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All About Us

by  David Dwyer on  30/06/2014    1827 Reads

Does your 'About Us' page genuinely do your business justice?

A website isn’t just a place to sell things; it’s also a place to sell yourself, meaning who you are as a sole trader, business or charity. Do your potential customers know what makes you stand out from the crowd? What makes you different from the others? What makes you trustworthy or knowledgeable in your field? Now’s your chance to tell them.

The best place to do this is on a clear, informative and engaging About Us page, designed to give readers any background information they need before they complete their purchase or make contact with your business.

It sounds easy enough, but many websites don’t make the most of the opportunity and space they have in front of them. Here are Inspire’s tips for not making the same mistakes:

  • Name names: This is your chance to build relationships with new customers. Introduce your customers to your key staff members, as you would in person; depending on your market sector, it might also be a good idea to offer a line or two of information about their role in the company, experience and background.
  • Make it a photo op: Let your customers put a face to a name. If you’re taking your own photos, see what types of images your competitors use and spend some time planning your own. Better yet, use a professional.
  • Avoid video overload: Not everyone has the time or inclination (or bandwidth) to watch a 10-minute video outlining the past 50 years of your company’s history. Short, concise and engaging text is better for most firms. However, there are exceptions: a company that makes wedding videos may want to show off their skills to happy couples – but there may be more effective places on the site to do this.
  • Avoid text overload: As I noted above, keep it simple. Around 300–500 words (a few paragraphs) is usually enough for introductions and a potted history. Steer clear of too much technical jargon where possible. Remember: you’re speaking human to human, not machine to machine. Likewise, leave the corporate jargon to the annual report.
  • Remember, it’s not all about YOU: Don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re reaching out to customers, not talking to yourself. Highlight how the experience and history you’ve just told them about can help them with their problems, whether it’s where to eat tonight, where to hold their wedding or how to make investments.

Think site map strategy: Traditionally the ‘About Us’ page came after the ‘Home’ page (the ‘menu’ of what was on the site as a whole). Sometimes it can make more sense to put the ‘About Us’ page towards the end of your site map (next to the ‘Contact Us’ page) to allow customers to focus more on your products first. Once they’ve decided that you’re offering what they want to buy, they can read up on your history. 
 

David Dwyer is Managing Director of Inspire Web Development. He has years of experience in a range of web and IT roles plus seven years in sales and marketing in a blue-chip FMCG company. David’s academic and professional qualifications include a BA (Hons) in Business Economics (Personnel & Ergonomics) from the University of Paisley, an MSc in Information Technology (Systems) from Heriot-Watt University and PRINCE2 Practitioner-level certification. He is also an active member of the British Computer Society, Entrepreneurial Exchange and Business for Scotland.

 

Follow Inspire on Twitter @inspireltd and @developersos

 
Inspire Web Services, The Evolving Web, Web Design, Website Copywriting
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