Help Visitors Learn Your Story: How to Write an 'About Us' Page

William Gislason
Posted by William Gislason on May 18, 2015

In B2B marketing today, we can get so caught up writing blogs, using social media, and monitoring our website analytics that it's easy to neglect the basics of our website. The 'About Us' page has been a necessity for all businesses since the dawn of professional websites in the 90s and yet, too many companies just don't get it. More often than not,'About Us' pages are boring, inarticulate, and they don't adequately tell their company's story.

An international user experience study conducted by the Nielson Norman Group studying 'About Us' pages found that over five years, users' ability to remember contact information was the sole improvement in 'About Us' page user experience. In contrast, users' ability to learn details about the organization actually decreased as well as their overall satifaction. 

Because the bar is set pretty low on 'About Us' pages, companies focused on improved digital lead attraction have a big opportunity. In this article, I'd like to walk through how businesses can make 'About Us' pages impress and grab the attention of their most valuable visitors.

Define Your Goals for 'About Us'

Like any site page, you should have fairly specific traffic goals for your 'About Us' page, but it's also important to remember traffic isn't necessarily the only function of this website section. 'About Us' can be an important landing point during a visitor's journey toward purchase, so page performance should be graded both qualitatively and on a traffic basis.

By the time leads enter the consideration phase of their buyer's journey, the 'About Us' page should play a central role in whether they become ready for sales. A lead's impression of 'About Us' can escalate the contact into the consideration thought process, or, if their experience goes badly, 'About Us' can turn a lead off completely. While your product and services are, of course, important, the 'About Us' page should be about growing trust and establishing the story that makes your brand compelling.

Often, B2B companies make the mistake of thinking that their brand is just their logo and color scheme. In reality, a B2B company's brand is the content that accompanies these assets and is repeated over and over again to become a company's story. An 'About Us' page is vital to developing your brand because it provides a situation and location for developing the mantra and storyline foundational to your brand.

This is where you can showcase what makes your company unique. Are you a third-generation manufacturer that continues to innovate? How about a new finance company founded with the mission to treat their clients with more respect? Maybe you're an engineering firm prepared to come up with the solution to any technical problem in your vertical. Whatever your company's story, mission, or values, your 'About Us' page is the place to establish the way you articulate your company's story, written in a way that's compelling and helpful to your prospects.

'About Us' Isn't About You—It's About Your Prospects

While 'About Us' certainly invokes storytelling and draws on your company positioning, the goal should always be focused on helping your visitors learn and become more aware of their impending purchase. Remember that your prospects are looking for the right way to make their decision, so your 'About Us' page should weave together language about how to make a purchase and what your company offers. Prove that your company is uniquely prepared to help your leads with their specific problems.

While your 'About Us' page does need to be about you, if you can show your ideal customer that you are "about them" it can create quite an impact.

Elements of an Effective 'About Us' Page

The most effective 'About Us' pages are simple and straightforward. I would recommend a clear narrative that begins with your company's story and transitions into its value and positioning before short profiles of the leadership and client-facing employees and ending with basic contact information.

It's important for your 'About Us' page to be easy-to-read and approachable – a maximum of 3 or 4 mid-sized paragraphs. Your narrative should be light-hearted and fun. From your history to your current positioning, everything should show that your company is ready to take care of business but have a good time in the process. Creating the perfect copy that makes your prospects excited to work with you is your main objective. 

Which Elements NOT to Include in an 'About Us' page

Most 'About Us' pages you'll happen upon during your internet travels will have quite a few more elements than I've laid out. These 'About Us' pages have far too many elements I would call distractions. Nobody wants to work with the person who talks only about themselves. Find what makes you interesting, share it with your visitors, then let them get back to what matters: your products/services and your educational content.

Product Information

The 'About Us' page should be limited to the influences behind your products and services. Rather than the specifics of what you do give the reason you do what you do. Product information plays a valuable role in your website but only serves to distract from the narrative you create in an effective 'About Us' page.

Past Projects

Like product information, while your previous work can serve a valuable purpose in other parts of the site, your 'About Us' page will have its message diluted and obscured by the specifics of past projects. Consider producing downloadable case studies with this information to give interested parties more information on your company's specific capabilities and accomplishments. 

Outdated Information

Nothing causes a loss of trust like outdated information. Your staff profiles are especially vulnerable to problems of this kind. As soon as there are any changes in contact information, location shifts of any kind, or staffing changes, your 'About Us' needs to be quickly updated. A prospect catching the mistake before you do does not scream qualified marketing staff.

Boring Copy

If your 'About Us' page is boring, it shows that your company is boring. Give all of your copy a read through and if there are any sentences without real value to your message, get rid of them – they're only wasting your visitor's time and attention.

Closing Thoughts

An 'About Us' page is the perfect place for a B2B marketer to define their company's brand. Simple pages with an engaging narrative are sure to detail your prospects and provide the introduction that will lead to a long-lasting business relationship. 

If you can produce something of value and interest, you'll be an exemplary example of an art too long neglected.

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Topics: Content Marketing, Website Design

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