Not having a dedicated ‘About Us’ page could be one of the worst decisions you can make for your business. It is a lifetime of potential sales and opportunities that could be wasted.
Backstory: I was doing a technical audit for a medical site, and one of the things I noticed was that they lacked a dedicated ‘About Us’ page. I easily recommended that they create one.
The client asked why an ‘About Us’ page was important for SEO, and whether they really needed to create one. They already had most of their company profile in the homepage, and creating a separate page was quite redundant. (valid point!)
Since I can’t possibly do justice to the humble About Us page in short texts, I’ll summarise all the reasons why I think the About Us page is important.
1. Boost trust, credibility, authority, and branding for customers
Based on a 2015 study from KoMarketing, “52% of your visitors want to see an About page.”
Based on this report by Episerver in 2017, “92 percent of first-time visitors to a website do not intend to make a purchase.”
When users first visit your website, you’ll have about one chance to land the right impression. Most people won’t buy what you sell unless they sense that yours is a trustworthy website.
Besides having a website that looks legit (here’s a list of web design agencies that can help you design a legit looking website), you’ll need a way to showcase your brand’s trust signals too.
This is especially so if the content on your website touches on topics related to “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) topics.
Sensitive topics like those mean that your more discerning users will want to know the content comes from a credible source.
2. For conversion purposes – more people buying from you
What is one obvious benefit from having better trust, credibility and branding?
Answer: More people willing to buy your product and services. i.e. converting a curious window shopper into an actual customer.
There have been case studies and examples showing how having a good About Us page can improve conversion rates.
I remember back in 2016 when I accidentally removed the ‘About Us’ page from one of my sites, and for the next few days, I suddenly received less leads and form submissions. Well, I learnt first hand that if you removed one signal of trust from your site, people are less likely to trust you.
Since most of our ‘About Us’ pages are going to sit there doing nothing, it’s a good idea to make that page contribute to some conversions in the meantime.
3. Trust and branding for Search Engines
So we now know your average customer and user prefers a trustworthy and credible website.
But did you know that search engines like Google also prefer to rank ‘trustworthy’ sites over less ‘trustworthy’ sites? When Google provides a set of guidelines to their human quality raters, they specifically mention reputation.
According to Google quality evaluator guidelines,
For all other pages that have a beneficial purpose, the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) is very important.
Human raters are taught to find out who is responsible for the website, and who created the content on the page. This looks like Google is trying to piece together the puzzle of whether your website can be trusted.
I think that the data and feedback gathered by the human raters help contribute to the algorithm changes such that Google’s AI will get better and better at identifying ‘trustworthiness’, ‘credibility’, and ‘authority’.
One possible way that the AI can hope to understand certain data is through Schema Markups. There is a schema markup for the ‘About’ page, although it hasn’t been formerly recognised by major search engines yet.
This string of JSON-LD code can be used as a schema markup for your ‘About’ page, to tell search engines that the particular page is an ‘About’ page.
However, this hints towards a future where the ‘About Us’ page can be marked up, and might be used as a trust signal. I believe it might be used in the future by Google to identify information on such marked up ‘About’ pages. At this point, it’s just a theory.
When search engines like Google thinks your website is reputable and trustworthy, your organic search performance tends to be better.
4. Get more backlinks by helping journalists, public relations, and other SEOs find out about your profile
If you want journalists to talk about you and to link to you in their articles, you want to make sure you have all your key information readily available to them.
Journalists and PR folks are trained to look for a “Press” or “Media” page. Not every website has a designated “Press” page. An “About Us” page is a good alternative.
According to a study done by the Nielson Norman Group on press area usability,
The top 5 reasons journalists gave for visiting a company’s website are:
- Locate a PR contact (name and telephone number)
- Find basic facts about the company (spelling of an executive’s name, his/her age, headquarters location, and so on)
- Discern the company’s spin on events
- Check financial information
- Download images to use as illustrations in stories
To further add on to that, Tim Donnelly noted in INC.,
“When journalists want to find you, they’re looking specifically to talk to an official at your company about product releases, company news, or new trends. Other times, they’re looking to get in touch with any number of similar companies to comment on changes in the industry or to seek out an expert in the field for a broader story.
Especially in that second case, you want the media to be able to navigate your website quickly and find out if the experts at your company are what they’re looking for. After that, you need to make sure reporters and editors can get everything they need—from contact information to photos—quickly and seamlessly.Tim Donnelly, INC.
When journalists, PR folks and other companies’ SEOs find it easier to learn more about you, they WILL talk about you, and in turn, link to you.
In SEO, more quality backlinks definitely helps.
5. For credibility when doing manual outreach and ‘outbound PR’
Similar to the point above, except in this case, an ‘About Us’ page is super helpful when YOU (or your team) are the ones doing the outreach.
In SEO and in PR, we sometimes have to do manual outreach to other websites and journalists in order to get their attention. You want them to talk about your company and perhaps to link to you.
Most of these journalists and webmasters want to make sure they are talking to a credible source. If they do their due diligence, they might try and find some background information about your company or brand. A well done ‘About Us’ page would help to establish some form of trust when they go peeking around your site.
Establishing this trust and credibility means they are more willing to link back to you.
6. Get links to your ‘About’ page if you have a unique story or brand history
This last point may not be something that can be made into a strategy effectively for most businesses, but I’m going to add it here anyway.
If you or your business have something unique, some websites may choose to link to your ‘About Us’ page as it gives them something interesting to write about.
- Does your business have a nice story to tell?
- Do your founders have an interesting backstory?
- Does your company have a cool history?
You will never know when another website or journalist might want to write an article about interesting businesses or founders, and they choose to talk about you because of your ‘About’ page.
When other sites talk about yours, you can bet it helps with SEO.
What makes a good ‘About Us’ page?
This article wasn’t meant to be a guide for creating a good ‘About’ page, but here are some quick tips and good resources.
Your ‘About Us’ page needs to answer 3 main questions:
- Who are you?
- Why are you doing this?
- What makes you different?
It should also :
- be informative
- contain social proof, testimonials, and some personal information that viewers can relate to such as education, family, etc.
- be useful and engaging
- be easy to navigate and accessible on any device
Doing SEO for ‘About us’ Page
When doing ‘About Us’ Page SEO, you need to make sure not to use keywords that will compete with other landing pages of your site. For example, You might be thinking of using the ‘About’ page to target your profession term, but you may already have a services landing page that is using the same term.
When doing outreach, you can also choose to ask other sites to link to your ‘About Us’ page rather than your general Homepage. In such a case, it might be worth to internally link your’About’ page to other key pages of your site to spread the ‘link juice’.
Additional resources for improving your ‘About’ Page:
25 Creative & Engaging Examples of About Us Pages
15 of the Best ‘About Us’ & ‘About Me’ Pages and How to Make Your Own
What should a good ‘about us’ page contain?
Is the ‘About Us’ page good for any other reason? Do you think the page has helped with your SEO efforts? Feel free to share your thoughts.