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Monday, September 25, 2006

5 Tips for Effective "About Us" Pages

Posted by @ 6:40 pm

Just like “Contact Us” pages, the “About Us” sections on many websites are often treated like unloved stepchildren. However, you are neglecting “About Us” pages at your own peril – in many cases, the information contained on your about us pages may be a dealmaker or dealbraker for you.

If a prospective customer wants to find out more about your company, the “About Us” page is the most likely place he or she will turn to. So make sure your prospects find information that will answer their questions about who you are and why they should choose to do business with your company.

What kind of information do you look for when you are investigating a company? If you haven’t come across them before in your career, you definitely want to make sure that the company is legitimate, that they know what they are doing, that they have a track record of successfully serving their customers and how they go about doing business. So your “About Us” section should at least include the following information:

  1. Give a short overview of your company’s history.

    Tell your readers how long you’ve been in business and take them on the journey of how your company has evolved. Most companies don’t develop in straight lines and it’s okay to talk about aspects that might no longer be part of your core business, but keep in mind that your readers are looking for information that is relevant to your company and competencies as they are today. A timeline, which could also relate your corporate events to trends and developments in your industry, can also be very helpful.

  2. Introduce key staff members

    Introducing key staff members with a bio snippet, their responsibilities and maybe even a photo not only helps to give your company a human face (literally), it also reinforces that your company employs highly skilled and experienced staff who know what they are doing. This is especially true if any of your key staff have a high profile within your industry – if anyone is an authority in their field of expertise and in high demand as a conference speaker or columnist, make sure you mention this and even provide links to any articles or conference papers that are available online. If you list individual contact information for your key staff, you add to the impression of your company’s accessibility and transparency. But make sure you take measures to stop automatic address harvesters from spidering your contact information and starting to spam your staff!

  3. Include easy-to-find links to the “Contact Us” page.

    This is a pretty self-explanatory point. You would hope that if your readers like what they are reading about your company, they will be more likely to take the next step and get in touch with your for a quote or consultation. So make sure it’s easy for them to contact you directly from your “About Us” section.
  4. Showcase your strengths and passions.

    How can you stand out from the crowd? I think it helps a lot if your readers can see how passionate you are about your business, and how you’ve used your company’s strengths to serve your customers in the best possible way. You can communicate these kind of messages in a variety of ways. I’m not sure if there is one best way to do it, but I think that relatively personal forms of communication (like a blog authored by your CEO), or case studies demonstrating how you used your strengths, are certainly helpful.

  5. Highlight standout events

    Standout events also help you to stand out from the crowd. Events could include anything from winning innovation or customer service awards, awards you received from industry bodies, magazines or customer polls and any good news that made headlines for you. You can also mention recognition and awards for individual staff members and your involvement in community programs and charities.

Do you have any other great ideas for “About Us” pages? Leave a comment and let us know!

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