Your About Us Page Isn’t About You

October 8, 2015

What’s on your About Us page? I’ll bet you don’t even know. When was the last time you looked at it? Did you get the summer student to write it eight years ago? Did you put that fun 5,000 word history of the company commissioned three CEOs ago? God help us, you didn’t put your mission, vision and values up there, did you?


We have discussed the perils of photos of your building, your parking lot, your shipping department, your Christmas party and all staff-owned animals off your site. This includes your About Us page.


So what should we put there? It’s not like anyone goes there, is it? If all you have on offer is photos of your warehouse and a drooling schnauzer, then it’s no wonder nobody goes, but I think the About Us page is actually Not a Baby Wipepretty important.


First off, we can’t count on our visitors to land on useful pages anymore; every single page on your website is a landing page and so every single page needs to serve some kind of useful purpose.


But let’s consider why we have these dreadful pages in the first place. About Us pages are wasted if all we do with them is dump the stuff that didn’t fit elsewhere. I think they are about building trust for two key audiences: prospects and recruits.


Your prospects may not stop here first, but at some point, as they consider whether or not to do business with you, especially in B2B Land, they are going to pay a visit. It might be a compliance exercise by the P-Cube, or it may be the decision-maker doing some arse-covering, or it may be an entire buying committee trying to satisfy themselves you’re worth their opex.


Friends, your employee coffee mug contest is not going to cut it here. Your About Us page is not, actually, about you. It’s about your customer. Just as the rest of your messaging needs to help them understand a problem and then admit you’re the best solution, so, too does this page.


I’d start with a really tight paragraph about what you help people do and how many of them you have helped. This establishes credibility.


Then you want a very brief statement about how long you’ve been at it and, if you are owned by a family, a monastery or a group of adorable orphans, chuck that in too. That builds emotion and humanity.


Next, list a few key projects, clients or important discoveries you can lay claim to; that supports proficiency.


Now stop. No executive photos, no client logos, no United Way bake sale posters. Just stop. Nobody is going further than three paragraphs.


Let’s consider your recruits. People kind of want to know they’re getting into when they apply for work on your site. They, too, seek trust. That’s why we don’t want to scare them off with stupid things like that time in 1973 that your company got exclusive rights to sell drain cleaner to Windsor Castle. Tell them what you do. Tell them why you’re good at it. Tell them why you won’t skip town next week.


Next week, we’ll talk about your terrible Contact Us page. I’m fairly sure it sucks.

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