6 Tips For A Better “About Us” Page

When someone clicks on your about us page they usually have one question in mind: “Who are these guys?” Your potential customers want to get a sense of the people behind your website. And they’re looking for signs of trust and credibility.

An about us page gives you a legitimate opportunity to talk about yourself. So don’t blow it by filling the page with hype, boring mission statements or meaningless marketing fluff.

Instead, you should use this page to start building a relationship with the reader. At the same time you can reinforce why you’re a better choice than your competitors.

Why your about us page matters

The about us page has an important role in providing visitors comfort and trust in your company and your ability to meet their needs. It exists to:

  • Put a human face on your company
  • Demonstrate to visitors you’re credible and trustworthy
  • Show your company’s passion, personality and values

This page is particularly important if you’re selling products over the web. People need reassurance that you’re a reputable business before they’ll enter their credit card details.

Here are six tips for what to include – and what not to include – on your about us page:

1. Company history

A brief company history reassures visitors that you have a solid track record as a reputable and experienced organisation.

Here are three easy ways to structure your company history:

  • Write a story about how the company got started
  • Focus on the background of the founder, and what led them to launch the business, or
  • Present company milestones in a simple chronological time line.

If your company is a start-up, the best tactic is to focus on the previous experience of the principals.

2. Profiles of key personnel

Visitors like to get a feel for the people behind the website. So introduce the movers and shakers on your staff with a brief profile. Include a photo if you can. If the profiles are too long to put all one-page, you can provide links to single-page profiles for each person.

Rather than reciting a dull resume, focus each profile on how that staff member helps satisfy customers’ needs. A meaningful quote from the staff member can also help create a connection.

3. Your credentials

Your about us page should include your credentials, accomplishments and recognition. You can break them out into lists and/or sprinkle them throughout the page text.

You can include details of:

  • Your qualifications
  • Membership of peak industry organisations
  • Awards you’ve received
  • Media recognition

4. Links to more company information

Provide links to other pages or sections of your site that include useful information on your company, such as your contacts page, customer service, company news, media releases, testimonials, investor relations and job vacancies.

5. What not to include

Here are a few things it’s best to leave off your about us page:

  • A generic and/or meaningless description of what you do e.g. “We provide cutting edge solutions for today’s busy professionals”.
  • Your mission or vision and statement – save these for your internal communications.
  • Hype, sales pitches and self-congratulatory fluff
  • Legal and regulatory information (if you must include this, put it on a separate page).

6. What do you call this page?

Usability guidelines recommend calling this page “About”, “About Us”, or “About “. Using non-standard labels such as “Company Information”, “Our Firm” or “Who We Are” only confuses visitors. You should also include a link to your about us page in your global site navigation.

Bonus tip: Show your green credentials

Nowadays many consumers prefer to buy from green companies. The about us page is a good place to outline your policies regarding key green issues in your industry.

What Causes Blog Audience Decline?

If you’ve put a lot of love, time and work into your blog, it can be heartbreaking when analytics show your audience declining. So what do you do?

A recent post on Freelance Copywriters Blog gives some tips on recognizing the signs of a declining audience, and what steps you can take to counter it. Perhaps you’ve gotten complacent, perhaps your content is getting stale, or perhaps you just need to do a bit of promotion.

Whatever the reason, you’re sure to find some answers here: Why is Your Blog Audience Declining?

Copywriting Video of the Week: A Simple Website Usability Technique

Your website’s enquiries, sales and sign-ups can improve dramatically just by implementing the simple usability technique explained in this video.

All too often we assume that just because we know how to use our website, it will be easy for others to use too.

But that’s often not the case.

The way to test it is to get a friend or two to attempt a simple task – such as find your telephone number, sign up for your newsletter, or order a product – as you look over their shoulders.

You’ll soon discover if and where they get lost. By fixing these usability glitches you’ll get much better results from your website.

Take a look:

5 Essential Content Types: How Many Does Your Website Have?

“Content marketing” is one of the hottest marketing buzz words right now. But for those of you unfamiliar with this tactic, John Jantsch gives a big picture view of the role content plays in customer acquisition in a post on his Duct Tape Marketing blog.

