About Us Pages Earn Trust. Here’s How (to Write Yours)
Let’s say the truth: about us pages are necessary, even if sometimes overlooked. They are needed in the set of pages that make up a website, as a piece we cannot do without.
The role of an about us page
It’s like that because they play a certain role within a website, a role that’s often underestimated. An about us page has the potential to not only attract users, but even to convert them to clients/customers. It plays a role in simplifying the decision making. According to studies, consumers were 86% more likely to choose companies with a higher decision simplicity score.
That being said, do all companies need a strong about us page? Chances are few people visit the about us page of ebay.com, but a lot more visit the about us page of a lesser known company, such as a web design agency. In the latter case, the about page contributes to gaining trust, and pushing clients forward into the buying cycle.
About Us – What Information to Integrate in the Page
This subchapter is intended to help you complete the creation of your website with a thoroughly designed about us page. Or, if you want to make improvements to your existing about us page, the information below should help you get the most out of it.
Carefully balance the use of “we” and “you”.
As the about us page tells from its name, the content should concern me, my company and my mission. However, there’s a key component to take into account: while introducing yourself, you also have to interconnect with the reader, and address his/her personal needs. The “we” and “you” need to become one and the same referral. “We” empathise with the readers, and “you” find yourself front and center into the company’s presentation.
Address the readers’ pain point.
This is the problem that your company manages to fade out, making their lives better; do not necessarily state exactly how you do it, rather just let readers peek behind the scenes. You are in the market for a reason. That main reason is to make a problem disappear or improve people’s lives. In the example below, the title is suggestive of how good food finds its place into a more comfortable life:
Give away the secret of the company’s existence.
Tell WHY it came to birth and WHY its story found its path into the market. If you’re about to customize a personal blog, let readers in on WHY you thought it useful to start a blog and speak to them. The reason behind the company’s existence should be blended together with how, where, when, who, altogether elements that set the scenes for telling more about the company. Which brings us to the next point…
Tell the company’s story.
Specify what the problem people faced before the company came into existence. Mention the climax, that is how you entered in conflict with that issue and what made you react. Speak about the solution you found for that issue, and how the company got its legitimate role on the market.
Add context to the story.
Add context to the story (speak about the company’s history – years, figures, endeavours; tell some words about the present – current positioning of the company; and picture the company’s future – plans, objectives, forecast).
Present the characters that play a role in the company’s story (employees, CEO, founders, clients’ testimonials).
Introducing the team members not only helps give shape to the brand story, but also helps telling the human story behind the brand. How every member has struggled to keep the company up, and how those members form a tessellated team, worthy of the readers’ attention. In the example below, the team members change their look depending on who you put the mouse on, all watching in that direction.
Include the company’s mission, vision and values.
These shape the brand identity in an about us page. As the brand’s identity is shared by all characters involved in the company’s story, the mission, vision and values are an underlying flow that has been driving the team into the wanted direction.
In most cases, the about us page integrates with the company mission through branding. But it can also be supporting a social cause: for instance, an about us page for a HIV charity might serve to link to studies on HIV and its impact. In this case, the about us page helps define the mission of the organization.
In other cases, the about us page is just a functionality-driven page, which brings together some important aspects of a website. E.g. a newspaper might use the about us page to show a list of its journalists, editors, etc.
Add authentic images and/or videos to the about us page.
Photos of team members should add authenticity to the presentation. A video featuring the CEO should give a clear sense of what the company is all about. A photo of the entire team should cast some light on the human side of the company.
Avoid using stock photos, choose instead some real pictures of what’s inside the company. It explains far better the personality of the group and what the brand stands for.
Add contact information for building trust in your company’s real presence, and for giving directions.
When it comes to proofs in favour of your business credibility, nothing is too much. Profit from the about us page “real estate” to include contact information that will help readers get oriented towards your business. In some cases, the contact information will be present in a site-wide footer, so there’s no more need to reiterate it specifically on the about us page.
Optional: add lead magnets (something you give for free, in exchange of email addresses for future follow-up).
In case you want to make the most out of the about us page, and profit from readers’ attention to lead them towards a certain path of conversion, you might include some lead magnets: a white paper, a downloadable guide, a professional checklist, etc.
Optional: add calls-to-action, for mapping the users’ road to taking action on the website.
Similarly to lead magnets, calls-to-action serve for conversion purposes. In case you want to take conversion benefits from the about us page and use the website potential to the maximum for generating such conversions, it’s good to include a call-to-action button into the page.
Include links to social media profiles. And not only that.
For gaining a user’s trust, use social proofs such as certifications, memberships, investors, regulatory compliance, in some cases, maybe even a hint of a portfolio. Most times, this information will be part of a site-wide footer, so you don’t need to reiterate the items specifically in the about us page. However, if it isn’t part of a site-wide footer, you should consider including them in the about us page, they really add value to your presentation: trust and credibility in the eyes of your readers.
Include your unique selling proposition.
Gives this the greatest visual weight to this information on the page. It’s your major chance to state your uniqueness in a crowded market of goods and services that level up quality.
Style to Present the Information You Include in the About Us Page
All the information listed above should be presented in an enticing way, to get users engaged with the content and keep them so even after they have finished to explore the about us page of the website.
