Copywriting a perfect About Us page for your website
About Us page copywriting secrets that will have clients queuing for your services
Great website copywriting is all about building trust, especially on your About Us page. It would seem, therefore, that lying to the people who visit your website would be a recipe for disaster.
Except this once…
Titling a page “About Us” suggests the page is going to be all about you. But it isn’t going to be about you. Not really. Secretly, you’re writing all about them, your customers and potential customers. Specifically, you’re writing about their problems and how you’re the right business to solve them.
Home and About Us: the two most important pages of your website
The most visited page of your website will be:
- Your homepage because that’s the page people see when they go to yourcompanyname.com. However, the homepage might not be your most important page when it comes to converting visitors into customers.
- About Us, which will (most likely) be the second most visited page of your website. You should never underestimate the influence that the copywriting on your About Us page can have to your eventual conversions.
Why the About Us page is so popular
Your About Us page attracts so much interest because:
- Your website copywriting makes claims. When deciding whether to believe those claims, your prospect will want to weigh the credentials of the people making the claim.
- Your About Us page should be a good way to check quickly whether your business does what the reader is looking for. (I see a lot of taps on your website, but does that mean you just sell them or do you install them too?)
- The About Us page should put the whole site in context. It gives the prospect a filter through which to read everything else. Are you big? Small? Working for global giants or servicing small businesses? What sort of people work for you? Knowing those things helps the reader to digest the rest of the site.
Homepage or About Us: which is more important?
If I had to choose at gunpoint between getting rid of my homepage or my About Us page, I’d get rid of the homepage. The homepage is our shop window, but the About Us page is the salesman. About Us is building more rapport with the client than the homepage.
The About Us page is a crucial convincer, if it’s done right.
Examples of About Us pages that work
About Us page example #1 —Security Tactics
Taleist’s client Security Tactics sweeps offices, homes and cars for hidden microphones, cameras and tracking devices.
Their About Us page is aimed squarely at their target client. Every line above the fold is, yes, about Security Tactics but it’s carefully chosen — it’s information that’s highly relevant to how they solve the client’s problems.
- What makes Security Tactics a better choice? They’re police trained.
- A reminder of what the company does — increasing the reader’s certainty they’re in the right place for what they’re looking for.
- What do you get from working with Security Tactics? Total confidence. (Plus another reminder of what they do: sweep.)
- Spelling out what the company does in plain English. The jargon (“TSCM”) lets corporate security managers know that Security Tactics is an industry insider. However, not all their clients are security professionals, so they spell out what TSCM is.
- A reader outside Queensland might have been referred and be wondering if they can be serviced. If this were a virtual business, the location wouldn’t need to be so prominent.
What’s missing from this About Us page?
You might read that and think it’s all obvious. In that case, it helps to think about the things we could have written but left out — things we might have included in a different industry with difference clients.
- Security Tactics is a family business, something we often highlight for clients, but that’s not a competitive factor in the TSCM industry.
- The owners have another well-established and successful business, but that business isn’t relevant to the work of Security Tactics.
About Us page example #2 —Taleist: Genuinely compelling copywriting
We try to practise what we preach at Taleist.
This is the opening of the Taleist’s About Us page (which you can see in full here)
The copywriting on our About Us page meets the surface-level About Us brief — it’s definitely all about us — but it’s not there only for colour or self-indulgence.
Our About Us page focuses on giving context about how we solve the reader’s problem. We solve their problems by understanding their clients well enough to sell a product or service to them with copywriting.
We chose to lead with that because anyone with a keyboard can claim to be a copywriter. Copywriting is a popular choice as a work-from-home business because all you need is a laptop and confidence that you write nicely.
Copywriters who choose to take it up a notch with study. Many aspiring copywriters hand copy ads written by the greats. Some of the all-time but now gone greats have left behind books, including Claude Hopkins, Eugene Schwartz, David Ogilvy and Gary Halbert.
Many of the living legends run online courses in addition to writing books, like John Carlton’s Simple Writing System. Copywriters can also swap ideas and war stories online in copywriting communities, like Kevin Rogers’s Copy Chief.
And if you’re looking for a copywriter, it’s always a good idea to ask them what they do study. But even if they do study, they’ll still be limited if they’ve not lived a wide enough life to be able to get into the heads of many different types of buyer.
