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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Importance Of "About Us" On A Website

In the last 10 years, Internet usage in the United States has grown over 150%, with over 77% of the whole US population utilizing the Internet, according to Internet World Stats. That is astounding growth and it is a huge jump in the number of people potentially visiting websites. Even with millions of websites on the web, an optimized, well-built site has the potential of being seen by lots of people. So what sets a site apart, giving it a personal feel in an impersonal Internet experience? The "About Us" page.

Intuitive Designs LLC - website design & development for West Michigan.Although most sites have them, they are usually undervalued and ignored once they are written. However, with lots of users on the Internet finding lots of information, this "About Us" page is an opportunity to let site visitors know more about a company, its products & services and earn the company a customer. When a consumer is interested in a site, the "About Us" page is among the first three pages they visit. That in itself reveals the importance of this page on any web site.

So here are some practical, easy steps to making more of the "About Us" page:

  1. Make a personal connection.
    This page is really a story about the organization - how it started, who is behind it, it's long term goals and mission. But it is also a way to bring a personal connection into the impersonal Internet world. Consider adding pictures and bios and even include some details about hobbies or activities. Include e-mail addresses and links to appropriate contact information, blogs, publications, etc. Site visitors interested enough to read the "About Us" page want to know, like and trust the organization and those involved with it.

  2. Make sure it is up to date.
    This should go without saying but it is necessary to review this page at least once a year, if not more often. Add details about recent projects, major milestones and mention recent awards, recognition or community events. Let the site visitor see that this page is updated often enough to keep them informed of timely details about the business. An outdated page sends the message that the organization does not really value the perception of the site visitor.

  3. Share testimonials from current customers and incorporate social media.
    It is great to speak about an organization in first-person to fill in potential customers about the story of the company. But it is even more interesting and influential to incorporate testimonials. New site visitors are just becoming familiar with the business and what better way to set the stage of loyalty, service and credibility than to use current & past customer testimonials. This is also a great place to incorporate social network links. Potential consumers have the ability to view the company interactions and see discussions & comments made outside the framework of the organizations web site. Touting company accomplishments is one thing but having customers share their experiences goes a long way in developing trust in a potential new business relationship.

  4. Break-up the text with visually interesting additions.
    The "About Us" page is a 24-hour billboard for your company. Spice-up the layout of the page with photos, highlighted text, bullets, links, etc. If the page is paragraph after paragraph of bland text, the 'billboard' is boring, stale and uninviting. Without disrupting the purpose of the page, introduce visual additions to break-up text, provide easy reading and substantiate information. Everything from pictures of the building to graphics depicting the company mission are great options.

  5. Incorporate keywords and other appropriate search engine optimization strategies.
    Just because the "About Us" page is written a little differently and created to appeal to the personal/relationship side of business, that does not mean it should ignore the basics of effective web page design and optimization. Keywords and phrases should be introduced as much as possible within the text on the page. Follow the rules for optimizing a business web page so the "About Us" page is effective on all levels.

An effective, memorable "About Us" page is relatively easy to achieve with some thought, determination and a little know-how. The tips above can help any company web site offer a personal touch to one of the most important pages of the site...that 24-hour billboard where the world learns all "About Us".