The About Us page is undoubtedly one of the most basic (and important) pages any website can publish (something I mentioned in my other post on the 11 Essential Pages to Have on a WordPress Blog), nobody can argue with that.
And it’s not even that web developers have any particular sympathy towards it. About Us pages are popular because they simply work. Apart from your homepage, the About Us page is the second most visited page for most websites.
This does make sense, to be honest. Whenever a visitor comes to a new site, they start by browsing around and consuming content, but at some point they will get curious about the team/person standing behind the site. That’s when they visit the About Us page.
However, like always, there are some sites that have truly work-of-art About Us pages, while others suck at it completely.
This list features 9 elements that I think should be taken into account when creating a proper About Us page. Now, I’m no expert, but I did some research before compiling this list, so what follows is the result of that research. Of course, you don’t have to use all of the elements mentioned here at the same time. Simply pick the ones that seem to make sense in your situation, niche, design, or by whatever other standards. About Us pages that are too big don’t do their job very well either.
Probably the oldest trick in the book. I really don’t want to say this, but here it goes anyway: A picture is worth a thousand words.
You can use pictures no matter what the topic of your site is. For instance, you can present photos of yourself and your team, you can use CG graphics that somewhat define your brand or business, or whatever else that makes sense.
Pictures are great for conveying a complex message in a limited space, and also as a way to visually break up the text content. In essence, the sole presence of pictures makes everything easier to read.
There’s just one thing you have to be careful about. Please, don’t try to be funny just for the sake of it. There are way too many pictures on About Us pages that are supposed to be funny yet they are only embarrassing to look at. And I’m not hating … I’m just telling it like it is.
Use videos (if possible)
Videos are what drives the internet of today. I think it’s safe to say that we all watch at least one online video every day. So if you have the skills, or the budget, you should consider placing a video on your About Us page.
If your site is a product website then you can have a nice animation created that explains what the product is and what benefits it has to offer. When it comes to software and online tools, there’s no better way of explaining what the thing is about than by providing a video. No screenshots can do the job even half as well.
If your site is a personal/freelance brand site or something similar then you can shoot a video of yourself talking about stuff. Now, I’ve never recorded such a video myself so I can’t advise much on how to actually do it, but I’m sure there are many tutorials online.
Finally, if you’re going to use a video you should make it the central element of the page – the thing people notice first. And, of course, you should use the biggest dimensions that fit.
Make it personal
One interesting fact about doing business in any market is that people don’t like to do business with businesses, they like to do business with people.
Signing any document with anything else than your actual name (or pen name) is simply lame. You are not your brand, you’re a human being, so don’t refer to yourself as we. Use more I.
What if your site is a company site? I’d advise introducing yourself first, and then using your own voice to describe what the company brings to the table. Not doing it the other way around by hiding behind your brand.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s hard to care about something named BrandX-plc.com. It’s a lot easier to care for John Doe, working at BrandX-plc.com.
Say what you do
This is probably the core element of a good About Us page. I mean, people come to the page to see this very part.
Now, you’re the one who knows best what you have to offer, so there’s not much I can advise. However, make sure to keep the following in mind:
- Make it catchy. If you want people to take action on what you’re saying, you have to create some interest and make it catchy. Boring is not a powerful business word, Engagement is.
- Explain why should anyone pay attention. Just because you’re offering something doesn’t make it a good enough reason for people to pay attention. You need to focus on them, and how your products/content/offerings can make their life just a little better. Point out the benefits of working with you.
- Short paragraphs. Easy to grasp information. Only the bare minimum of details.
No matter what the purpose of your site is, this is where you should focus on the facts. Describe the services you have to offer, the products, or your area of expertise in case of a portfolio site for a freelancer (for example). Again, you know best what’s relevant and what isn’t.
Provide social proof and build trust
Your About Us page is a great place to showcase some clients you’ve worked with in the past.
Just a set of brand logos is enough. The main point of this is to indicate that some major brands have trusted you, which by association makes you a valuable person to work with.
If you’re a blogger then you can showcase some of the guest posts you’ve scored on major blogs. For WordPress developers and designers, mentioning your designs being featured on major design sites is also a great social proof. I’m sure you can find a good angle to tackle this, no matter what niche you’re in.
Social media links
Nowadays, social media is an integral part of every website’s existence. If you still don’t have a profile on Twitter, or LinkedIn then you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities.
By providing links to your social media profiles you’re giving your audience yet another way of connecting with you. Chances are people won’t spend hours a day on your site, but they are used to looking on Twitter or Facebook every 5 minutes. Meeting them there is therefore a great idea.
However, I’d advise displaying the links near the bottom of your About Us page. That way you’re not driving people away from your site right away, before they even get to read what you have to say.
If you’re a freelancer of any kind then displaying a portfolio is a very decent idea. It showcases the kind of projects you’re able to handle and the range of clients you’ve had the privilege to work with.
It’s also good to point out the specific role you’ve had in each project, plus some basic goals and results of the project.
Again, for some sites this is a very sensible element, for others not so much.
Displaying your physical address, phone number and other basic info is a big credibility boost. It’s also one of the simplest things you can do.
This single piece of information makes your business look more real and trustworthy. People are very careful about doing business with purely online based companies these days. There’s just too many scam artists around.
Use a custom template
The standard design of a WordPress page isn’t probably the most optimal for an About Us page. This is mainly due to the sidebar. It creates unnecessary confusion, and drives people’s attention away from the main content.
If your theme allows it, you can simply remove the sidebar from your About Us page. If it doesn’t, you’re going to have to create a custom page template to make it possible.
Also, try to use a bit more creative content layout than just placing one paragraph after another. Making things more asymmetric can drive more attention towards your page and actually make the whole thing easier to grasp.
For me, this concludes the list of the most important elements of a great About Us page. What’s your opinion? What’s on your About Us page?