posted under Compose Your Most Important Website Pages
Wondering what to write on your “About Us” page? You’re not alone. I frequently hear business owners say that’s the one page that stumps them. They don’t want to sound like they’re bragging. But they also don’t want to bore the reader with a long, detailed resume. As in most things, the best answer for writing your “About Us” page is to find the middle ground.
The “About Us” page is the place to toot your own horn, but do it with facts not hype. That is, talk about the experience you bring to the table. Tell how many years you’ve been in business. Give your company’s story, the reason why it was founded, the way it’s developed over time.
Your company history and evolution speak volumes about your values. Describe your capabilities and list your credentials. Explain why you’re uniquely qualified to offer the service or product you sell.
The Internet is teeming with websites selling almost the same goods and services. Your “About Us” page should explain how you’re different. That’s the best way to persuade prospects to do business with you instead of your competitor.
Some people contend that the “About Us” page should it be written as though an objective third-party has provided the information. I disagree. Despite what your high school English teacher may have told you, writing in formal third person language is dry and boring. You don’t want your “About Us” page to sound like a term paper. Yawn.
Besides, you’re not fooling anyone. Everyone knows the “About Us” page is written or at least approved by the website’s owner or management team. So go ahead, use first person (I) or first person plural (we), depending on which is more appropriate for your situation.
A visitor to your website wants to know there’s a real human behind this online business. In fact, that’s why he sought out your “About Us” page. He wants to get to know you. So don’t write like you’re creating an encyclopedia entry. It’s too impersonal.
Instead, be yourself, almost as though you were talking to the prospect in person. Be conversational in your copywriting. Be friendly. Be likable.
Speak with passion about your company’s mission. And let your personality shine through. You can still appear professional while being casual and even funny.
For many people, writing the first paragraph of their “About Us” page is the most difficult. If only they could get it started, they’re certain they could compose the rest. Here are interesting ways to craft your introductory paragraph.
If you can begin your “About Us” page in a creative way, you’re more likely to engage your visitors and keep them reading until the end.
Include your photo and also pictures of your employees if appropriate. These images don’t have to be formal studio portraits. They can be pictures taken in your work environment. In fact, those will be far more meaningful.
If you’re a caterer, let’s see you surrounded my displays of delicious food. If you’re promoting your metal fabrication business, let’s see you welding metal. If you’re a drapery manufacturer, let’s see you working amid huge bolts of fabric.
A picture of you at work will make you seem more real and will help the visitor begin to feel he knows you. From there, it’s just a small leap for him to trust you and want to do business with you.
People want to connect with other people. That’s easy to forget when writing a corporate website. But consider the incredible success of Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. These social networking sites are essentially a colossal collection of “About Me” pages. And the most popular profiles are those that get a bit personal and give their fans a peek behind the scenes.
When writing your website’s “About Us” page, look upon it as an opportunity to build a relationship with prospective customers. It’s a form of networking. They want to get to know you. They want to peek behind the curtain and see who’s at the controls. Give them more than corporate-speak about your company’s mission statement.
The central message to convey is that behind your business are real human beings who have their customers’ best interests at heart.
The authors of The Wise Startup Blog recently described the “About Us” page as the “soul of your website” because it offers insights into your thinking and personal philosophy. They recommend being “authentic, honest and true to yourself.”
It’s even okay to show some vulnerability. After all, who among us is 100% confident in all we do?
Along those same lines, the blog suggests you consider what emotions you want your visitors to feel when reading your page. Do you want them to come away feeling inspired and uplifted or perhaps empowered and supported? By mentally putting yourself in their shoes, you’ll be better able to write content that connects with them on a deeper level.
The authors of the blog summarized their tips for writing an “About Me” page (same as “About Us” page, just the singular version) in the handy infographic below.
I know you want the copy on your “About Us” page to be perfect, or about as close as you can get. But don’t get so hung up on perfection that you don’t write or publish the page at all. Something is far better than nothing. And the beauty of websites, as opposed to say printed brochures, is that you can continually refine them.
Publish your draft of the “About Us” page and see what kind of reaction it gets. Use feedback to continue molding it into a piece you’re proud to share with others.
Look at your analytics to see if visitors are spending time on that page. Visit some competitors’ “About Us” pages and see if they spark any new ideas for you. Get some opinions from friends.
Finally, put a note on your calendar to go back to your “About Us” page in about a month and see if it still sounds good to you. Often a little distance will give you a new perspective.
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Your "About Us" page is an important part of your website. You want to get it right. Would you like some help writing its content? Contact Susan Greene today!