That’s why we write about our life experiences on Taleist’s About Us page. Sophisticated clients know that copywriting success is all about understanding the buyer, so this information is for them.
What’s missing from Taleist’s About Us page?
As with the Security Tactics example, you can shine a light on the tactics behind the copywriting here by looking at what we choose not to talk about.
- We could have focused on high-profile clients like Microsoft, AMP, Intel and others. It would give us credibility but it could send a message that we’re not for clients who aren’t listed companies or multinationals. However, we actually write for the widest possible range of clients so we don’t want to put off any ambitious business looking for copywriters.
- We could have led with our 25 years in the business. It’s relevant, but longevity doesn’t always mean quality, especially not in the age of disruptors, so we don’t lead with it.
- We could have led with our background in journalism, which we believe makes us different in our approach — we ask more and better questions. However, journalism and copywriting are different and this is a page about copywriters.
Words to avoid on an About Us page
Close your eyes and listen. What can you hear that you didn’t hear before? Cars going past outside the window? The hum of a piece of equipment, perhaps the fan on your computer?
That noise was there before but you filtered it out because it wasn’t important. That’s exactly what your readers will do with cliches and meaningless language. Your cliched phrases will waft right past the reader.
By contrast, original writing sticks in the mind.
Your About Us page is a chance to make an impression Don’t lose that chance because your website visitor has read the same phrase a dozen times already — you’re “passionate about your customer journey”.
Your About Us page should stop your reader in their tracks with something fresh. Being fresh doesn’t mean you have to be cute. It means you need to be clear and rising above things anyone else could say.
Capturing the attention of the reader is why you won’t find any claim to be the “leading”, “fastest growing” or anything like that in the two About Us page examples above.
Readers hear these claims so often that all meaning is gone. You might genuinely be the biggest, the most profitable or the most-awarded, but that doesn’t matter if the reader has just come from three other websites making the same claims.
Not only has the claim to be “leading” (or similar) become meaningless, it’s lazy writing because it’s not necessarily desirable to the potential client…
Copywriter Paula Green made history when she branded Avis with the line “We try harder”. That tagline pointed out to customers that going with the leading brand wasn’t always in their best interests. After all, the leading business might also be the most expensive or resting on its laurels. (It was a strong enough point that Avis used the line from 1962 to 2012.)
If you’re, truly the leading business in your field (and that benefits the client), show your client how you’re leading, don’t just tell them.
What facts are you relying on to claim to be the leading provider? Your page will be more convincing if you lead with those supporting facts instead of just making the claim.
Is there something extraordinary you did for a client? Do your customers get amazing results? Tell me those facts and the reader will conclude you’re leading for themselves — which is much stronger psychologically.
But if you’re claiming to the leading business in your industry just because you think it sounds nice, walk away from the claim right now and try another tack.
There is something that makes you different, and a good copywriter can help you find it.
As a rule of thumb, don’t say something on your About Us page when you wouldn’t say the opposite.
Who would say they didn’t care about customers? So why say you’re “passionate about customer service”. If you really think you give a different and better customer experience, prove it, don’t just claim it. “You’ll be met at the door by a liveried butler…”
Would any company say:
- We put things together as quickly and cheaply as we can
- We couldn’t care less about our customers
- We’re lazy
So why talk about:
- “High-quality service” (rather than the specifics of how you provide quality)
- “Exceptional customer experience” (without breaking down how your service is different)
- How hard you work without spelling out what you mean by hard work — we don’t make mistakes, we get it done faster…
The only lie you’re allowed to tell on your About Us page is that it’s about you when it’s really about your customers. There is no place on your About Us page for stock images of a racially diverse group of people you’ve never met gathered around a laptop you don’t own.
You might be all about people and relationships, but that’s not more believable because you have a photo of two men shaking hands in an airport.
We know the people in the photograph don’t work for you, so what are they doing on the page where we’ve come to learn who you are and what you can do to help us?
Stock images feel like a lie, which hurts your attempts to build rapport on your About Us page.
Look at your competitors’ About Us pages
Look at the About Us pages of your three biggest competitors. Chances are that the client who arrives at your website has already been to at least one of your competitors’ sites.
