Effective About Us Pages
Websites exist only as words and images within a browser window. Without physical cues to reinforce brand values, online businesses have to work harder at gaining trust from visitors.
The Importance of About Us Pages
As one of the most commonly read pages on any business website, having a solid "About Us" section is essential.
It's your chance to tell your visitors about your company values and the quality of your product or service. It is often used to:
- Introduce the company to your visitors
- Display any specialist expertise your company may have - e.g. qualifications, awards, memberships and associations
- Encourage visitors to look around the different sections of your website
- Address the concerns of potential customers / clients and reassure them that you're the right company for them
The wording of your About Us links should be user friendly:
- Keep it simple: either use 'about us' or 'about company name'
- Avoid corporate lingo / jargon that people might mistrust or struggle to understand (e.g "paradigm shifting", "data-driven xyz".)
About Us links don't need to be highly prominent or promoted - but they do need to be easy to find and accessible if somebody is looking for them.
While some websites put the About Us pages only in the footer, we would recommend including them in the main navigation if there is room.
Avoid close placement of adds / graphics next to the 'About Us' link - this can cause it to be overshadowed and be ignored. (Read more about this in: How to Side Step Banner Blindness.
It's not just what you say, but also how you say it. Explain your core business values in ways that are easy to understand - wherever possible in an interesting and engaging manner.
- It's important to be clear and concise – People who land on your website will glean a first impression in a fraction of a second so this info is all about clarity
- Write the copy with purpose - Decide what you have to offer and focus on it
- Even though it's "About Us", highlight the benefits from the reader's perspective. Speak in terms of benefits for them. Rather than focusing on the features of your "patented double inter-module delivery system", explain that "our unique system helps you get twice as much done in half the time"
- Try to avoid drivel and walls of text - Keep the page as succinct as possible, breaking it up with relevant sub-headings, and bulleted lists where appropriate
Providing Detailed Information
After your main key points it's good to elaborate on other essential facts about your company. This info should be provided on separate pages from your main About Us page and can include:
- Your staff and company directors' profiles
- Company values
- Company history
Your Staff / Team
Showing photos of real people alongside names and titles helps your visitors feel reassured they’re dealing with real people. Who wants to deal with a faceless name and job title?
E-commerce and Service Sites
E-commerce websites and online service sites need to provide evidence that they have real people behind their web-based businesses.
About Us pages can answer a lot of questions: answers users need to help them to feel safe, such as:
- Is this company credible?
- How is it funded?
For E-commerce sites:
- How I can trust my parcel will arrive?
- What if I need to return my parcel?
- Will my personal details be safe?
- Will my personal information be shared?
- Can I track my purchase?
Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions are used to set out your agreement with your customers, users and suppliers. Ts & Cs can range from standard 'for information' websites to e-Commerce websites and service which have specific rules for buyers and sellers. There are websites which provide free simple, standard Ts & Cs.
For e-Commerce sites there are certain regulations you must adhere to in order to be able to keep personal information. You must also make it clear to customers how this data will be used. Customers read and agree to your terms and conditions, which should be in line with any contract you supply.
Depending on your business your terms and conditions will vary, but should always cover your customers' questions in an open and honest way.
Shipping / Returns and Other Policies
E-commerce and service sites should always provide info on how a customer can return goods. Returns are an issue for all online stores, so by providing a policy you’re showing your company is taking responsibility. If done well it can have a very positive impact on your customers. Here’s a few ways you can provide great customer satisfaction:
- Make it easy to find - ideally put a link at the point where people add the product to their basket
- Make your returns policy easy to understand – Clear language with no jargon