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What Key Ingredient Is Missing From your 'About Us' Page

     

engine

5:36 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



What a terrific article. Well worth a read of the whole thing.

Does your about page shape up?

Just about every business website has an “About Us” page or section, but most of these are missing a key ingredient that will help turn visitors into customers.

What Key Ingredient Is Missing From your 'About Us' Page [forbes.com]
Last week, I spoke at the big web marketing conference Pubcon, and a highlight of the event was hearing persuasion expert Robert Cialdini speak. Cialdini has been a big influence (no pun intended) on my own writing, and it was great to hear him in person. He tends to stick to the broad principles of influence and persuasion rather than specific marketing tactics, but he did bring up the ubiquitous “About Us” page in his speech.

Leosghost

5:49 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Reads like a "how to fake sincerity"..if you don't already make your "about pages" genuinely "about"..it's a guide to faking them..

Reminds me of "live help" et al..where a "smiling blonde ( unless your target audience has a higher percentage of another ethnicity, in which case, there is a choice of photos ) is waiting to help you", just a call away..or ISP or Bank customer service call centres..where John and Jane ( or Jean et Jeanne ) always have accents from India, the Magrheb, or the Philippines..

“The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made.”-Jean Giraudoux

“Always be sincere, whether you mean it or not.”-anon

Propools

6:01 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Read the article. Great read. Though, I think about the "About Us" page as being parallel to search results and how you want to engage the user. If you can do it on a personal level great, if not, then have some sort of common area.

It's the place where you can say, "Here's what you searched for" and "Here's how we match". Not like a date but in commonalities.

BeeDeeDubbleU

7:09 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member beedeedubbleu is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Love the Giraudoux quote LG. :)

seoskunk

7:42 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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“The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made.”-Jean Giraudoux


I always thought that was Groucho Marx?

Great article I am sure, but just like all "about us pages" I couldn't be bothered to read it.

lucy24

9:33 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



The link took me to a solid black screen.

:: insert ... /froehlich/a065.gif here ::

:: detour to different browser ::

Ah ha. I should have waited longer. Gosh, I love Camino's ad blocker :)

jecasc

10:14 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if I should follow the advice in the article and write something personal in the about us section of my website. Like:

Jecasc went into ecommerce because he doesn't like to meet you - the customer. He wants to be as far away from you as possible so he has not to deal with you personally. You can rely on your order to be processed with the utmost speed and to perfection to ensure you do not have any reason to get into contact with him again once you have submitted your order. Especially not in person. Also not by phone. Did we mention not in person?

Wonder if that is sincere and convincing enough to attract customers. Not in person of course. But their orders. Submitted. From far far away.

Leosghost

10:26 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Can I use that too , :))

swa66

10:50 pm on Oct 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member swa66 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I wonder if I should follow the advice in the article and write something personal in the about us section of my website. Like:

Jecasc went into ecommerce because he doesn't like to meet you - the customer. He wants to be as far away from you as possible so he has not to deal with you personally. You can rely on your order to be processed with the utmost speed and to perfection to ensure you do not have any reason to get into contact with him again once you have submitted your order. Especially not in person. Also not by phone. Did we mention not in person?

Wonder if that is sincere and convincing enough to attract customers. Not in person of course. But their orders. Submitted. From far far away.

ROTFL

It might actually attract those of us who like honesty and a good dose of self-relativation! It might get you some press coverage too.

sonjay

12:42 am on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Jecasc went into ecommerce because he doesn't like to meet you - the customer. He wants to be as far away from you as possible so he has not to deal with you personally. You can rely on your order to be processed with the utmost speed and to perfection to ensure you do not have any reason to get into contact with him again once you have submitted your order. Especially not in person. Also not by phone. Did we mention not in person?


I would so order from you. I hate ever having to call and actually talk to someone, just to place an order for something online. There are almost no circumstances when human interaction should be needed.

greenleaves

7:30 pm on Oct 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I wonder if I should follow the advice in the article and write something personal in the about us section of my website. Like:

Jecasc went into ecommerce because he doesn't like to meet you - the customer. He wants to be as far away from you as possible so he has not to deal with you personally. You can rely on your order to be processed with the utmost speed and to perfection to ensure you do not have any reason to get into contact with him again once you have submitted your order. Especially not in person. Also not by phone. Did we mention not in person?

Wonder if that is sincere and convincing enough to attract customers. Not in person of course. But their orders. Submitted. From far far away.


I remember my GF told me to be perfectly honest to her. She quickly corrected that to be 'selectively honest'.

Dominic_X

5:05 am on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



If you have photos of the real people behind a website on the contact us page your conversion rates will dominate.

If you have photos of stock fake people on your website (anywhere) especially on the contact us page - your website has much less of a chance...... approaching no chance in hell.

lucy24

5:47 am on Oct 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



How can a visitor tell if it's a real person or a fake person? You just need to find some better stock photos. ("Better" in this context means worse: dimmer lighting, less attractive models, scruffier surroundings and so on.)

I'm surprised at how many people detour to the g### profile. Not just people snooping from WebmasterWorld; real people.* It's a tiny little link at the very bottom of the page with text that says "If you must know..." but it seems to be enough.


* High-school choir director: "We don't just want to put on concerts for our parents. We want to sing for people."

ergophobe

5:37 pm on Oct 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I don't understand what "faking" it has to do with this. I can be sincere and tell you "Ergophobe is the CEO of a multinational consortium of widget foundries" (okay, I can't) and I can also be sincere in telling you that "When not working, ergophobe is busy polishing his antique spitoon collection" (okay, again not so much). One reiterates my resume, the other tells you something about me as a person. One is already public record, the other is not.

The point that Cialdini was making is that people want to connect with people, not institutions, and they need something other than your resume/mission statement/marketing gobbledy gook to connect to.

Most About Us pages sound machine-generated "We are a global leader in the widget industry, committed to providing the highest level of customer service." That tells me nothing about who you are, actually and, to me, that is the highest form of insincerity. If you're like the businesses that Cialdini and Dooley are talking about, having a good About Us page requires actually putting yourself out there and getting real with your customers, letting them know a little about who you really are. Most businesses resist this violently. They hide behind terms like "professionalism", but it's really fear of connecting on a human level with their customers.

We didn't know anything about this when we created an "About Us" for one of our businesses. The truth is, we were in a hurry and gave it little thought, so just jotted down some hobbies and passions. What surprised is is that we got many customers who said "We read your About Us and we thought you sounded like our kind of people, so we [want to do business with you]." By implication, of course, we probably lost some customers who read the About Us and decided we were *not* their kind of people. Making it personal has a risk and a reward.

When Cialdini put up his research, it really resonated with what we experienced. I thought it was the most interesting part of his talk and appreciate our own rogerd [webmasterworld.com] for highlighting it.

jo1ene

3:42 pm on Mar 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I gave up the about us mentality a long time ago. I don't recommend it to any customers. Nobody likes these pages. Interestingly, the article doesn't even use what I would consider an about us page as an example.

Make the actual content more engaging and helpful. Skip the jargon and overly technical crap. Be more personable and you'll get response. I have heard this from respondants again and again. They like the "voice" in my articles. It's the first thing they say. I called you because...

Just recently, I do have a little bio on my user page stating how I got into the business and where the business name came from. I put it there because of the way the author and time stamp my cms displays.
 

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