You don’t want to look like you’re all the same because you all make the same unsubstantiated claims.
Where to start with writing your About Us page
Put this phrase in your head: So what?
Better yet, write it on a Post-It and stick it on your computer monitor while you think about your About Us page. Although, there’s another easy way to keep it front of mind…
Imagine your best potential client is like a spoilt nine-year-old. Every time you tell them something, they say, “So what?”
The nine-year-old will swallow nothing at face value. That nine-year-old wants to know what’s in it for them. They don’t care that you went to Oxford or have a big office with a beautiful view… unless you can show them how that is going to help them in some way. (And they’re not going to connect the dots for themselves: you have to draw the connections from features to benefits for your clients.)
Think about your client
What does your client want from you? What is their problem and how are you the best answer? Start here and you won’t go wrong on your About Us page.
In Taleist’s case, for instance, our ideal client is struggling to stand out in the blizzard of information their audiences are receiving. They have a dozen or more competitors their clients could easily choose.
Our clients want someone who can approach communicating differently. That’s why Taleist’s About Us page leads with what makes us unusual — the life experience we bring to understanding what will make your clients tick.
About Us page example #3: CGA
Central Glass and Aluminium (CGA) is a client of ours. It’s a family-owned business that makes doors and windows. It sounds like a widget business. On the face of it, you’d think it would be impossible to slide a razor blade between suppliers. After all, surely one pane of glass is exactly like another?
Glass might well be homogeneous, but not every glass fabricator is the same, which is why we wrote this:
We could just have written that the team at CGA cares deeply about customer satisfaction. Anyone who has spoken to Heather, the owner, and her customers, as we have, would know that.
However, as above, you shouldn’t write something where no competitor would say the opposite. None of CGA’s competitors would tell you they didn’t care about customer satisfaction. So we proved it by adding a supporting example: the customer who’d been sent packing by 15 (seriously) other companies before she found CGA.
We didn’t just tell the reader something, we showed them.
Before you write your About Us page, ask yourself these questions
For copywriting that makes a big difference to your conversion rate, answer these questions before you start writing your About Us page:
- What makes you different from the competition? You’ll want to get that across on the page.
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What sort of questions might they have about you? Think about your own experience searching the web. What do you like to know about the companies you might do business with? What sort of things do potential customers ask you on the phone? Some basic ideas might be:
- How long you’ve been in business
- Where you’re located and what areas you serve
- What your qualifications and experience are
- Who is on the team
You’ll boost your conversion rate by answering the questions that ideal clients are likely to have about how you can help them.
Don’t forget to think about the tone of your About Us page, too
Every business has to talk to its clients. How you speak to them on your About Us page will be how they think you’ll talk to them in person.
Where you fall on the spectrum of tone — from addressing the Governor General to joking with a mate — will probably be determined by what you do for a living.
Even if you do service the viceroy, you still want to be conversational; it’ll just be in an Admiralty House sort of tone.
Three proven formulas for writing the perfect About Us page
Try one of these formulas as the cornerstone to copywriting the perfect About Us page.
You might offer many products or services, but the About Us page is there to give context to the whole business. Look for a common thread and use the formula to give you a starting point from which the whole page will flow.
1. We description of your product or service, which is interesting because…
This is the formula we followed on our own About Us page (here). We are copywriters who have studied widely, traveled widely and worked in many different industries. And that’s interesting to our ideal clients because it means we’ll understand their business and their clients.
2. Our product/service enables description of customer to experience this value
When copywriting for a course teaching marketing consultants how to add PR as a service for their clients, we wrote along these lines:
Our PR course enables marketing consultants to experience more revenue from their existing clients, potentially on a retainer, which will give them more stability in their business.
3. Our product/service helps niche who want to get this done by removing what pain and achieving what gain
If we’d followed this formula for the PR course, we would have approached the About Us page along these lines:
Our PR course helps marketing consultants who want to make more money by not having to look for so many clients and make more money from existing clients by learning a skill they can use again and again.
Your About Us page is crucial to the success of your website, but it’s still part of a whole. It needs to fit with your entire website.
If you need expert eyes to give you an in-depth opinion about where you could be making more conversions, we review website copywriting and design.
And of course, if you’d like a professional copywriter to identify your point of difference, define your story and write your About Us page for you, you should…