- Business ,
How to Write an About Page that Connects and Converts
David VallanceJuly 2015
While your homepage snaffles up the more visitors than any other page, your About Us page is usually a very close second. With thousands of users passing through, you’ve got a fantastic opportunity to make a lasting impression. However, the humble About Us page is usually an unloved and overlooked afterthought written up only when all the other copy is wrapped up.
At Digital Impact we do things a little differently. We know how important About Us pages and we’ve seen them work wonders for countless businesses. Here’s a taste of why we love a good About Us page.
- Define your identity
- Connect with your customers
- Sell your services
- Build brand loyalty
Since we’ve built hundreds of websites over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of good, bad and ugly pages. Yes, we’ve seen what works but we’ve also seen what doesn’t. With that impromptu research behind us, we think it’s the perfect time to pass on our 5 Top Tips for Writing an About Us Page that Connects and Converts.
By the time a visitor has read your About Us page they should be able to answer the five W’s of your business: who, what, when, where and why. If they can’t, it’s time to break out the Tipex.
One of the most common problems we deal with is people resorting to buzzwords when explaining what they do. As you’ll see, buzzwords answer absolutely none of the W’s and usually confuse matters further. The following is a real first draft I was emailed about a year ago:
For the past decade, we have striven to provide our clients with physical communication solutions and innovative B2B strategies.
What does that even mean? What is physical communication solution? Is it a phone? A messenger pigeon? Two tin cans and a length of string? The problem with buzzwords is that they’re all style and no substance. Using them tells your customers absolutely nothing about you.
Ditch the buzzwords and explain what you do in straightforward English.
Let’s take a look an organisation that gets clarity right. Pebble is a tech company that introduced the world’s first smartwatch. It was simple but effective and it looked drop dead gorgeous. This theme of simplicity underpins everything the company does and their Our Story page is no different.
While the page begins in 1941 with the advent of home computing computing, it quickly fast forwards to 2009 when the wearable technology market are born. Everything is brilliantly minimalist, ultra simple and tells you exactly what you need to know about Pebble. Migicovsky nails wearable tech, the Pebble is born, Pebble breaks all crowdfunding records and finally the watch is actually released.
The whole page uses maybe two dozen words to describe the entire history of a company and it’s this sort of crystal clear clarity that I aim for when I’m helping clients write about their company.
2. Think Visual
When we’re reading on screens, we don’t meticulously scour every word. We skim and scan and get a summary of what the text is all about.
You’re better than a summary.
Put your important bits in bold and make them bigger.
- Fire in some bullet points
- Or stick in some statistics
- Break it down and make your copy easy ready
If you give your readers some sturdy anchor points, they’ll structure their reading around it. No more skimming. No more scanning.
Once you’ve got your copy sorted, it’s time to think about images.
You can describe the quality of your work all you want but there’s just no beating strong visuals. Visuals act as proof, showing your customers that you actually do what you say you do. Until they see you in action, your pitch is just hot air.
Where possible, use genuine images. If you don’t have any, stock photography sites provides an useful alternative. We even rounded up the best of the best free stock photography sites to save you endless hours browsing for the perfect photo.
So, who uses visuals effectively? Well, lots of people but I particularly like the artistry of Everlovin’ Press.
Everlovin’ Press is run by Vincent Perez, a designer, printer and stationer from Canada. It’s particularly effective here because we don’t typically see the work that goes on behind the scenes in design and printing. We send away artwork and receive back a finished product. What goes on behind the scenes? I don’t know – magic?
Perez’s imagery lifts the curtain on the industry and shows the industrial element that underpins it. It really emphasises both the handcrafted and technical side of the his work and shows his customers that he actually gets his hands dirty.
And this applies to all businesses. If you’re an office, show us the people behind the email addresses. If you’re a restaurant, let us meet the chef.
You get the picture.
3. Showcase Culture
Almost every website has an About Us page and almost all adopt the same generic corporate tone that lectures readers about dates founded and industry awards. This is a wasted opportunity to bear all and show your audience what makes you tick.
Write your copy as you would talk to your customers and make your About Us page reflect who you are. You want it to sound like you actually wrote your copy and not some anonymous suit.
Time to look at a good example.
Since we’re talking about the living company culture, we’ve got to talk about the Adventurists. This mob of adrenaline-junkie petrolheads run long distance rallies for hopelessly unprepared drivers in hopelessly ill-equipped vehicles.
They’re usually seen with a pipe in hand posed on some sort of Chesterfield wingback. Take a look at how they introduce themselves.
The Adventurists cut through the veneer of modern civilisation with razor-sharp wit and evoke in us the unquenchable sense of adventure. It’s this iconic tone of voice that defines them and it’s also the reason why we love them.
4. Social Proof
Your business’ achievements and accolades are important but you have to remember that your About Us page isn’t a trophy cabinet. Simply listing the awards you have won will do nothing but bore your visitors.
However, you still need to prove that your business is as good as you claim it is. That’s where your customers come in. Including social proof – case studies, testimonials, quotes – showcases your successes in a relatable way.
Social Proof lets your new visitors imagine themselves in the positions of your existing customers.
Time for an example. MailChimp knows how to leverage social proof and puts their customers front and centre – literally. As you scroll through their About Us page, their customers are there smiling back at you, inviting you in to their stories.
The photography is wonderfully intimate and it dares you to click and read all about their success. Its not just an email marketing service any more. It’s real life success and proof that their system works.
5. Remember the Call-to-Action
Time to focus on the business bit. Your About Us page isn’t just a source of information, it’s also a sales pitch. Once you’ve put your cards on the table, you have to sign off with a strong call-to-action that tells your visitors what to do next.
Without a call-to-action your user journeys disintegrate into an uncoordinated mess and people will drift around your site without any real purpose or direction.
Kickstarter’s About Us page is an excellent example of CTAs done well. The page is beautifully designed, perfectly integrating information, benefits, testimonials and – finally – call-to-actions.
When visitors reach the end of the page, they’re are chomping at the bit to get involved. Kickstarter throws a harness on this energised user base with a prominent two-part call to action, directing readers to either start their own project or view past successes. It’s brilliant, effective and minimises user exits.
So there you have it. That’s how you craft an About Us page that connects and converts.
I know it’s a lot to take in all in one go so if you remember one thing from this article, make it that this: an About Us page isn’t just a place to explain who you are.
It’s a place to sell your culture, staff and success. It’s a place to engage your users with your story and turn them into loyal customers.
Here are a few takeaway reminders to work through the next time you’re rewriting your About Us copy:
- Cut the jargon and explain what you do
- Vary styling and use powerful images
- Type like you talk and live your culture
- Show off your customer success
- Don’t forget to close with a CTA
And my one final tip for the road? Think about how you explain your job to friends and family. What do you brag about first? Who do you talk about most? What service are you most proud of? Answer those and you’ll have a good foundation for your copy.
David VallanceContent Manager
A seasoned copywriter and content creator, David is the backbone of Digital Impact’s marketing campaigns. With extensive experience writing for clients across a myriad of industries, David has developed the skills to craft effective copy for any niche.
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