- #1 mistake when writing an About Us page: Thinking the About Us page isn’t important
- #2: Thinking the About Us page should focus on your company
- You can’t stand out in a crowded market by using the typical About page template
- Potential customers need to trust you. A reader-centric About page will help achieve trust with curious customers
An effective About Us page is essential for any business.
A 2015 study by KoMarketing found that 52% of website visitors wanted to see About Us/Company information once they arrived on a company’s home page.
So why are so many businesses missing out on About page opportunities?
Well, some brands seem to take a “let’s just get something down” approach to their About pages.
Others seek out information on how to write About pages effectively.
Unfortunately, a lot of the advice out there isn’t great.
Some heavy-hitting marketing brands still advise that businesses write about themselves on their About us pages.
They’ll recommend things like…
A typical About Us Page includes a brief summary of the business’s background, mission or vision, leadership and/or employee bios, client/customer testimonials, and business contact info.
In all of that information about the business, where’s the reader?
Is the company vision something your target audience cares about? Does your reader want to know who is on the leadership team?
Your reader might want that information. But they also…might not care.
And does anyone want to write a “typical” About Us page?
Typical won’t make you stand out from your competitors.
Typical often doesn’t persuade a prospective customer to buy.
And typical businesses close up shop every day.
So let’s get beyond the status quo About pages, shall we?
Now, if your About page is making you feel a bit insecure.
(Maybe it’s the page you hope no one will visit – BTW, you’re not alone. I’ve felt that way too).
Or you just found out that you have to write an About page and have no idea how to write about the business.
Here are 12 tips from the queen of About pages.
These tips will help you on your way to mastering the About Us page.
How to write “About Us” pages. 12 tips from a digital marketing and About page expert
The tips below are based on the teaching from About Page expert Betsy Muse.
Check it out if you’re looking for a step-by-step approach to writing an “About Us” page that’ll turn your About page into your company’s competitive advantage.
Alright. Here are the 12 tips to help you write an About Us page that builds trust.
1. Focus on your One Reader
The #1 mistake made on an About page is thinking the About page isn’t important.
The 2nd biggest mistake… is thinking the copy should focus on the business.
If you want to build the kind of trust that turns visitors into buyers, then the copy on your page must focus on the reader.
Here’s a quick explanation of the one reader from Joanna Wiebe, Copyhackers’ founder and the original conversion copywriter.
“Your one reader doesn’t have to be a single persona, demographic, or even market segment. But if you were to put the qualities, desires and anxieties of say, three market segments into three circles in a Venn diagram, your one reader would be the person created out of the overlap of all three of those circles.”Joanna Wiebe
Like any other page on your website, your About page should focus on your one reader.
An outstanding customer experience is outstanding because the company focuses on the customer (the one reader).
This applies in-store. And it applies to About pages.
So even when a company shares a compelling brand story or their business owner profiles on an About Us page, they should share the information in a relevant way
The reader should never wonder: So what? Or why should I care?
“It may be tough to hear, but your site visitors, they don’t really care about you. They care about whether you can help them solve their problems or fulfill their desires.”Betsy Muse
When you know your one reader’s qualities, desires and anxieties – writing an About page becomes much easier.
And you’re more likely to build trust with relevant copy.
2. VOC is critical to connecting with your one reader
How do you know your one reader’s qualities, desires and anxieties?
By gathering Voice of Customer research.
Conversion copywriters use a variety of research strategies to get the information they need to connect with their one reader.
Here are just a few of the VOC research methods:
- Client and customer interviews
- Review mining
- Heatmaps and scroll maps
- Thank you polls
- Analytics review
- Competitor audits
And there are many other ways to gather information about your target customers.
3. The content of your About Page is dictated by three important factors
There’s a lot of information you could include on an About page.
But that doesn’t mean you should include all of that information.
What you include on your About Us Page should be dictated by these three factors:
- Your one reader
- Your business type
- And your experience (or lack thereof)
Based on these three elements, you should focus on including the About page elements that help build trust with your reader.
Take a look at each section you’re considering for your About page. Ask yourself:
Will this copy build trust with my prospective client or customer (your one reader)?
If the copy will build trust, keep it. If not, cut cut cut.
4. A plan in place saves you time
Gather all the important information and page elements first.
Put them in one place.
