It may be the case that only a small proportion of visitors already know your company or have previously ordered from you. For this reason, it makes sense to allow them to look behind the scenes by providing an About Us page that lets visitors find about more about you and your business.
In conjunction with detailed product descriptions and high-quality images, an effective About Us page can persuade visitors as they decide whether to buy from your online shop. When potential customers become aware of your shop as a result of a Google search, for example, they will seek an understanding of not just your product range but also your team and company.
Particularly before placing their first order, customers often attempt to minimise their personal risk by looking for reassuring information about the operation. Many shops, however, fail to provide visitors with good enough details of those operating the shop or their motivations for doing so.
An effective About Us page can therefore represent a valuable way of building your visitors’ trust in your work. The section also offers smaller online merchants, in particular, a powerful way of showing what makes their shop so special. Below, my Tips for designing your About Us page.
Seek inspiration from others
Before starting work on your page, take some time to conduct a little research. For example, what do the About Us pages look like for shops that you yourself have seen and valued? Similarly, take a look at your competitors’ pages. Consider specific ways in which you can highlight additional experience and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Write for your customers
You no doubt already know some of your customers well. Perhaps you operate a bricks-and-mortar shop alongside your e-commerce activities or you have met some of your customers at events or trade fairs. Think about the kind of questions you have been asked by customers. What issues were especially important and what keywords tended to arise?
Tell your story
What were your reasons for setting up your shop? In what circumstances did you start your business? Did you perhaps decide to turn a hobby into your job or was there a specific situation that gave rise to your business idea? Be sure to emphasise key events in your mission and give your customers a succinct overview of your company story.
It’s a great idea to include friendly, natural photographs in the About Us area of your shop to give it a more personal feel. If you do this, we recommend that you employ a professional photographer to take pictures of you and your team using good lighting and set-up.
With a little thought, there will surely be unique philosophies or approaches for you to detail. For example, what do you see as important in your work? Perhaps you believe in sustainable trading by only using environmentally-friendly packaging? This is the kind of information that can help your visitors to really buy into your mission as well as your products.
Talk about your strengths
What is your shop’s “unique selling point” – and why exactly should your visitors buy from you? Show them your strengths and the things that make your company special, such as the years of experience you bring to your field or the lengths to which you go to source the best products.
Ratings from any third parties that recommend your products and service levels are a great way of emphasising your strengths. This is why it makes sense to refer to any awards you may have won on your About Us page. If you received great praise from a particularly happy customer, do ask them to use their positive review together with their names as testimonials on your site.
Use a clear design and structure
Before writing your page, consider the structure for the page overall. Use headings and rearrange them so you have a logical order for the content. This will make writing easier and ensure the content is interesting for the audience.
Be sure to place your About Us page in a visible position within your shop. To ensure it is easily found, it makes sense to include the page as a specific menu item in the site navigation structure. Listing it within the footer area will mean your visitors can access it at any time, from any page.
Here are some useful questions to help you arrange your thoughts when compiling your About Us page :
- What were your reasons for setting up your shop?
- How long has your business been trading?
- Do you use any other channels, such as a bricks-and-mortar shop, to sell your goods?
- What makes your business special?
- How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
- What does your company sell?
- Who benefits from your products?
Share and collaborate
Interestingly, psychologists believe that the need to share a passion for products is an inbuilt craving in us all. Consumers clearly prefer a retailer who they can trust as an expert on a topic. Use your social media channels to tell your story and show how you love the products or services you sell. You can boost exposure by having your About Us page linked to useful hobbyist or professional body websites. Similarly, by celebrating the pages of other similar retailers, you can access a wider community of relevant customers.
Richard Stevenson is Head of Corporate Communications for cloud-driven online shop software provider ePages.com. He has worked in the web hosting, domain name and Software-as-a-Service industries for over 14 years, many of which working with SMBs and web pros all over the world to drive awareness and adoption of new web technologies.