Once upon a time, you had a seed of an idea that grew into something more. You established a vision, set actions in motion and ultimately actualized that idea in the form of a business. This, and everything that has happened since you brought your dream of starting a business to reality, is your company story like the one below.
This story is an often overlooked and underutilized gold mine of content value. Sure, you’d be hard pressed to find a company that doesn’t include an “About Us” page on their website, but the vast majority of these pages aren’t as effective as they could be.
The purpose of this discussion is to take an exploratory look at how to raise your company history page to the next level, in terms of content value, SEO and branding.
So, let’s get to discussing and see how we can improve your About Page.
What Does An Effective Company Story Do
The difference between an effective and ineffective company story is subjective. But, with the help of some data, it’s possible to quantify, to some degree, its impact.
For most websites, a company bio or about page is one of the top recipients of traffic. A large contributing factor to this flow of traffic is because new and potential customers want to learn about the brands they are about to do business with. In this respect, your company bio has powerful potential in the ability to convert new customers.
Reputation is a big competitive differentiator in the Digital Age. One study looking specifically at Yelp.com reviews found that bad reviews and poor reputation resulted in as much as an 18% difference in revenue between 5-star and 3-star brands.
Your company story is a chance to get off on a good foot with potential customers and establish a great reputation right off the bat. If they like your story, they’ll like you.
Arguably, a big reason why reputation is so big in the Digital Age is because brands and their customers have more access to one another than ever before. It’s a two way street. While you may be boasting about the amount of customer data that you’re able to hoard over like a hungry dragon and analyze to derive actionable insights from, the hyper-connected world we live in also puts a lot of data in front of customers too.
In the Dark Ages, before this Internet-driven connectivity, consumers were often stuck with the brands in their vicinity. Companies thrived on not being the best game in town, but being the only game in town.
That isn’t the case anymore. Consumers can connect and do business with companies from all corners of the globe. And, they can shop around from the comfort of their living room sofa.
An effective company story enchants a potential new customer and aims to prevent any further window shopping of competing brands. A well-written company story has the power to engage audiences longer.
With Google’s RankBrain’s “Dwell Time” metric impacting the top search results by measuring how long visitors stay on a web page, having an enticing, whimsical company story has tremendous SEO impact because it will keep customers reading longer and exploring other parts of your website.
Why Do Companies Produce Weak ‘About Us’ Pages
It isn’t intentional. The problem with a lot of company story pages is they do too little. Creating a deep, well crafted company bio isn’t easy. It’s a careful concoction of leveraging key primary and secondary keywords, making information immediately accessible for viewers and weaving the content in a way that keeps the reader on the page.
Aside from balancing the above-mentioned concoction, companies also have to walk a tightrope between being engaging with their company story, but not appearing too self-serving. It isn’t easy to tell your own story without some air of self-ingratiation. It can also be difficult to understand what audiences will find interesting and what they will find boring: not every detail of your company’s history is worth reporting.
The other roadblock that damages a customer story is that companies don’t revisit their bio section.
Yet, your company story is always growing – new players get involved, new plots develop, you move into new markets and so on. It’s common to read a company bio that feels outdated; it feels old because it is old. Your company history should be as dynamic as the content-rich vegetation that you cultivate on your business’ blog page.
Tips For Improving Your ‘About Us’ Page
If you’re in the pool of companies that set their company bio in stone some years ago and have never updated it since, it’s okay; you’re far from alone. That said, revisiting your ‘About Us’ page can be intimidating. A lot has probably changed, which makes it hard to know where to start. Here’s a few tips to consider.
Tip #1: Encapsulate the important information in an accessible way: The first thing to realize is that the majority of people coming to your company’s bio page are there to find a specific piece of information. Before jumping into the saga of your company’s history, be sure to lead with this information so that viewers find what they are looking for quickly.
Tip #2: Lean on the facts, but don’t be afraid to hype: Again, this is a difficult tightrope act. You can think of your company bio a little like writing a resume, but instead of landing a job, you’re trying to land a customer. You want people to be impressed, but any hype should be supported by facts. People respond easier to numbers. So, tell us that your company created a ‘Go Green’ initiative and then let us know the direct impact of that program.
Tip #3: Humanize your brand: In 2016, 54% of all purchases made by millenials and 51% of purchases made by non-millennials took place online. For any business that deals in online sales, this means that over half of your customers never meet a front-facing employee of your brand. Including pictures and even short employee bios on the page can help put a face to the brand and humanize your company in the eyes of prospective, first-time shoppers.
Tip #4: Remember your audience: Your target market largely dictates the audience that will be reading your company bio. You want to set a tone that will resonate with these types of people. If you’re selling microchips, you can adopt a technical tone. Alternatively, if you’re selling baby products, be ready to hit the family notes over and over again. Using the correct tone will help you engage readers longer and increase the likelihood that the consumer reacts in some way.
Tip #5: Don’t afraid to be whimsical: This is largely dependent on your audience, but most companies should aim to have a little fun with their company story. The purpose of this page, aside from adding to your SEO, is to make your brand approachable and likeable. Adding a touch of humor or similar elements will invoke high-energy emotions from readers. These are the emotions that create action. When something is interesting, it is 29% more likely to be shared. So, be sure you aren’t boring anyone.
These tips are just the very beginning, but hopefully the gears in your head are beginning to turn. If you’re truly at a loss, ask your current customers.
They can be a vast wealth of information about what they find most compelling about your brand. Plus, some of them have witnessed many of the chapters of your company story first hand.
You should repeat this practice routinely and never let your ‘About Us’ pages collect cobwebs. Even some small tweaks may be all that is required to engage customers just enough to cause a reaction.