According to Jantsch there are five types of content that help you turn shy prospects into customers:

Content that builds trust

This content bridges the gap from awareness to trust building e.g. “how to” content.

Content that educates

Next you need to show your approach and solution e.g. white papers, newsletters and FAQs.

Customer-generated content

This demonstrates proof of results and reduces barriers to sales e.g. testimonials and video success stories.

Other people’s content

Curating content created by other people helps build authority and provides a service to information-seeking customers e.g. RSS feeds and social sharing.

Content that converts

“Ultimately, great content has the ability to call and convert prospects to the action of buying,” Jantsch says. Examples include case studies and ROI calculators.

You can read the entire article here:
5 Types of Content That Every Business Must Employ:

5 Essential Content Types: How Many Does Your Website Have?

“Content marketing” is one of the hottest marketing buzz words right now. But for those of you unfamiliar with this tactic, John Jantsch gives a big picture view of the role content plays in customer acquisition in a post on his Duct Tape Marketing blog.

According to Jantsch there are five types of content that help you turn shy prospects into customers:

Content that builds trust

This content bridges the gap from awareness to trust building e.g. “how to” content.

Content that educates

Next you need to show your approach and solution e.g. white papers, newsletters and FAQs.

Customer-generated content

This demonstrates proof of results and reduces barriers to sales e.g. testimonials and video success stories.

Other people’s content

Curating content created by other people helps build authority and provides a service to information-seeking customers e.g. RSS feeds and social sharing.

Content that converts

“Ultimately, great content has the ability to call and convert prospects to the action of buying,” Jantsch says. Examples include case studies and ROI calculators.

You can read the entire article here:
5 Types of Content That Every Business Must Employ:

Need help with your website content?

If you need a website copywriter to create content for your website that both your readers and the search engines will love, I can help.

Web Design Advice From a Copywriter

WebDesignWhen I looked at my client’s new website my heart sank…

The content I had spent weeks researching, writing and polishing was virtually unreadable.

The body text was tiny – far too small for my 46 year old eyes. To make matters worse the text was reversed out – white text on a black background. And the headings and lead paragraph were all in capitals.

The designer had made just about every readability error in the book.

I suppose they thought they were being creative. But, as advertising genius David Ogilvy once said: “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.” And a website can’t sell if nobody can read the text.

What is good web design?

Design is very important on the web. An aesthetically pleasing site confers credibility and creates a positive impression. But too many sites put creative design before usability. A website needs to do more than look good. It must also be easy to use.

Consider some of the most popular sites on the web: Google, Amazon and eBay. These sites are successful because they are useful and easy to use. But I doubt they’ll ever win any awards for creative design.

You get no extra points for using a boldly original site design. In fact, it pays to do the same as everybody else. Why? Because people are already familiar with standard layouts and understand how to use standard navigation. They don’t have to waste time figuring out how your site works.

Some conventions worth following

The more your site follows popular conventions in layout and design, the easier it will be for your customers to find the information they’re looking for. Here are some guidelines for good web design:

First and foremost, the design should complement the content. The content shouldn’t have to compete with the design for your visitors’ attention. Remember, the words make the sale, not the design.

Use well-established web navigation conventions. Use commonly understood terms to label navigation categories.

Make sure the text is easily readable. Use a legible font – 10 point is good, 14 point is better. Use reversed out text sparingly, and only for emphasis.

Make sure there is sufficient contrast between the text and the background. Use dark text on light-coloured background.

Use standard links. Make it obvious what’s clickable (underline text links) and differentiate between visited and unvisited links.

Make images earn their keep. Images should be used to enhance and reinforce the information on the page, not just to look cool.

Less is more. Minimise visual clutter by reducing content to the absolute essential.

Jakob says…

To finish off, here’s some advice from usability curmudgeon Jakob Nielsen: “Simple, unobtrusive designs that support users are successful because they abide by the web’s nature – and they make people feel good.”

