About Us: How to Tell Your Business Story the Right Way
The About Us section of your website has the potential to draw in customers, establish trust, and make people want to do business with you.
But choose a couple of dozen small-business sites at random and you’ll find that many have About Us pages with next to no information, or that overload visitors with full-page blocks of texts that go into far more detail than most people can absorb.
Here’s how to write an About Us section that showcases your business story, demonstrates to customers that you’re the right choice, draws in people searching for what you sell, and sets the tone for your customer outreach.
Show What You Can Do for Your Customers
It’s about you only to the extent that you have something your customers want or need. So tell your story in a way that shows you understand the problem your visitors want to solve.
Zappos does a great job by describing the founder’s failed, frustrating shoe-shopping experience at a mall. No one wants to waste an hour and go home without new shoes, so right away, Zappos shows it understands something about its customers: They want convenience and selection.
What if you’re blogging? Blog and media site Scary Mommy uses some frank descriptive wording on its About Us page to show that they get the struggles and rewards of motherhood: “We’ve seen it all, heard it all, and smelled it all, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.” You don’t have to be that direct if it’s not your style or not on-brand, but there are many ways to show that you get what your audience needs.
Establish Your Trust and Expertise
Besides looking for a solution to a problem, people who check out your About Us page want to see if you are the right person to solve their problem. An effective way to show your expertise and at the same time show that others trust you with their problems is with social proof. Your About Us page can include:
- positive customer reviews
- case studies from clients
- media mentions
- awards you, your employees, and your business have earned
If you provide services, you can include well-known clients on your About Us page, as visual organizing tool Trello does.
You can and should inject some personality into your About Us page, because site visitors want to know there’s a real person behind your site. That’s why popular toymakers Melissa & Doug come right out and say they’re real people on their About Us page, which is every bit as lighthearted as you’d expect for people who make toys.
Your About Us page also needs to include:
- your name
- your location
- a photo or video of you that reflects your brand and personality
- contact details like a phone number, email address, and company social media accounts.
Before they shop with you, customers also want to know that they can reach you if they need to. Consider this About Us excerpt from Round Rock Honey: “We believe in our honey so much that if you ever have a question, just look on the back of our bottle. You’ll find our names and phone number.”
Get Found by Your Audience
A good About Us page helps prospects decide if your site is a good match for what they need. A great About Us page also helps more people find your site.
To do this, you’ll need to use some SEO tools to help your site show up when people search for what you offer. Make sure your About Us page includes:
- Long-tail keyword phrases that help people zero in on what they need. If you sell school uniforms in Dallas, don’t rely on “school uniforms” to drive search traffic to your site. Include “school uniforms in Dallas” or “school uniforms for Dallas-area charter schools” or whatever is accurately describes in detail what your customers search for.
- On-site SEO titles, meta descriptions, and tags for your About Us page with your most important keywords. Your meta description will appear in search results, so make every word count: “Zippy’s is the fastest and best courier service in the greater Houston area. Call 703-555-1212.”
- Optimized images for the best possible search results. Tag and describe them in ways that help people find your site. That team photo on your About Us page can be titled “Bakers of Custom Birthday Cakes in Duluth” instead of “teamphoto,” for example.
- Fast load times. When you’re done with your About Us page, run it through Google’s PageSpeed test to make sure it loads quickly enough to avoid getting downranked in search results.
- Mobile-friendly display and navigation. While you’re testing your About Us page, use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to see how it performs on mobile devices. Better performing pages tend to rank higher in search results.
- Schema.org markup tools to optimize search results displays. You can use a schema plugin for your WordPress site or delve into this step-by-step guide on schema and Google Rich Snippets to format your About Us page for good-looking search results.
For more information on these and other SEO strategies for your About Us page, check out HostGator’s ABC’s of SEO e-book.
What’s Your Business Story?
However you set up your About Us page—a serious rundown of your firm’s accomplishments or a set of whimsical videos about your handmade housewares shop—keep the tone, appearance, and language consistent with the rest of your site and with your brand.
Consider your About Us page an ongoing project, keep it updated and focused on the goals above, and it can be a powerful marketing and customer relations tool.
Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelancer who enjoys writing about business development and marketing, e-commerce payments and fraud prevention, and travel.