Spend any time at all browsing small business websites and you’ll quickly realize that not all websites are created equal—and neither are all ‘About Us’ pages. That’s very much as it should be. After all, every small business is unique, so why wouldn’t every ‘About Us’ page be, too? Taking a cookie-cutter approach to your company’s ‘About Us’ page will only obscure what makes your business special.
With that said, there are certainly some general policies to follow—and some blunders to avoid. Unfortunately, not all ‘About Us’ pages are written with these best practices in mind. In fact, there are some pieces of conventional ‘About Us’ wisdom that may actually hurt your brand identity more than they help it—and we’ve rounded up four of them, below.
1. Your ‘About Us’ page is, well, about you!
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Despite its name, the ‘About Us’ page isn’t supposed to be entirely or even mostly about your company. On the contrary, a good ‘About Us’ page is just as much about your customers—and about the benefits they receive when they do business with you.
Your customers don’t need to know the full, play-by-play history of your brand. They want to know why they should care. They want to know what’s in it for them.
2. Your ‘About Us’ page needs to be lengthy and thorough.
On a related note, it is often believed that an ‘About Us’ page needs to be a fairly heavy and wordy document, and it’s probably true that it will be one of the larger sections of your website. Again, though, remember why you’re really writing it: To exhibit the benefits you offer to customers and clients. Try to make those points fairly directly; nobody has time to read a 2,000-word (or even a 1,000-word) ‘About Us’ section.
3. Your ‘About Us’ page should be highly personal.
Actually, this isn’t entirely a myth. Your ‘About Us’ page should serve to humanize your business; you might talk about who started the company, and why. You should definitely underscore your company’s values and principles. However, you shouldn’t use it as an excuse to tell your life story, or to veer too far off course from that central idea of sharing the benefits your company can provide.
4. Your ‘About Us’ page needs a Mission Statement, a list of Company Values, a set of Corporate Goals, etc.
There is nothing wrong with any of these things—not if they’re specific and convey something meaningful about your business. The problem is when companies think they have to have these things, and shoehorn them into their ‘About Us’ page, or else spout off a bunch of vague corporate-speak that offers little value to the consumers. If you have a great company Mission Statement, include it! If not, forget it.