Even if you think it’s clear that at a glance of your home page, people can see what your organization does and what it stands for, some visitors will want it spelled out more concretely or want additional details. This is where the “About” page comes in. Many websites have some form of an “About” page that describes the business or organization behind the site. It’s an important way to attract and keep customers, and it’s worth your while to put some thought into it.
Of course, your “About” page needs the basics: Who you are, what you do as a business, and where you’re located. (You might not think your location is particularly important, but some visitors will find comfort in the fact that your organization has a fixed address somewhere.) If you have a mission statement, this is a good place for it. If you are headquartered in an attractive building, a professional photo of the exterior would go here as well.
That’s about as far as most websites go, and some don’t even go that far. And let’s face it: Most “About” pages, when they exist at all, are pretty dull or don’t contain much useful information. (Have you ever stumbled across a cool website but couldn’t figure out what it was about, even after reading the “About” page?) But with a little thought and creativity, you can go…
Beyond The Basics
- People: Many websites have lists of the people in the company’s upper management. Some have professional headshots and bios. Go beyond that: Show the human side of the principals—photos of them working in their natural habitats, “then” and “now” photos, information about what they like to do outside of work. You can also go beyond upper management; if your business has employees, you can feature them as well. If there are a lot of employees, perhaps feature them on a rotating basis, or group them by department.
- Customers: If you serve the business-to-business market, a sampling of your customer names (and logos, if possible) is helpful, especially if they are well-known.
- Creation Story/History: Every business has a unique creation story—how the people and ideas came together to breathe life into an enterprise. People love to read creation stories, and these stories are even better when accompanied by vintage photos, a history of changes to the company logo, and so on. Throw in some fun facts that most people don’t know about the business.
- Outside of work: What does your company care about besides business? If you sponsor or otherwise support philanthropic organizations or even just a little league baseball team, put some information, links, and photos about them on your “About” page.
- Multimedia: If you have videos, podcasts, or other multimedia artifacts that tell the story of your company, by all means put them (or links to them) on your “About” page. (If your website includes a content management system, that’s a good place to keep and manage these resources, as well as the other content on your “About” page.)
- Social Media: Don’t forget about your social media channels. If the company as a whole, or individuals in upper management, have Facebook or Twitter accounts, this is a good place to put links to them. It’s also nice to include live Twitter widgets that update with the latest tweets.
Refreshing Always Helps
Of course, if you’re short on web maintenance resources, you might want to steer clear of ideas that require a good deal of upkeep. But even low-maintenance options need refreshing once in a while—as with the rest of your site, don’t let your “About” page get stale. (If the CFO left the company three years ago, it’s probably time to take her bio down.) And don’t forget about SEO: Your “About” page is a good place to put keywords for your business niche, location, and the market(s) you serve.
Your “About” page shouldn’t be an afterthought—make it a part of your message and your brand, and make it informative and even entertaining. It’s just another way to make your visitors happy.