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In our last post we spoke about the need to have an objective or goal for your website. When you are ready to move beyond having a simple brochure site for your business, the first step is to decide what you want your website visitors to do and to set up the site accordingly. In this post we want to talk about something more specific and a bit more fun. Your small business website should have a killer About Us page. If you have Google Analytics (or some other tracking software) installed on your site, take a moment to look over the list of your most visited pages. Go ahead…I’ll wait. I am willing to bet that your About Us page is viewed more than you think. It is probably in the top 5 most visited pages on your site. Very often, it comes in at number two, right behind the home page. Are you wasting this precious bit of real estate on your business site? Is it filled with pseudo corporate-speak and talk of “synergy” or “adding value”? If so, stick around to the end of this post to learn how to create a killer About Us page. Hello, Nice to Meet You… Your About Us page is primarily an introduction, don’t be so uptight! You should be having more fun on your About Us page. It should be written in a way that is conversational and introduces your company so a prospect can get to know, like and trust your brand. People buy from companies they know, like and trust and you only get one chance at a first impression. Don’t blow this introduction, make sure you are memorable and likeable. Below are a few fun ways to turn your About Us Page into a marketing workhorse in a style that is fun and welcoming. Great About Us Pages Talk to the Customer Talk to Your Visitors We have already mentioned this tactic above but it so important we need to go into more detail. Write your About Us in a conversational tone. As people, we tend to write differently then we speak. Our writing is stuffier and more “professional” or “academic” than how we speak. On your About Us page, try to write in way that is more like you speak. This is your introduction to the website visitor, you don’t need to impress them big words or corporate-speak. Just introduce yourself and your company like you would when someone asks you what you do for a living. When you answer that question in a real live conversation, I doubt you use terms like “processes that decrease inefficiencies” or “innovative technologies.” You simply let the person know what you do. Let’s imagine you are an accountant. Which paragraph will be more appealing to someone who is visiting your site for the first time: We deliver a broad range of accounting, payroll and tax solutions, backed by technology, business analytics and consulting services that help create valuable relationships between our clients, their customers, employees and regulatory authorities. Or We stay on the cutting edge of tax law developments so that you don’t have to. We do not believe in a set it and forget it system, our clients are our top priority. We are always striving to be better so our clients achieve more. I like the second one! By the time I am finished reading the first paragraph I am so bored, I am ready to click the back button and head off to Google to find a different company. The second paragraph, while shorter and easier to read, is also more conversational and the benefit to the prospect is more direct– they will be able to achieve more. The first paragraph tries what I call “the shotgun approach to service.” It states “we do everything” and the benefit is “creating valuable relationships between our clients, their customers, employees and regulatory authorities.” What the heck does that even mean? Don’t get caught up in corporate-speak and jargon. Don’t try to be everything to everyone, you end being nothing to anyone. Talk to your prospects like you are talking to a friend or business acquaintance. Treat them with respect by respecting their intelligence and they will be more likely to want to talk to you. This approach will get more prospective customers to know, like and trust you. Tell Your Story Have you ever been to a vineyard? Or maybe just your local grocery store or wine shop while someone was there handing out free samples. There is a rule in marketing that stories sell. And the wine industry has certainly used this strategy to their advantage. Here is how it goes: You visit the winery or grab a free sample in your grocery aisle. While you are trying this wine for the first time, you are told a story. The representative will wax poetic on the grapes, describe how the wine-maker chose his particular plot of land, describe the vineyard to you, give you some company history, maybe even go into detail on how the grower pricked his finger on a thorn while he was picking the grapes or describe the creek that meanders through the property. There is a reason for all this detail. Storytelling helps bring the customer closer to your product. If you are looking at 2 bottles of wine in the grocery aisle and you actually know something about one of them, which one are you going to purchase? Stories are very effective marketing tools and your About Us page is the perfect place to employ them. Your About Us page is, well….about YOU. Tell your story. Let your prospect know how the company was founded, who the principal players are, your process, your principles, your beliefs. Here is your opportunity to bring the prospect closer to you. To further along the process of them getting to know, like and trust you. Your story can represent what you believe in and how you do business; tell your story in a way that will get prospects to want to do business with you. Be sincere and tell a story that shines a light on your ability to solve your prospects problems. Stories help your prospects envision working with you and this gets them a step closer to actually working with you. Use Video on Your About Us Page Use Pictures and Video Everything is more fun and lively with pictures and video, even an About Us page. It is so simple now to incorporate both of them on your website that it is silly to not have them on your About Us page. At GoBeyond SEO, we need to step things up in this department too. We have a picture on our About Us page, but it’s not exactly as good as it should be. Here are a few ways we are considering changing the page. If you have told your story well and used a conversational tone on your About Us Page, deciding what pictures or video to put on the page should be relatively easy. They should add to the experience of reading the text. On most About Us pages, examples of good pictures will be shots of the staff, headshots (maybe even the same ones you use on social media) of the major players, or pictures of the office or storefront (old pictures that show the business has longevity are even better). If your business has a mascot or if you sponsor local organizations, this is a great place to recognize it through pictures. Online video has become more prolific over the last 2-3 years since it has become so easy to implement on your site and almost everyone has broadband access to the internet. A video introduction from the owner shot with an iPhone is fine to put up on your About Us page. Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good. But if you can afford a professional video production and you think it will enhance the effectiveness of your About Us page, go for it. Either way, a video on your About Us page will bring your prospects closer to doing business with you. Once you see someone on video and hear their voice, you start to feel like you know them a little and this helps you establish that know, like and trust factor with prospective customers. Pictures and video make the users’ experience much more intimate on your site. This intimacy makes you more memorable and if they connect with your business, they are the right customer for you and they will do more to get to know your company. You can’t really ask for more from an About Us page. Advanced Tactic Keep reading if you want to take your About Us page to the next level. Remember when you looked up the analytics on your site? How many visitors are you getting to your About Us page? On gobeyondseo.com, the About Us page is the third most visited page and 6.34% of our visitors, go to the page. That is a big chunk of traffic, more than most of our blog posts. Yet most people will spend hours thinking about a blog post and 15 minutes quickly typing out their About Us page. I came across this tactic on Derek Halpern’s blog, Social Triggers, and have been meaning to test it since. Derek dives into the psychology behind why people do what they do on a website, so I trust his advice. Above, we spoke about how much traffic is going to your About Us page. And this is targeted traffic! These folks are asking to get to know your business better. They are interested in you and what you have to say. Isn’t this a great place to add an e-mail sign-up form? Especially if one of the goals of your site is to generate leads or increase blog and e-mail sign-ups. This is idea is so simple, it seems both too easy and brilliant at the same time. The logic behind it makes perfect sense to me but you don’t see many people implementing this idea. Every market is different and there is a chance an e-mail sign up form on your About Us page could turn off some of your customers but this is an idea worth testing. We’ll be testing it soon on GoBeyond SEO. Summing It Up Thank you for making it all the way through this monster post. Who would have thought an About Us page strategy would take over 1700 words to explain. I also hope you are enjoying this series on 7 Ways to Turn Your Website into a Marketing Workhorse. So far we have covered having a goal for your site and how to develop a solid About Us page. Sign up to our RSS feed or e-mail updates to get the whole series and make sure you don’t miss our next post on why you need a blog and an inbound marketing strategy. It’s the 21st century way to find new customers for your business. See you then.