While the “About Us” page is frequently the most visited on a website, it’s often treated like an afterthought. For small businesses, this lack of attention translates into lost sales. Potential customers visit your About page to connect with you and learn what distinguishes your business from the competition. If you’re not building rapport, you’re missing an opportunity.
Although the thought of writing a better page can be daunting, don’t sweat it. You just need to communicate a few key pieces of information in a way that’s helpful and authentic. Before you get started, though, check out your own About page to see if you’re making one of these nine mistakes. Luckily they’re all pretty easy to fix.
It doesn’t provide a business snapshot
After reading your About page, visitors should know exactly what your business sells and whether they’re in the right place. A common mistake is for business owners to focus on themselves, detailing their own professional background rather than writing about their business. If you’re stumped about what you should say, it helps to go back to basics. Answer the following questions to get started:
- Why did you start your business? Talk about the problem that you identified in the market and the vision behind your business.
- What are your products or services? Relate them back to the problem and demonstrate how they resolve it.
- Who are you (and your business)? Describe your team. How many people are there? You can briefly elaborate, but only if the details are particularly relevant to your business.
- Where are you located? Mention this if it’s relevant to your target audience or your brand.
- When was your business founded? Highlight this point, if it’s notable in your industry.
It doesn’t speak to customers’ needs
When answering the questions above, frequently businesses make the mistake of elaborating on points that customers don’t really care about while glossing over the ones that they do. Avoid the temptation to get into the nitty-gritty details of your career and how you got started. Instead, make your focus the market problem and how it relates to your customers. Your visitors want to know that you understand them. And they really want to believe that your business will solve their issues. Your About page is the place where you’re making your pitch, so highlight your benefits.
There’s no personality
Listing a bunch of facts will quickly bore visitors. Injecting some personality and telling a compelling story are key ways to encourage engagement. Remember, your About page is frequently visitors’ first impression of your brand. Aim to communicate in a voice that matches who you are. Whether your business is quirky and innovative or established and authoritative, help visitors get the sense that you’re unique. When you’re authentic, it’s easier for visitors to see how you’re different from the competition.
It’s too long
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you need to cover everything. When browsing the web, everyone has a short attention span. It’s better to be concise than eloquent or exhaustive. Ideally you want to limit yourself to 300-400 words. Think of your About page as an elevator pitch. You’ve only got your visitors’ attention for a narrow time window, so draft something and then edit it down ruthlessly.
There’s no visual interest
Posting a big block of dense prose is a great way to scare away visitors. To make your story easier on the eyes, use headlines and bullet points to break your text up. But don’t stop there. Find other ways of really adding personality and interest. Adding photos of your team, your offices, your team in-action at fundraising events—whatever you’ve got to add character and make your brand more appealing. Other ideas: add an illustrated company timeline, use an infographic to tell your product story, upload demo videos, or pull a few customer quotes and feature them prominently.
It isn’t SEO optimized
Since there’s nothing but the brand itself being sold on the About page, many businesses make the mistake of treating it as though it doesn’t count when it comes to SEO optimization. However, SEO is just as important on the About page as it is on every other page on your website. It serves to boost search results for your whole website, so do your homework and integrate keywords when possible. And don’t forget to optimize your photos, videos, and other visual elements too.
There’s no effort to engage
Sometimes visitors come to your About page because they’re simply looking for a way to connect. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to your contact information! At the very least, add your business email and phone number. But don’t stop there if you have more to offer. This is a great place to add an opt-in field for your newsletter, as well as link to your social media pages.
It has outdated information
Frequently, businesses will create an About page and then completely forget about it. This is one of the worst mistakes you can make. An outdated page that includes old contact information, outdated photos, or inaccurate product information not only leads to misunderstandings between you and your customers but also lost sales. Once you’ve created an About page that best reflects your business, make sure to check back every couple months to ensure that product messaging is aligned with current offerings and that details are accurate.