Betsy emphasizes the importance of taking a “Mise en place” approach to preparing your About Page,
“Like French chefs, you will gather and organize the ingredients and elements to use on your About page before writing a word of copy. It takes a little time, but it makes the writing process so much easier.”Betsy Muse
5. Use a copywriting framework to organize the messages on your page
The fastest way to get a draft of your About page done is by using a copywriting framework.
PAS (problem, agitation, solution) is a Copyhackers favorite.
And you can absolutely use this framework to create a messaging hierarchy for your About Us page.
6. Tell a story with your crossheads going down the page
Reader-focused copy includes crossheads that tell a story as you read down the page.
“Writing copy below the hero section includes crossheads, subheads, and section labels, all important parts of your copy strategy. They will help tell the story down the page and guide your reader to the close. So don’t treat them like afterthoughts.”Betsy Muse
Also, don’t forget to read your page as a skim reader would.
A skim reader will focus on your crossheads, subheads and section labels.
So read your page and make sure they tell a compelling story as you read down the page.
7. Make a smooth transition from reader-focused copy to company-focused copy
A common struggle when writing About pages is figuring out how to transition from focusing on your reader to sharing information about your company.
“One thing I’ve noticed is that there seems to be a natural place in the copy to transition from addressing your one reader and their problem to talking about yourself and your solutions. Find that place. And you can subtly shift away from reader-focused copy.”Betsy Muse
Betsy also recommends that you “find a connection.”
Find an opportunity to connect the needs of your one reader with something unique about your company, your offers or your team.
8. Yes, include a bio section. But make it relevant to your one reader
I don’t know how to talk about the business.
Betsy says this is one of the most common things she hears from business owners writing an About page.
Betsy’s advice when it comes to your bio: stick to the information about the business that helps build trust with your reader.
“What does my one reader need to know about me to trust me to solve their problem?”Betsy Muse
Go back to the information about your one reader.
What are their qualities, desires and anxieties?
Then, figure out what bio information aligns.
And write your bio section with only that information.
9. You can include your mission, values, brand origin story & process… but do it naturally
Sometimes you include your mission and values in obvious ways on your About page.
Like Truvani does on their About page.
Truvani knows its audience cares about how the company creates its health and food products.
They also use their mission to share their brand promises (“Food without added chemicals. Products without toxins. Labels without lies.”)
But Truvani’s direct approach isn’t a good match for all businesses.
Sometimes you infuse the company information into your copy (and the other elements on your page).
Like this crosshead on Mimi Zhou’s About page.
And this crosshead on Betsy Muse’s own Rocket Fuel Strategy About page.
Just make sure that you address your one reader’s needs and wants before adding a company story, mission, personal values or process.
10. Proof bars shouldn’t be random. They should be strategic
There are two common proof bar mistakes:
One is putting your proof bars (testimonials, client logos, business wins, etc.) anywhere on the page.
The other is picking any ol’ testimonial to place on your About page.
Remember: Proof bars should support the claims you make on your page.
They should… wait for it… build trust with your reader.
And they can add visual interest.
Achieving all of these objectives requires a strategic approach to proof bars.
11. Your About page needs a CTA. Your CTA starts with your One Reader
One of the biggest mistakes on About pages is leaving the reader hanging.
Not making it clear what they should do next.
What good does all that trust-building do if the reader is left wondering: Now what?
Your About page needs an effective close. An effective close includes a clear call to action.
The CTA should be the logical next step toward a solution.
Or solving the reader’s problem.
Or the next step that will give the reader a quick win.
But there’s an important distinction here:
“An About page is not a sales page, but there is an exchange of value. You might ask for an email address, your one reader’s time, and in some cases, you might ask for a credit card to start a free trial.”Betsy Muse
Once again, your CTA should align with your one reader.
12. Sweep your copy for clarity
Your reader’s brain can only handle so much information.
So before you go live with your About Us page, take some time to sweep your copy for clarity.
Because as the saying goes: If you confuse, you lose.
(In this case, you lose potential customers or potential clients).
Here’s a Tutorial Tuesday where Joanna Wiebe walks you through a quick way to improve clarity.
Tackle every About Us page (and bio) with confidence
If you’ve taken Betsy’s tips and applied them to your About Us page…
Now, if writing an About Us page or bio still makes you nervous, check out Master of About Pages.
You’ll go through a step-by-step process for writing an About Us page that grabs attention and builds the trust you need to turn visitors into buyers.