What should be on an About Us page?

By: Richard Michie

Writing an About Us page is probably one of the most important pages on your website. It’s also one of the hardest to put together.

Like most things the perfect About Us page is in the eye of the beholder, one customer’s short snappy read giving the perfect description of your business, just won’t be enough for some.

So, what does make the perfect About Us page?

Giving your Mission, Vision and Values is a good place to start, but how should you show them? Is it good enough the repeat them exactly as they appear on your internal documents, or would they be better in the form of a story? Is there a better way to demonstrate what your business is about than written content, a video perhaps?

How about why you started the business – do customers care, is it important to them? Would you be better talking about how your business solves their problems?

There are no perfect answers for a perfect About Us page.

 

Intrigued by what people think makes a great About Us page, we asked LinkedIn. As you’d expect we received a range of responses, all of them really useful. Here’s what LinkedIn said makes an ideal About Us.

We Veggie Runners have just been discussing this and have come to the conclusion that About Us pages need a reasonably regular rewrite (annually maybe?) They either get added to when new things happen and can end up full of rambling, mismatched info or they never get updated and don’t reflect the company at all. We’re revising ours and will be making use of some of these tips – thanks to everyone for their input and for the great question, Richard!

Jayne Rodgers, PhD

Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at The Manchester Metropolitan University, Veggie Runners

As a copywriter, I write a lot of ‘About’ pages. Some brands want to go into depth about their story – how they got to where they are today, how the brand was born, the struggles and successes – and while this might be interesting to a select group of people, only a very small proportion of ‘customers’ will be bothered. The page needs to tell the reader, in the most succinct way possible, who you are and what you do. I’d always suggest keeping the ‘about’ page as short and snappy as possible. If you really want to tell your brand story, put it in a blog post or make an interesting video to share across social.

Sarah Fox

Freelance Copywriter, Journalist & Social Media Marketer, This is Sarah Fox

I think it depends on the business and whether it honestly has much of interest to say. If it offers a very utilitarian service or their basic premise is ‘we offer the same as lots of other businesses, but we happen to be the local guys’ then keep it informative, short and snappy. If there’s a bit of a story that sets them apart or a genuinely interesting mission then sure, give a little more detail. Either way, I think the most important thing is for the copy to be confident and concrete. Businesses shouldn’t bluster to appear authoritative.

Mark E. Johnson

Freelance Journalist and Copywriter, Editorial Director and Content Manager, Spong.com

I like reading “about” pages that tell me about the company’s history, the people behind the scenes and the values behind the brand.

I hate reading “about” pages that are nothing more than a sales pitch, telling me what services they offer and why they’re so great. *yawn

Heather Robinson MCIM

SEO & Google AdWords Specialist, Skittish

I go to the about page to look at their pictures! It’s amazing how many have a muddle of different styles all taken on different years… Always looks a bit messy.

Adrian Wilson

Commercial Photographer working with brands, agencies & the hospitality trade, McFade

If I am interested in the organisation, then I will take time to read the “about us” page. I like to know why people have done what they’ve done, but not in any great detail, just an overview.

One thing I hate with a passion is reading about people who say how completely disillusioned they are with the services offered by others are or how their competitors do business or anything which speak negatively, because I was always told in life to upsell yourself rather than down sell anything else.

It is also tainted by experiences of seeing this on the pages of people who were new to whatever business they are in and do not have the necessary experience to understand why things are how they are in their sector. It’s all very well wanting to make change, but I would rather people talk about the changes they have made rather than talking about the fact it didn’t exist before.

I also loath reading about people who say they are much cheaper than the competition and imply that others are ripping people off.

And I don’t really get along too well with touchy-feely down-with-the-kids sort of speak. Many people including myself drink lots of tea and eat lots of cake. I’m not interested in knowing that others do.

Stephen Munton

Director, Domestic Cleaning Alliance Trade Association

Long timelines are yawnsvill! Simple easy and quirky is best.

Lee Jackson

Motivational Speaker + Presentation Coach, Lee Jackson

What should your About Us page be like? As you can see there is a wide range of opinion on lots of aspects. In the end you should go with your gut, ensuring that you’re happy it reflects your business and they way you run it.

What’s your favourite About Us page? Drop a link in the comments so we can see.

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