Every good business has a story and a reason for existing. Customers want to know what that story and reason is, which is why every eCommerce website needs an About page. Whether it’s an “About Us” or an “Our Story” or even a “Who Are We” page, these loyalty building sections of your websites are a chance to convince your customer that your business is one they can trust.
But while there might be a great story, entrepreneurs aren’t always the best storytellers. Here are 7 mistakes companies make and how you can avoid them.
1. Avoid Fluff
When you were in school, did you ever have to write a paper for an English class to fill a certain page limit? You might’ve been like me and filled it with lots of fluff. You’d look for the most outrageous, unheard of synonym for the most basic of words just to make yourself seem smart and to take up just a bit more space.
Well, you’re not in school anymore.
Don’t get caught writing an About page that’s basically cotton candy: full of fluff but no substance. Consumers can see right through your phony material and recognize when they’ve read 800 words of nothing.
The two most common examples of fluff are using your own fancy words and not having any real content. Both of these have an easy solution.
First, rather than using every possible positive adjective in the dictionary to describe your business, let consumer testimonials do the trick. If you’re just starting out and lack reviews, go give someone a sample on the contingency that they give you a review.
Second, avoid having a page that has no real substance by answering the five key questions about your business: who, what, why, how, and who. You might need to answer a ‘where’ and ‘when’ too, depending on the business. Nonetheless, use these key five questions to resolve any doubts, concerns, or lack of knowledge your customers might have about you.
2. Avoid Stock Photos
Your page should be visually appealing, but by no means does that justify settling for stock photos. Consumers are keen to noticing these photos, which are usually designed to be bland enough that they’re applicable for multiple uses. Just look at this stock photo from Pixabay that resembles ones you’ve seen before on bad About pages:
These photos don’t tell a specific story about your business. While the second one might show some happy people – and you think you’re so smart in trying to play it off as if these people are happy because they’re satisfied with your service – it doesn’t answer the question: why?
The very first photo tells a story. This is a woman who’s happy, and on her fingers are clearly some sort of product from Bliss. The background is a bright solid color that fits in with the color scheme of the page.
Have photos and infographics that are original and specific. You can have photos that have your logo or some sign of them being yours in them. Make visuals that matter – don’t have visuals just to have visuals.
3. Avoid Listing Every Credential
You know your business is the best, and you might have a few awards, certificates, or credentials to prove it. But what you decide to include on your About page says a lot more about you sometimes than what’s actually on the page. Avoid listing every single little thing you have.
Prioritize the information you present. Put the most impressive and most recognizable accolades for your consumer base. Your board game might’ve won your local community college’s game club’s best new game, but that’s not nearly as important as it being featured on Kotaku or any other major game site.
4. Avoid Leaving It Stagnant
Successful entrepreneurs see their business as a living, breathing thing. Who wants to think of their business as something dead, even figuratively? Treat your website like it’s alive by checking up on it.
Don’t type up your About page the first week you get your website and then leave it there. Your business is growing and your About page needs to grow with it.
Update it with key information that’s appropriate in establishing your authority, brand, and professionalism. Include details like how many products you’ve sold, how much in sales you’ve done, new members of your team,
One simple tip: set a reminder to check your About page at least once every month. Pick a specific date that will be easily memorable, like the 7th of each month – for the 7 letters in “About Us.”
5. Avoid Too Much
As mentioned in Mistake #1, some of us might be accustomed to writing to fill up a certain amount of space. As a result, we put far too much information that is needed to tell a story. Our About page isn’t supposed to be a long or arduous read because we don’t want customers to stay on that page. We want them to be shopping.
Be simple and get straight to the point. Treat your About page as a part of a pitch on Shark Tank specifically focused on who you are. A more specific way to solve this problem is to get to the facts. Provide relevant statistics, specific details, and definitive ways your service works.
6. Avoid Convincing Yourself
While an About page is an appropriate place to mention credentials and establish authority, it’s important that companies don’t end up bragging in a way that only convinces themselves that their business is great. Your About page isn’t about bragging to make yourself feel like the best, it’s about showing the customer that you are the best at what you do.
About pages aren’t usually what consumers are going to share on social media. They are not landing pages. Don’t treat them like one. These are pages that lead click on because they want to know more. They’re already interested and more likely to buy what you’re selling than someone who hasn’t clicked on the About page.
So while you still need to keep the information general enough for brand new customers and loyal ones, you also need to make sure you’re talking to the people who want to know about you. This is a time to fulfill your customers’ needs.
Don’t repeat what’s been said on other pages. You can expand on some of that information – people are going to want to know why you’re claiming to be the #1 online Maori jewelry store. But don’t forget that this is your chance to convince your customers that your business is one they can trust in.
One main purpose of an About page is to create brand loyalty. Talk to the person who’s visiting your website. Talk about what they’re interested in, what problem in their life you help solve, how you can help, etc. Customers want to feel like you care about them, not yourself.
7. Avoid Omitting What You Need
In our pursuit of simplicity and visual appeal, we don’t want to forget what we actually need. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to an About page only to find out there wasn’t a link to the company’s Facebook page or a way to contact them.
There are three things your page needs to have in order to be totally fulfilling about page: social media links, contact details, and a call to action.
Link to all appropriate social media accounts that allow the customer to keep up with your company. They’ve just read about how and when you started, where you’re based, and why you’re so great, so make sure they can be updated on your company’s whereabouts.
They might not end up buying something from you this first time but providing a way for them to choose to see your social media posts sets them up for conversion and props you up for profit.
Some businesses benefit from having a specifically constructed Contact page. This is fine, but you need to link to it in your About page. Not just in the header or footer, but inside the text of the page. If not using a Contact form service, make sure there’s a clear email or phone number they can call for support.
And of course, as all page should have, you need a call to action. Hopefully, by the end of reading your page, a customer is convinced that you’re the one. Solidify that loyalty you’re creating by having a button right there at the very end to make the customer happy and you some money.
Your About page serves three main purposes: generate leads, create brand loyalty, and answer questions. All these mistakes are committed by entrepreneurs who don’t understand these objectives or create a page just to have one. This is your opportunity to talk about your passion but effectively and in a controlled, persuasive way. And though it might be “your time” to talk, don’t waste your customer’s time.
What other mistakes should eCommerce sites avoid on their About page?