For almost as long as the internet can remember, companies have been putting ‘About Us’ pages on their websites. Almost everyone has one and there are even blogs about how to create a good ‘About Us’ page.
But what purpose are they really serving? Telling your story? Are potential clients actually that interested? They have been a convenient bucket for content that really should be elsewhere on your site and reflect an ‘inside out’ approach to your site content when your success depends on thinking ‘outside in’.
Even now, many companies structure their websites the way they structure their company or the way they’ve always done their product brochures. Customers don’t care about the number of divisions or subsidiaries you have. They’re on your site because they have a need and if you don’t fulfil that need, they’ll find someone who will.
So you need to think about why they are here, what goals you have for them on your site and what content will engage them and move them towards these goals, thinking ‘outside in’.
If you’re doing this, you will want to put what makes you different front and centre of your homepage, talking about the challenges you’ve helped clients solve, what sectors these clients are in and what services you provide to meet these challenges.
What are you site visitors looking for?
They’re looking for clear and obvious descriptions of these services and sectors. They need to know you have the credentials to help them solve their problem. These are important filters for you as well as your site users as they deter people who are not right for your business and improve the quality of your leads.
If users think your skills and experience are appropriate, they’ll want to see who they’re doing business with. We once worked with a data company who assumed their offer was about the ways they could profitably segment a client’s database, or offer them data options they were unable to find themselves. Of course these are important but their site data showed their ‘Team’ page was the third most visited page on their site, so when we rebuilt the site we gave this content much more prominence.
Once visitors are happy they know who they’re dealing with, they’ll look for 3rd party endorsement and this can take at least 3 forms:
- Endorsements or testimonials from actual customers, preferably with some reference to the results they experienced. Independent ratings from trusted sources will always help.
- Memberships of trade bodies or other reputable organisations. This will give your site users some reassurance that you work to a set of agreed standards.
- Media coverage. If you’ve had a notable event or, perhaps, conference speaking mentioned in the media, this should also be on your site.
None of this belongs on an About Us page!
Everything we’ve mentioned here is vital to a successful user journey, so should not be hidden away on an About Us page. This content all needs to be introduced on your home page and have content sections on Level 1 pages for everyone who wants to know more. If you’re unsure how to create an effective user journey, please check out this blog.
Critically, content on an About Us page is less likely to be found in search. Try this simple test: go to a site you know that has an About Us page (this can even be your own!). Go to the page and look at the url. It will almost certainly be www.xyzxyzxyz.co.uk/About-Us (or maybe .com). If it is, the site owner is wasting valuable SEO opportunity. This is a page url generated automatically by the site and the opportunity of adding keywords to the url has been missed. No-one ever typed the phrase ‘About Us’ into a search engine!
This exemplifies the entire ‘Me Too’ philosophy behind About Us pages. Its derivative, its bland and it is not differentiating. It is time to:
– think differently, get into the minds of your most valuable users.
– understand what problem they have and how you solve it.
– organise this content into an effective user journey.
– give your site goals which match your business objectives.
If you do this well, I’d be very surprised if you decided these journeys needed an About Us page!