Over to you

Do you agree with my design advice? What are your web design bug bears? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Writing Habits & Deactivating Facebook: The Web Content Roundup

Here are this week’s top seven stories on web content and online marketing as voted by my Twitter followers:

1). 8 Reasons to Deactivate Your Facebook Account http://buff.ly/Xaqmw1 Food for thought

2). Google+ passes Twitter to become number 2 social network http://buff.ly/VMYP4p

3). Secrets of Copywriting: How to Pull the Reader’s Psychological Strings http://buff.ly/WpMkgl

4). Competitive Analysis: How to Become an SEO Hero in 4 Steps http://buff.ly/UA2kMr

5). Writing Tip: Forget About Length, and Focus on Value http://bit.ly/XUtvPF

6). 10 Lessons Learned From Being Named A Top 10 Blog http://bit.ly/XUT5E2

7). 8 Essential Habits for Effective Writing http://buff.ly/14AAiV6

How to Write a Better “Contact Us” Page

“One of the hardest-working but most underrated pages of any website is the ‘Contact Us’ page,” writes Monte Enbysk in an article on the Microsoft Office Live Small Business website.

I couldn’t agree more. Your contact page should be more than a just a recitation of your contact details. It should explain how people can contact your business as well as why they should want to contact you.

The article covers 11 tips on how to make your contact page more effective, including:

List a snail mail address

Especially if you want to appear as a more “legitimate” business or want to attract customers from the local area.

If relevant, link to your blog or social-networking site page

These days people also want to contact you through social networking channels too.

Guide people on why they should contact you

Where appropriate, include links to your products or services pages, customer service or technical support, your newsletter sign-up page, and/or your FAQ page.

You can read the entire article here:
Tips for an effective ‘Contact Us’ page

Need help with your website content?

Creating website content that gets read and acted upon by your target market is a lot easier when you work with an experienced website copywriter.

How Questions and Answers can Add Impact to Your Website Content

You’re probably familiar with the FAQ, or “frequently asked questions” page. It’s a common feature on most good websites.

But you don’t have to confine questions and answers to a single page. According to an article by direct response copywriting expert Ivan Levison, you can use a Q&A section whenever you need to communicate complex information.

They’re especially useful for reducing prospects’ scepticism and overcoming objections, at the end of a sales page, for example.

Levison’s proven tips for using Q&As include:

Give your Q&A section a catchy headline

Use something a bit more attention grabbing than “Questions & Answers”. For example:

  • Five commonly asked questions about dental veneers.
  • Do you know the answers to these important irrigation questions?

Use Q&As to overcome obstacles to the sale

Don’t waste space restating benefits that are explained elsewhere in your content. Instead, overcome your prospects’ doubts with facts and persuasive arguments.

Limit your Q&As to five questions

If you have any more it can get boring. Obviously you want to lead with your most important questions. It’s also a good idea to include a question about your guarantee if you have one.

You can read the entire article here:
Add impact to your copywriting with Questions and Answers

Need help with your website content?

Whether you sell products or services, an experienced web copywriter makes the job of creating website content that sells a lot easier.

How to Help Website Visitors Achieve Their Goals… So You Can Achieve Yours

Previously I’ve written about how websites should “help, help, sell”, rather than “sell, sell, sell”.

In an article on A List Apart, web copywriting guru Nick Usborne shows you how to actually do this in four concrete steps:

1. Recognise that websites are hard to navigate

No two sites are exactly the same. Which means each new visitor needs to learn how your site works – how to find what they’re looking for.

Once you recognise this fact, you’ll be more motivated to ensure the content on each page is very clear and directs readers towards the information they’re looking for.

2. Understand what it is your visitors are looking for

Many companies pay lip service to being “customer-centric”. But all too often their website serve the needs of the organisation rather than their customers.

It might take some work to uncover what your customer’s need are when it comes to your website. But it’s well worth the effort.

3. Accept that visitors scan your headings and links

So keep them short and informative.

4. Use relevant words and phrases

Avoid industry jargon and corporate-speak. Use the same language your customers use when talking about their problems and your products.

You can read the entire article here:
Helping Your Visitors: a State of Mind

Need help with your website content?

If you need a website copywriter to create content for your website that both helps and sells, please get in touch.