to answer these questions. For example, you could list your awards, testimonials, or certifications.
But more often than not the best evidence of your authority is your personal story. Go ahead and share why you do what you do. And do so in a way that’s engaging. Take inspiration from the great storytellers and include a hero, conflict, and a bit of drama because that’s what makes a story worth reading.
4. Plain language
It’s crazy how normal, everyday people transform into odd, corporate robots when writing an “about us” page. Instead, write as if you were explaining what you do for a friend or family member. Go ahead and use first person and contractions. Let metaphors make difficult concepts easier to understand. And please, please, please, write in active voice!
This is a big one. Your "about us" page is a sales page and as such your primary focus should be on how the customer benefits from doing business with you.
The easiest way to keep focused on customer benefits is to use the “so what?” test. For every sentence you write on your “about” page, ask “so what?”—meaning why does this matter to the customer? This will help you trim unnecessary information and get right to the point.
...And while we’re on the subject of selling, don’t forget to include a call to action. Ask visitors to sign up for your newsletter, follow you on social media, or submit a booking inquiry.
6. Contact information
Most “about us” pages should contain:
- Your phone number
- Social media accounts
- A public email address
- The physical address of your location (if applicable)
Even if this information is already in the header and/or the footer of your website (which it should be), and even if you have a separate contact us page (which you probably do), it usually (but not always) makes sense to repeat it here, too.
What your “about us” page should NOT contain
1. Lies and obfuscation
“Truthful hyperbole” is no way to endear yourself to customers. BS destroys trust and is often far easier to detect than you realize.
- DO NOT use the royal “we” if you are, in fact, a one-person-show.
- DO NOT make up accomplishments, credits, diplomas, or awards.
- DO NOT lie about who your customers are or what you’ve done for them.
- DO NOT fabricate testimonials.
DO use your “about us” page to share FACTS about your business and realize that if the truth scares a customer away, they probably weren’t right for you in the first place.
2. A Mission Statement
File this under “show don’t tell.” Rather than spelling out a mission statement, describe the things you do to fulfill that mission.
The following phrases should be avoided because they're overused corporate jargon. Trust me, you can find more meaningful ways to describe who you are and what you do (and if you can’t, for goodness sake hire a copywriter!)
- Collective experience
- Value proposition
- Detail oriented
- Best practice
- Core competency
BONUS: Suggested additions to enhance your “about us” page
If you want to go a step above and beyond, break up the text on your “about us" page and include engaging media such as:
- Real photos of your staff and place of business
Infographic courtesy of Siege Media.