One of the most common things clients ask of me is to write or revise their About us page.
I’m glad they’re paying attention to this page, because:
- after the home page, it’s often the most visited on any site
- if you get it right, it can improve conversion rates, especially for services, and goods that appeal to values, like ethical or artisan products
- you can gain on competitors because most get this wrong or don’t realise its value.
What does a good About us page look like?
You’ll get a better, faster result if you hire someone to write it. Professionals bring writing skill to the table and have the distance needed to think like your potential customers.
If you want to try it yourself first, here are some of the basics.
Write in First Person
Add the personal touch by using we or I for your business,and you for your customer.
Keep it brief and easy to read
- Aim for around 100 to 200 words, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t be shorter if you can cover all that’s needed.
- Avoid long paragraphs. Review anything over four lines on desktop.
- Use simple words and short sentences.
- Use bullets if you can.
- Use subheadings if it helps.
Say who your customer is
Rule #1 of writing for web is less is more, but if you leave something out, it shouldn’t be clarity about who your customer is.
Many small-to-medium sized businesses fall down here, thinking if you aim at everyone you’ll reach more customers. In fact, the old adage applies: if you try to please everyone, you’ll please no one.
Let’s look at description A:
Custom Venetian Masks makes any kind of Venetian Mask fitted to your face and specification. Whether you’re looking for something plain and simple or an over-the-top option of your own design, you can come to us.
And then description B:
Setting your sights on a themed party, wedding or masquerade ball? Want to stand out while maintaining an air of mystery?
The drama and comfort of Venetian masquerade masks is second to none. At Custom Venetian Masks, we mould to your unique face, so you can keep up your mystique all through the night. We’ll advise on the perfect look for your event or costume. Choose from classic or contemporary designs, or bring your own design to life with our range of allergy-safe materials.
In description B, the business has found ways to identify who they can best serve while describing their offer in depth. Instead of reassuring the fragile fringe (eg, “plain and simple”), they’ve pulled focus on the high value customer, taking a deep dive into glamour, theatre and high camp.
Improved SEO happens naturally here, because words likely to feature in search queries (eg, wedding, themed party, masquerade ball, event, costume) simply appear.
Say what you do for them
What problem do your customers have that you aim to solve? How will you solve it? What will their life be like when you’ve solved it?
It’s important here to use simple words and kill the jargon.
Tip: Imagine you’re having a coffee with a friend, and they ask you about your business. Speak aloud the words you’d use in reply. These are the kinds of words you should use in your writing.
You’d never say this to a friend:
Information, guidance and advice for members of the public and planning professionals on the different aspects of Planning within the Narnia District.
But you might say:
We give advice to residents and professionals on almost anything to do with planning a development in Narnia.
If your business genuinely does, well, pretty much anything, include some examples:
Digital Concierge will take almost any burden off your hands, so you can do more of the things you love. We cover all of Waikato, and will walk your dog, pick up your dry cleaning, find a top restaurant table for tonight, and more. What do you need? Ask us today.
Make your unique selling point (USP) clear
What do you do that no one else does? Why should someone use your service and no other?
Here are some USPs that caught my eye recently:
- In a dog-eat-dog rental market, Wellington-based property managers LPM put ethical ways of working front and centre, outlined in their promise, charitable giving and environmental policy.
- In a digital-first world, Type Design has understood that the tangible and handmade gets attention. They literally build typography from things like fabric, metal, clay, ice and leaves.
Tip: When you identify your USP, focus on what customers care about. This is often not the same as what your employees, investors or suppliers care about.
Show your face
Boost sales by including high-quality, authentic pictures of you and your team. They build your audience’s relationship with you and communicate that you’re open, trustworthy and professional.
I recently came across these photos for Adept Kitchens and Joinery by product photographers and stylists House of Mā:
What do these pictures say about this business? My first thoughts were friendly, energetic, hardworking and skilful. Your list is similar, right?
These pictures feel real and spontaneous, show values and convey personality, all without coming across as trying too hard.
Tip: Use a professional photographer. You’ll get a lot of value from good photos because you’ll use them everywhere (social media, leaflets, advertising and so on) but you needn’t pay the earth – shop around for a good price.
Be yourself, but don’t be all personality, no product
It’s easy to obsess over communicating your business’s personality. When people focus too much on this, they end up sounding like they’re all mouth and no trousers.
The trick is to convey personality while you talk about what you can do for your customer.
Tip: Show your customer what you’re like, rather than telling them. If you’re saying things like, “We’re friendly folk who like a laugh”, you’re doing it wrong.
Be like these folks
Here are some About us pages I’ve written, to help get your ideas flowing:
Want an About us page?
For a quote on writing your About us page, alone or as part of a larger digital content strategy, do get in touch.