Anthony Mcloughlin

A compelling ‘About Us’ page on your website is a great way to gain credibility and demonstrate a strong, clear and recognisable brand.

You could have the best products or services but without that ‘hook’ or a clear connection to your visitors you may struggle to convert – a small necessity that many businesses overlook.

A 2015 web usability report found that 52 per cent of website visitors wanted to see the ‘About Us’ information immediately after visiting a company’s homepage. So, what essential ingredients should you include for potential customers to trust and buy from your business?

1. Tell your story

Storytelling is an incredibly powerful medium when it comes to conversing with customers online. Not only does a narrative entertain and engage, it can also enable audiences to relate to what you are saying. An inspiring or emotional story humanises the brand too, helping you steer clear of cold, corporate feeling language.

Start with who you are (as a business) where it all began and what that means to the audience. This will provide context and meaning for your products or services. Even if the brand doesn’t have an interesting story, try to focus on what makes you human or highlight the journey of noteworthy customers. Another way to boost your appeal is with photos, which can demonstrate how far the business has come since inception.

The most important thing is giving audiences something they can identify with, as this naturally leads them to place more trust in your brand.

Here’s a good example by Invisible Creature of how they made their brand more personable via the About Us page (click the play button).

2. Showcase your team

Although storytelling can help humanise the brand, the addition of profiles and photos for your team is proven way to add an even deeper layer of approachability. The seemingly open and honest transparency allows the client to get an at-a-glance view of exactly who is behind the business and who they might dealing with should they decide to work with you. An introduction before the introduction almost.

Here’s an example of a recent “Meet the team” section designed by us here at Tone for Forest Fuels. Due to the client’s sheer number of employees, we opted for a carousel to showcase the customer-facing team upfront and centre and accompanied that with a “Meet the team” button incase users wanted to view all staff which takes users to a page displaying all employees split by department.

forest fuels meet the team about us page

If possible, hire a professional photographer and you can produce team photos like this, as we did for our client Moorepay.

 

group team photo head shots

It isn’t a requirement to upload professional head shots of every employee, or write in-depth biographies, simply giving a little insight into the characteristics and qualities of your team is all it needs. You could include their likes and dislikes, what they enjoy most about working for the company, and any pet hates or party tricks.

For one of our clients, who provide software for nurseries, we opted for illustrations instead of real life head shots. This cartoon-like approach for another Tone client Connect Childcare really resonates with their target market.

connect meet the team on about us page example

3. Show off your credentials

Trust elements can noticeably boost conversions, as 70 per cent of purchase cancellations online are made because due to a lack of trust, while only 58 per cent of web users believe online information is credible.

Obviously those stats may be related to eCommerce purchases but even in B2B environments it’s well worth showcasing that trust and credibility aspect.

With this in mind, consider including:

  • Any awards or accolades
  • Accreditations or certifications from industry associations
  • Online trust badges/seals
  • Customer/client reviews and testimonials
  • A list of suppliers and partners you work with (possibly including their logos)
  • Links to social media accounts

Here’s another example of how we showcased our client’s high-end customer base on their About Us page, insurmountably increasing their perceived credibility.

trusted by market leaders on about us page example

And here’s an example of we displayed a list of accreditations for yet another client:

accreditations on about us page

4. Be visual

We have seen a lot of About Us pages that have nothing more than a few paragraphs of text, which does little to inspire or excite potential customers, causing disinterest quickly. What’s more, the brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does to decode text, while the average human attention span is now less than eight seconds!

For this reason, use visuals such as photos, videos, icons, graphics or even animations and transitions where possible.

Take the About Us page from EHAGroup as an example, where a clean and concise page with smooth transitions and high quality photography really takes things up a notch (click the play button).

However, it is equally important to use authentic visuals and not just stock images. Along with being extremely obvious, the inclusion of readily available stock imagery can actually negatively impact your credibility.

5. Include CTAs

A CTA or ‘call to action’ is a button or link which points out to various other pages within your site.

When including CTAs into your page, the first thing you need to be mindful of is what NOT to do. In the quest for conversions, clients often fall into what we call “The Conversion Trap”. You will have heard the comments:

“Put 5 star ratings here, and here… and here”
Everything needs to be above the fold
“The more CTAs the better”

…you might as well be saying “Forget the user experience, as long as they convert we’re happy” which is never the correct way to introduce you and your team. In fact, you’re only succeeding to reduce your conversion rate as the user becomes overwhelmed with CTAs.

So try not to litter the About Us page with CTAs as it could potentially undermine any trust or credibility you have worked so hard to establish. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t include them at all, because if you manage to get the balance right it is a superb way of helping potential customers on their journeys.

Be mindful that on an About Us page, you primary goal should be to gain credibility and trust, your secondary goal should be to guide the user to the right section of the site for them, especially if they are at the start of the sales funnel. It’s generally bad practice (and rather intrusive) to try to encourage them to buy from you right now, at the point of introducing yourself to them.

However, for those who are already sure of their issue and looking for that final piece of credibility before making a buying decision, you may want to subtly encourage visitors to see what you have to offer and make it easy for them to get in touch with a phone number, email address or online enquiry form like similar to the example we designed below:

get in touch cta on about us page

So, be aware of the range of users you will be welcoming and provide a combination of internal links and CTAs that cater for everyone.

In Closing

As you can see it pays to go beyond 300 words of plain text. Don’t just settle for an okay About Us page, really put your shoulder behind it as it is the most likely candidate of all the pages on your website to turn otherwise passive visitors into paying customers – utilise that to your advantage.

It really is the difference between a world class site and a message that really resonates and one that drops squarely into the ‘ordinary’ bucket.

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Anthony Mcloughlin

Posted By Anthony Mcloughlin

Anthony is a key member of the digital team at Tone, helping dig deep into stats to further understand user behaviours. Follow him on Twitter @anthony_mac85 and on Google+