Before I begin, you probably want to know why you should spend quality time on an “About Us” page. I can talk all day on how I feel about it, but without the numbers to back it up, you probably won’t believe me. Luckily, at Blue Acorn we have several analytics experts who helped me gather data on the topic. Together, we looked at data from ten of our clients and examined the behaviors of a visitor who visited the About Us page versus a visitor who didn’t. We also looked into the quality of the About Us page itself to see how it factored into the equation.
On average, visitors to an About Us page were five times more likely to make a purchase than those that didn’t. They also spent an average of 22.5% more on their purchases. In cases like the one below, where the About Us page was of very high quality, the results were almost double those figures.
These figures represent two things. First, people who look at your About Us page are more likely to buy and more likely to spend more. Second, the better the page is the more these figures increase. It’s not a question of whether or not you should have one. It’s about having the best page possible to maximize your revenue.
Another great tool we used was visitor flow. On sites with weak About Us pages, visitors dropped off like flies after seeing the About Us page. It was as if the pages were so horrible that customers were scared off.
Now that I have you convinced you need a great About Us page, you probably want to know the work involved in building one.
What to Include in Your About Us Page
Because you are only promising one thing to your visitors – a page that directly expresses who you are as a company – you are free to be creative. Unfortunately, most companies don’t see the great opportunities that lie within an About Us page. They deliver on the promise, but they restrict the content to a few boastful words and a picture of their CEO.
Who you are is not a compilation of your unique selling points. You didn’t spring forth from the earth with a list of bullet points in one hand and a basket of profile badges in the other. Your company was born, it lived, and hopefully – if your About Us page is good enough – it lives on. You don’t need to conjure up a brand story. The labors of your past have provided you with one. Now you just need to tell it in a compelling way that resonates with customers.
“About Us” Not “About You”
Some people write an entire About Us page in the second person. They make promises about what they can do for you, the customer. They say things like, “Are you looking for the best merchandise at the best price?” or “Want to get your money’s worth? Here’s what we can do for you.”
There are two reasons why this doesn’t really work. First, you’re promising the reader an “About Us” and you give them an “About You.” You’re already breaking their trust. It may seem insignificant, but it’s not. You might not anger customers, but you will disappoint them.
Second, while the idea is right, it’s being done it in the wrong way. You want to let your customers know what you can do for them, but you don’t want to be too direct. It sounds too much like your trying to sell them something. That may be the ultimate goal of your site, but it shouldn’t be the goal of your About Us page. Most likely, customers have seen a good bit of your site. They probably know what they want to buy. Right now, they are looking to see who you are and gather proof that you are a legitimate company. If you come across as a pushy salesman, then you might scare them away. However, if you show them you’re a trustworthy brand, they might add a few more items to their cart. Focus on your audience, but be creative and write something relevant to them without repeatedly using the words “you” and “your.”
It’s All About Trust
The About Us is about building a relationship with your customer and gaining their trust. While trust is largely intangible and unable to directly account for its ability to win customers, it is the undeniable invisible force behind making sales and keeping customers. Well-liked, trusted companies can make mistakes and keep their customers because their customers are invested in the brand story.
Conversely, if you don’t have enough trust, a single mistake – or even a communication error – can cost you a customer. If you have zero trust, then you probably can’t give away inventory.
The Brand Story
Give your customers a memorable brand story. Tell it honestly, and tell it in a compelling way. Make them laugh or move them. Do both if you can. Incite a human response. It’s your story, and it should be emotional. So many sites – even some of the great ones – can’t get it in their heads that all you need to do is share who you are in an honest way. Principles you’ve upheld and the obstacles you’ve overcome can all be a part of a good brand story that inspires customer loyalty and ultimately drives up the number of returning customers.
You are Not a Template!
Search engines are bogged down by people looking for an About Us template or a sample About Us page. Everyone is looking for one, and likewise everyone is ending up with the same boring cookie cutter About Us pages. If you care about SEO at all, you know that this is the last thing you want. Who you are should be the most unique product you sell.
I won’t give you an About Us template, but if you absolutely need a guide of how you should organize your About Us page, I suggest the following:
- Have your company logo at the top and a catchy tagline underneath. Keep it very short, something your visitors can remember easily.
- Begin with a short introduction about your company. Sum up what you do in 2-3 sentences, but keep the language very simple, no jargon. The whole point here is simplicity and clarity.
- Tell the story of your inception. Use emotional language to engage customers. Talk about your principles, your goals, obstacles you’ve overcome, friends you’ve made along the way, and anything that makes you sound like more than a machine pumping out products.
- Include a testimonial from one of your satisfied customers. Pick one that combines emotional language with real examples of how your company met his or her satisfactions.
- Include a video. Film customers or your CEO. Just pick someone engaging. It’s not a video catalogue. It’s an About Us video.
- You’ve said what you have done in the past, but now might be a good time to talk about your plans. Where is your company going? What goals have you set for this year?
- Tie it all together. Everything you have done in the past was building to the great company you are right now.
- Include your contact information at the bottom. Put your physical address and a photo of your office. Make it seem as if they could walk in and ask you a question if they wanted to (don’t worry they probably won’t).
Two Ideas to Get You Started
- Your founders saw a gap in the market and filled it. Tell the story of what void they observed and how they filled it. Don’t minimize that contribution to the world. Red Bull is sugar water that “Uplifts Mind and Spirit” and Pampers is a diaper company that “Cares for Happy Healthy Development of Babies.” If they can spin their stories that way, you can too.
- It’s unlikely that no one has a great anecdote that occurred at your company. Personal stories, customer successes, etc can all be the inspiration for your bigger story. If anything, it’ll get you thinking in the right mindset.
Every year, users expect more and more from the sites they visit. About Us pages are no different. Take time to invest in a video that introduces your company, your employees, and your brand story.
Make it Easy to Find
Obviously, you don’t want to spend all this time on a page that no one is going to see, so display your About Us page proudly and prioritize it. When we looked at our data, we found that the sites that made the About Us page easy to find had higher conversion rates and average order values. However, sites that hid the link to their About Us page at the bottom of the site experienced the opposite. It’s like the old saying: If a tree falls in the woods – but no one can see it because it’s in size eight font and hidden among a sea of useless links – then does anyone hear it?
Don’t forget what a great opportunity you have for SEO with your About Us page. Most likely, it will contain more text than any other page you have, so you should be able to fit multiple keywords throughout the page. Also, don’t forget other important SEO practices like images with keywords in the alt text. If you’re not confident with SEO, check out our SEO eCommerce Blog for plenty of posts on the topic.
Keep in Mind…
A good story can change the way a person feels, thinks, or acts. A great story has the ability to change a person’s entire life. Certainly, you can come up one good enough to make them buy a few extra items online.
Look for our next blog post, where I will go through a weak About Us page and turn it into a super hub of conversion activity.