Here’s what you should consider when putting text content on the about us page:
- Know your audience, their way of speaking, their pain points, the reason why they search for you on the internet, their habits and how you can improve their lives. Putting yourself in the readers’ shoes helps gaining a lot more authenticity in your presentation, and you can easily connect with them through an adequate tone of voice.
- Be empathetic. This means you understand your audience a lot better than other competitors, and you can speak with them directly, letting them in on how to find the exact solution they expect – to the issues they face.
- Be authentic. Bring the most of yourself in your writing. You shouldn’t shy away from speaking about your true self, even with vulnerabilities. Use a conversational tone of voice and speak as if you were engaged in a discussion with the readers, right from the first line of text on the page.
- Be conversational, establishing an emotional connection with the readers. Use words in a way that shows you understand them, and you have something in common with them: you care for their lives, their worries, their comfort.
- Avoid being fluffy, and don’t fill in the about us page with blabla text. Stray away from clichés and hype, reduce them to the minimum, if none at all. People don’t really care about your boastful presentation, they will decide whether your company plays a role for them if you identify their problems, and show you understand them well.
- Be personal, be evocative, be you. You yourself, and you in the shoes of clients/customers. Use the first person (singular/plural) to present your business, from a human point of view. Show the audience you are like them, and they should trust you for the better.
- Be honest. Above all, use sincerity as an appropriate medium of communicating with your audience. Don’t ever lie to them, embellish the truth or complicate the discourse. Stick to facts, if necessary, include figures that support your statements, and stand by the truth, as it is.
- Be original. You can do this. You really are unique, and your business brings added value to clients/customers. So, why not include some original copy into the about us page, and show people how you can play an important role for them? Originality can make you go the extra mile and stand out from the market, by getting closer to the audience.
- Build trust. This will ensue as a result of all of the above. If you apply these writing techniques, you will surely gain the readers’ trust and they will decide sooner to get into business with your company. It’s a win-win. You got the audience’s trust, and they’ll get better services/products values by closing the deal with you.
Templates of ideal about us pages
Although breaking the norm is the new norm, when it comes to about us pages, here’s a starting point you can inspire yourself from, when designing one:
ABOUT US PAGE MODEL 1 (generic model)
[OWNERS] started [COMPANY] because [EXPLAIN ISSUE PEOPLE FACED].
That’s why [YOUR PATH TO CREATING A SOLUTION].
Along the way, [X, Y, Z].
We want to be [WHAT’S THE TARGET OF YOUR COMPANY .
Add meaningful context to the presentation:
- introduce the company,
- set the stage where it intervened to solve a problem,
- mention the solution you found for that problem
- tell where you aim to drive the business in the future.
ABOUT US PAGE MODEL 2 (e.g. digital banking)
[WHAT WE DO AND WHY THIS IS SPECIAL].
[FACTS AND FIGURES] supporting the viability of the business model over [X] time.
[Y] community sustains the project and the whole business.
[A, B, C] team members and their short intro.
All these form [COMPANY].
Flesh out the company’s identity starting from the necessity in the market:
- set yourself apart from the rest, by what you do differently,
- support the “difference” with facts and figures stating the business model success,
- state the strength of the business by speaking about the community surrounding it,
- name the company, as it’s already got some people’s share of mind.
ABOUT US PAGE MODEL 2 (e.g. artist)
[ARTIST NAME] became interested in [ART FIELD].
Short explanation of his/her [WORK’S PARTICULARITIES] and why he/she should gain the attention of the public.
[EDUCATION] of [ARTIST].
[DETAILS] about his/her form of art, the way he/she creates.
[PRIZES] and [AWARDS] forming the local/national/international public recognition.
Disclose to the public your innermost powerful self:
- shortly present yourself and the activity field you’re active in,
- speak a little about the educational background that helped you form into who you are at present,
- state what is special in your artwork,
- share awards and certifications with the public.
Examples of About Us Pages and Why We Like Them
In the following lines, we chose to share with you some successful about us pages and identify what makes them unique:
A mix of imagery that showcases the company’s clear mission, summed up in several memorable words:
“We do things people love”.
These words are well included into the whole company’s presentation, serving as the backbones for the entire company structure and activity.
This about us page has authenticity ingrained in every element: real pictures and hand-drawn images sustain a true story, that began in 2010 and keeps on sustaining a lifestyle: “pura vida”, or “living life to the fullest”.
Teehan + Lax
This is the about us page of a company that’s closing its doors. They don’t forget, however, to thank everybody who helped the company grow. And they are proud to present their next move, or “next act”. This tells a lot about the professional ethics of the team, and their respect towards visitors of the website.
Plenty of text that tells a story of the present: the wild apricots are team members, and the organization follows an unusual business model that is hard to pass over. So, wherever your eyes land on the text, there will be signs the whole presentation is worth reading, as wild apricots have really something to say.
A whole bunch of pages dedicated to the presentation of the company. With Citrix.com, there’s not one single page dedicated to telling the story of the brand. Moreover, it’s a section in the website dedicated to different sides of the brand’s personality: executives, citizenship, sustainability, initiatives, etc.
We hope these will serve you as inspiration for a perfect about us page. Although you might tend to neglect this aspect of the website, please keep in mind that it’s as important as your online business card.