Monday, October 4, 2010

What’s up with “About Us” pages on websites?

During the last few weeks, I have witnessed a great deal of chatter regarding “About Us” pages on websites. When I say that I witnessed a lot of chatter, allow me to clarify. I have received several e-zines in my email box, read several tweets on Twitter, and read several blog posts on this topic. As a result, I presume that one of three things is happening:

[1] companies are redesigning their websites and eliminating their About pages

[2] companies are focusing their Internet dollars on social media and eliminating their websites

[3] companies are moving the content from their About pages to different pages on their websites

When I consider these three possibilities, I have to shake my head and wonder. The implementation of any of these options will not help a company turn prospects into customers, nor will any of the options lead to increased sales. So I have to wonder, what’s up with About Us pages on websites?

The contents of a website’s About Us page should include the following:

  • company name
  • company address and/or contact information (at a minimum, phone and email)
  • company purpose, i.e., what it does or sells (this can be done with a few sentences, a tagline and logo, a mission statement, a vision statement, a values statement, a brief overview of a strategic plan/company initiatives, or a positioning statement/competitive advantage statement)
  • Optional but recommended: company milestones – if company has 25, 50, or more years of history
  • Optional but recommended: CEO’s, president’s, or founder’s welcome (with the person’s photo)
  • Optional but recommended: video of how to use the product
  • Optional but recommended: link to a press room page or another page with a corporate backgrounder, company fact sheet, or press kit
  • Optional but recommended: link to FAQ page
  • Optional but recommended: link to privacy policy

Unless your company has several websites with different URL’s, a main corporate website has to be a “one-size-fits-all” marketing tool. It has to satisfy many requirements and welcome different audiences simultaneously. Therefore, a website welcomes visitors with no knowledge of your company while also welcoming existing customers. It has to welcome members of the media as well as competitors, investors, and job seekers. As a result, your About Us page must contain information that you may consider repetitive, unimportant, or a waste of space.

But the simple truth is, your About page may be the most important page of your entire website.

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