About Pages. Every e-commerce company website has them, and very few companies use them well.
Often, companies seem to view their About Pages as an afterthought, a place to jot down a couple of facts, a note from the founder, and maybe a photo of the office kitty. But your About Page can be a powerful tool to build a deeper connection with your customers.
Here are 11 quick tips to make your About Page work for you.
1. Focus on the customer…
The biggest mistake companies make on their About Pages is talking too much about themselves. That sounds counterintuitive, right? After all, aren’t customers there to learn about you?
Not quite. Actually they’re there to learn about what you can do for them. Talk about your company, but try to tie every anecdote and factoid back into why it adds value to customers.
2. …But don’t forget to talk about your company
On the opposite end of the spectrum are About Pages that are so customer-focused they could represent almost any company. What makes your brand unique? What aspects of your company’s history help set you apart?
Wondering what a good balance looks like? Check out our page, which combines our value proposition, history, and a dash of humor.
3. Be authentic
Ditch the industry jargon on your About Page, and speak to your customer with an authentic voice. That doesn’t mean you need to be casual or snarky if that’s not your style — you can take a serious tone and still be friendly and approachable.
4. Dial down the superlatives
Following on the idea of authenticity, keep an eye out for words like outstanding, amazing, tremendous, and any other phrases that are over-the-top. Stick to the facts, and let other people do the editorializing about your company.
5. Provide social proof
Speaking of other people, if you shouldn’t blow your own horn on your About Page, you should definitely let others do it for you. Bust out your awards, testimonials, and great reviews like men’s skincare company Bulldog does on their page.
6. Provide a glimpse behind the curtains
Use your About Page to give customers a little VIP tour. This could be a short video introducing the team in the office, some photos of the factory, or just a deeper look at why you do the work you do.
7. Tell us a story
What brought your brand to where it is today? The story could be tied up in your founder’s journey, like Grand Rapids restaurant Marie Catrib’s, or in your company’s commitment to quality and employees, like outdoors brand Pacific Trail. Here are some great tips on creating a story for your About page.
8. Spruce up your timeline
The company history timeline is a time-honored About Page tradition. The problem is that most are pretty boring — and there’s no reason a customer should care unless they are doing a report for their high school local history class.
Check out how SEO company Moz spiffs up their timeline with graphics and a bit of humor. But most importantly, notice how the timeline tells a story of growth, innovation, and a focus on customers.
9. Talk about your mission
What drives your company to do what it does? Is it a commitment to environmentally-friendly practices? The desire to excite girls about STEM jobs, like GoldieBlox? Use your About Page to clue your customers in.
10. But cut the fluff
One way you can be sure that a company doesn’t know what its mission is is when you have to wade through About Page copy so fluffy is practically meaningless. Dig into specifics so that your mission doesn’t come across as bland and lifeless.
One ultra-fluffy word to avoid? “Passionate.” I’ll let comedian David Mitchell explain.
11. Use photos. Real photos.
Words are great, but don’t turn your About Page into one massive block of text. (Don’t do that to any page, for that matter.) Use a good WordPress theme that breaks things up visually, and don’t be afraid to intersperse graphics and photographs. Check out this great example from construction supply company Fastenal.
One last note: Take it easy on the stock photography. If you want to show your team hard at work, take a snapshot in the office rather than pasting up a generic image of a young business professionals smiling while gathered around a computer screen.