All About “About Us”

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All About “About Us”

Writing good About Us contentA web site can be an electronic office, marketing weapon, distribution channel, catalogue, virtual storefront, customer service and support tool, virtual showroom, advertising medium, and electronic brochure. The long and short of it is that when you decide to incorporate a web site as a means of showcasing your business, it involves a lot more than just creating a set of visually inviting web pages for your products or services. For any size business, a web site is powerful tool and which involves a great deal of thought and planning your content.

The first and arguably most important page that provides a visitor with that valuable first impression of your business is the Home Page, but we all know that, don’t we? Any savvy marketing person will tell you that a good visual burst right between the eyes will do wonders for you providing that favourable and positive first impression, enticing visitors to want to see more. You’ve also taken great care and thought in showcasing your products or services for all to see in the best light possible. But, have you given as much though into how to transition between your Home Page and the rest of your site?

One of the most overlooked pages during the development of the site, but yet one of the more important one for setting the tone or concept of the site is the lowly “About Us” page. Quite often the question is asked, “Why have an About Us page at all?” Simply put – the About Us page is prime real estate for showcasing you and your business. It serves to tell the world several important things:

Who you are
What you do
How you do it

The content you write to define these points will go a long way in setting the tone or concept of the site. It gives you the opportunity to give your business credibility. More importantly, it will generate enough interest in your business to help drive visitors to your other pages, which have all the good stuff – what you sell.

The Internet, for all its hype and glamour, is just another form of communication. When you make a phone call, write a memo, or give a speech, you have a specific message in mind. The same principle applies to your web site. However, if you surf the web a lot, you have no doubt run into sites that have you wondering, “What exactly are they trying to say?”

This is where you need to be creative and provide interesting and informative text addressing the three points above. Most importantly, if you want your visitors to read the text you create there are a few simple rules:

Brevity is key. If someone asks what your business is, you should be able to immediately describe it in a single sentence. The same idea applies to the About Us page. Think about your business; could you describe you site to a total stranger clearly and concisely?
The words and terms you use are essential to helping people find what they want. Use language that they recognize. Write in a way that makes them sit up and think, “This is exactly what I’m looking for!”
Text that takes into account what visitors are looking for can help guide them through the rest of the site. If you want people to know how to find what they want on your site, be sure the language you use is relevant to their needs.
Avoid corporate-speak and industry jargon. This means taking the trouble to find out which words and terms your visitors use when thinking about your products and services. Stay away from the infamous mission statement or other marketing blurbs such as:

 “Incorporating our corporate culture into our business processes and customer needs, we   continue  to leverage our exceptional and effective work practices, improve operational effectiveness to meet business objectives and create win-win situations for our clients.”

 Remember that you are writing for the general public and not for a boardroom publication. Visitors want to know the nuts and bolts of how you conduct business in simplest of terms.

You should incorporate the keywords you want to be able to be found for on search engines as much as possible while maintaining your desired tone and readability.

At their core, most successful web sites are digital translations of the way we communicate. Be honest with yourself about the intrinsic value of your information. For example, you might be absolutely certain that your company’s new “Wonder Widget” is going to revolutionize the Widget industry, but others will need some convincing to discover its importance. Present your company’s information in a brief, concise manner that is easy to read and understand and that will convince them that your Widget is the best.

Remember that whatever you present be in good taste and is relevant to the message you are trying to convey.

The Internet has torn down the barriers that traditionally kept small business from challenging their largest competitors. These businesses can go head to head with the big guys in offering a new customer buying experience, a wide selection of products and services, satisfy customers, control costs, and manage inventory. The business that will grow and survive in the long term will be the one that does the best job at putting it best face forward, and on those grounds, size doesn’t matter. If properly created, the About Us page not only goes a long way in inviting visitors to want to explore the rest of you site, but it’s the first step in leveling the playing field.