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Tell your brand story online

 24 July 2013

What do you think is the most popular page on your website? Surprisingly, it's often your 'about us' page. Simon Goble from print and design company MOO gives 7 tips for making sure you get it right.

Your website could be the key to winning over a new customer or losing them to a competitor.
Your website could be the key to winning over a new customer or losing them to a competitor.

The 'about us' page is rarely given much consideration in the creation of a website. But it is often the first place that your customers or users will visit to learn more about your organisation.

It can be a fantastic place to reflect the personality, culture and attitude of your company, as well as a great promotional tool – if you get it right.

The way you describe your organisation and its people on your website could be the key to winning over a new customer or losing them to a competitor. So it pays to have thoroughly considered its content.

1. Focus on your solutions

Your website is the online equivalent of a team of sales associates at the end of a telephone line.

If you've ever called a sales or support line, you'll probably recall they don't describe in detail exactly what the company does.

Your website is the online equivalent of a team of sales associates at the end of a telephone line.

Alternatively, they focus on specific solutions they can offer to their customers and the many benefits that come from these solutions.

Employing a similar approach for your 'about' page is a good place to start.

Manchester-based design agency Shape has a simple site that does this very well, explaining the clear solutions offered by all of their services.

2. Use an elevator pitch 

Make sure customers visiting the page know at least five things about your company before they leave:

  • who you are
  • what you are about
  • where you are
  • why they should choose your company
  • when they can meet you.

A good way of achieving this is writing a one minute 'elevator pitch' of your business.

Not only is it good content for your ‘about’ page, but it's a great resource to fall back on when engaging with other businesses.

Test your 'pitch' by getting a friend who knows nothing about your business to explore your website. Then ask them to describe what your company does.

If they can't answer most of the five Ws (who, what, where, why, when) after exploring your website, it may be time to reconsider its content.

French agency Colorz has a brilliant example of getting this right, using a cool numerical table and giant digital mood board to clearly convey information about the business.

Another good example is Thinknologies' timeline, which describes their services perfectly in a fun and animated way.

3. Be humble and honest

It can be tempting to over-exaggerate when describing your organisation, especially when you are designing your own website.

Keep the content as simple as possible by flagging essential facts, figures and accomplishments.

Awards and commendations are great to prove your expertise, but only pick out those you feel are appropriate and relevant.

Where possible, use real photographs rather than stock photography to help make your site look more human.

Be humble and describe who you really are.

Graphic designer Jared Christensen's about page is self-deprecating, but is a great example of how your ‘about’ page can be humble while still being successful.

4. Don’t let design dominate

Sometimes the design can dictate how well your company is being described. Over-designed, flashy websites can mask what you're trying to say.

Keep the content as simple as possible by flagging the essential facts, figures and accomplishments of your business.

The personality of your business will shine through, making the design much easier and therefore more supportive of your message.

A great way of keeping the design simple is to implement a short video of your staff describing what your business is about, like international design agency Huge.

However, don't be afraid to be creative and apply some real personality to it.

We particularly like American agency Legwork's rocking animated doodles on their very simple one-page site.

5. Show your human side

Show the human side of your company by having a 'team' section, as they are what give your business its own unique character and personality.

This is especially good for more social businesses, such as consultancies and design agencies, for showing customers exactly who they will be working with.

Kickstarter has done just that with their team page, using live action video to show the unique personalities of all the people that make up their company.

6. Prove your credibility

Have you won any awards or received commendation for your products or services?

These can be good for proving your authenticity, but don't be tempted to flag every award you have received.

The web is a constantly moving medium, so your website should be too.

Pick the few that are most relevant for your business and have the most impact for your customers.

You may also want to use examples of your work to show what you've done for  past customers.

If you're just starting out, describe what you hope to achieve and how you plan to achieve it.

37 signals' site uses a timeline to reflect this very well, showing each milestone they reached as their company grew.

7. Keep it fresh

The web is a constantly moving medium, so your website should be too.

Whenever you win a new client, complete an amazing piece of work, or if anything new happens in your business, consider adding it to your ‘about us’ page.

It should always reflect what your company is today, not what it was in the past.

Agency WithAssociates even went as far as creating a brand-new about page every month for a year! 

 

Get more advice about running a business from the MOO Startup Toolkit, or have a look at their print products at MOO Business Cards.

 

Are there any other interesting ways that companies have tackled their company pages? Why not let us know in the comments?