How to create the perfect 'About us' page: 3 common mistakes and how to solve them.

You're at a networking event.

You walk over to a table, introduce yourself and politely ask the other person what they do.

Next thing you know, you're stuck at that table listening to a 10-min exposé littered with jargon and sentences that seem to last for days.

"What does this person even do?"

You try and piece together parts of their explanation to figure it out but to no avail.

When they finally stop talking, you're too afraid to even ask.

That's the experience most visitors have when they land on an about page.

The company starts rambling on and on about themselves without taking the time to clearly explain what they do.

The visitor is left confused, and your company just made an awful impression.

And that's just one common mistake most companies make on their website's about page.

But before we dive deeper into the 3 most common mistakes companies make, let's first take a look at what a website about page is.

What is an about page?

An about us page is an introduction of your company to a potential customer.

It can take many forms. Usually, it has one or more of these elements: pictures of you and your team, the story of your company, your mission, reviews from past customers, rewards and certifications, etc.

The primary purpose of any about page? To build trust. Anything you write or design on an about page should be created with that in mind.

Why is an about us page essential?

Your visitor wants to know who they might be working with. Their first stop? The about page. They use it to get a first feeling of who they'll be dealing with. On almost all of my projects, analytics show that it's one of the most visited pages.

It's a first chance to reel in potential customers and start building trust. The flip side is that when they experience a bad first impression, chances are you can say goodbye to your potential customer.

That's why it's essential.

3 common about page mistakes and how to solve them

Now that you know what it is and why it's important, it's time to start improving yours!

Mistake 1. Not explaining what you do

If you're at a networking event and someone asks you to introduce yourself, do you:

A. Start rambling

B. Give a short explanation of what you do

If you're a sane person, you prefer option B. Why? Because it's a polite and efficient way to get the conversation started. Besides, nobody likes those people at networking events who can't stop talking about themselves (am I right?).

And yet, most companies fail to give a short explanation of what they do on their website's about page.

The two most common issues are:

  1. They provide a statement that is too vague. For example, statements like "we create digital solutions" are too broad. Are you a graphic designer? Web designer? Maybe an app developer? God only knows.
  2. They assume their visitor knows what they do, skip the introduction, and immediately start to ramble on about themselves.

Those are big mistakes usually caused by the company falsely assuming that everyone knows what they do. That's something you should never do. Always assume your visitor knows jack about your company (even if you're "the industry leader" ;-)).

The solution is simple.

Provide a clear explanation of what your company does in a paragraph or two. Nothing too fancy. Keep it clear and to the point. It's a nice way to get the conversation started.

This might sound obvious, but it's shockingly often overlooked. You'd be surprised how many companies fail to do this on their website.

Mistake 2. Not being human

Who would you rather do business with: a faceless corporation or a company with real people?

You've probably guessed it. It's something I've repeated in my blog over and over again: people like doing business with real people, people they can trust. Shocker, right?

Now more than ever, customers are increasingly skeptical of companies. They see right through the jargon, stock photos, and corporate lingo. In other words: you can't bullshit them.

The solution?

Don't be corporate. Be human.

Here's a couple of ways you can do just that:

  • Use photos of real employees and products (no stock photos).
  • Write in short, clear sentences written in plain language (no jargon).
  • Show unbiased and unfiltered reviews from past customers.
  • Offer multiple channels to connect with the people at your company (for example, social media profiles, individual e-mail addresses, etc.)
  • ...

It all comes down to not being a faceless corporation but a business with real people that communicates in a way anyone can understand.

Mistake 3. Not explaining why you do it

I hate to be the umpteenth person who quotes Simon Sinek, but here goes:

People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

Profile picture of Simon Sinke with a blue background
Simon Sinek
Author of "Start With Why"

I know, I know. It's been overused, but hear me out.

As I mentioned in the previous tip: people are increasingly skeptical of companies. They think of them as faceless, money-hungry entities that don't really care about them.

A way to counter this is to clearly explain why you're in business. This is usually done in the form of a mission statement. It's the most efficient way to create an emotional connection and to once again highlight that you're human.

Say you land on a photographer's about page. Which one would you prefer?

  • "We help you capture your memories so you can treasure them forever."
  • "We have a passion for photography."

You'd probably choose the first one. It highlights why they do what they do, and it creates an emotional response that builds trust. The second one is generic, boring and tells you nothing about their motivations.

Make sure you add a clear mission statement that tells your potential customer why you do it.

To summarize

  1. Don't assume your visitor knows what you do. Give a clear and to-the-point explanation of what your company does.
  2. People like to do business with people. Don't be a faceless corporation. Use techniques such as using real photos, clear copy written in plain language, showcasing unbiased reviews, and giving contact information of real people to highlight that you're human.
  3. Show potential customers why you're in business to create an emotional connection and highlight that you're human.
Maarten Van Herendael

Maarten Van Herendael

Maarten is Heave's founder. His passion is to help businesses like yours do great things with a website that looks better and sells more. You can find Maarten on LinkedIn.