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What’s the first page you read when you find a new company and want to learn their story?
If you’re like a lot of folks, it’s the company’s about us page.
Those pages, usually found in the footer navigation on most business sites, are powerful pieces of an effective website content strategy. However, they’re sometimes overlooked, too.
When they’re written well, they can help your company show off its personality, differentiate itself from the competition, and leave a positive impression on potential customers.
So, why ignore those potential benefits when you can do it right and reap the rewards?
That’s exactly what this post will show you how to do. Here’s a quick summary of what you’ll find:
Plus, you’ll get a free template to expedite your process.
Writing your page will most likely start with a simple Word doc.
So, rather than create one from scratch, why not snag this free template instead?
It lays out fields for everything you’ll need to hand over to a developer to get your page created.
Download it now, then learn how to put it to use in this post.
In simplest terms, it’s a page on your website that explains what your business does.
That sounds straightforward enough, right?
Sure, it does. But, because of this, they’re occasionally treated like nondescript pieces of content, created to fulfill a requirement on a checklist.
That’s selling those pages short, though. Get it right, and they go from a line item no one looks at, to an essential element of telling your company’s story.
Approached this way, they’re:
Generally, they’re found in website footers:
Every company claims to have core values and some kind of differentiator that makes them different than other companies out there.
But, no other company on Earth shares your exact story, or your specific reason for being in business in the first place.
Conveying that difference and giving people a reason to care about you more than your competition can make the difference between someone making a one-time purchase and forgetting who you are, to becoming a loyal brand advocate.
Certainly, that’s a lot of weight to put on one website page, and it takes more than just one page to become a beloved brand (like having a good product and an actual mission, things no amount of content can cover up).
But, they do help, and they’re great because they let you put that story front and center.
So, what exactly do these pages look like when they’re done well?
To give you some ideas, here are some samples to check out. There are all different types of companies represented too, from simple-yet-effective designs, to more complex examples.
Hardware store chain Home Depot’s example here is straightforward, yet infuses strong imagery and the brand’s voice and tone well to rise above being generic.
For example, rather than a basic “About Home Depot” headline, it works in language that appeals to their brand (being built from “right materials,” an appropriate allusion for a hardware store).
One small touch to take away from Toyota is considering putting people front and center, rather than products, on these pages (they’re about the people that make up your company, as much as they’re about what you make or sell, after all).
Plus, the simple navigation bar works well to make it easy to move around the page, too:
Password manager and security solutions provider Dashlane uses their page to not only talk about what they do, but to actually demonstrate their impact using hard data:
Shoe and apparel manufacturer Saucony steps things up a notch with some striking design work and powerful visuals:
As you scroll down the page, it animates between chapters with different pieces of the brand’s story and history (note the chapter navigation tabs at the bottom):
If you have access to a skilled web development team with the time and resources to build something like this, the extra effort is well worth it.
When you first visit this page from Penguin Random House, you’ll find a tiled layout linking to multiple pages:
This works well because it makes it easy for readers to find exactly what they’re looking for (which might include anything from their company story to open job listings).
If you’d like to scope out even more samples, browse through the list below and click on any brand names that sound interesting. There’s a wide range of industries, companies, and websites.
So, how do you make your own story stand out?
Start by following this simple process from start to finish.
What your ultimately able to create may be contingent upon your available design and development resources. But, one thing that’s totally in your control as a marketer is to make sure your written content is on point.
It’s easy to start writing before you have a clear plan, thinking you can wing it, and still get it done efficiently.
This is a mistake.
Working without some sort of plan or outline means you’ll be liable to miss details, waste time, and create a lower-quality page.
So, figure out the following first:
The team at CoSchedule never starts a project without a checklist.
They’re the best way to make sure nothing gets missed on any project or piece of content.
Before moving forward, list all the steps you’ll need to complete when creating your page. Some things to consider include:
One way to create a simple checklist is to use Google Sheets, Excel, or Evernote. CoSchedule customers can also create them using Tasks and Task Templates. These make it possible to create reusable project checklists, built right into your team’s marketing management platform.
Start by creating a new project on the calendar and select your desired content type (such as a WordPress page, article, or other label of your choosing):
Next, start listing your required tasks:
Click +Schedule to specify deadlines for each one:
Now, when each item is checked off, you’ll see the progress percentage bar tick up:
When looking at the full calendar, you’ll see this reflected there as well:
This makes it easy to track your progress (and see how your concurrent projects are progressing too, all in one place).
More and more these days, people want to buy from companies they believe in. It’s not always enough to just churn out a product and put it in front of people.
Rather, in many industries (particularly things like apparel and food), customers want to feel like they’re buying into a movement that says something about themselves.
For an example, think of a company like Toms of Maine. They make things like toothpaste and deodorant, products where there’s no shortage of competition, and plenty of options available for price-conscious consumers.
But, unlike most of those alternatives, Tom’s of Maine has a unique mission: to create products that are safe to use without potentially harmful side effects to the environment or yourself.
In fact, they were founded explicitly because co-founders Tom and Kate Chappell wanted natural hygiene products for their family, and weren’t satisfied with what was on the market.
Here’s a look at their exact mission statement today:
Your company might not have such a grandiose mission. But, you almost certainly have a reason for existing, even if you’re selling something as otherwise ordinary as toothpaste.
Beyond why you do what you do, people need to know in clear terms what you actually create or sell.
Some points to consider including:
Then, write to make people care.
Even though this page is about you, it’s more about why people should buy from you.
So, figure out the “why” behind your “what.”
Follow these two points to do this:
It’s as simple as that. Stick to those guiding rules and you’ll be well on your way to writing a page people will actually stop and read.
Sometimes to know where you’re going, it helps to know where you’ve been.
One way to show this to your audience is to map out your company’s history. Not only does this help customers get to know your company better, it can help reinforce your brand authority if you’ve been around for some time.
Here’s a simple example from Marshall Amplification:
And here is an illustrated example from CoSchedule:
To get started, follow these steps:
For tools that can help you create visual timelines without (much) design or development assistance, check out the following:
Another option is to create a standalone company history page, and then link to it prominently from your About Us page.
Most companies have some sort of core values or principles. These are usually five or six points that guide your culture and business philosophy.
These are often treated like something that’s pinned on the wall and forgotten, existing only because someone decided they needed to one day.
But, when they’re thoughtfully crafted and ingrained into how your company operates, they can be powerful guideposts for how employees should approach their work, and your customers.
For example, look at Ben and Jerry’s. Their values are core to everything they do, and they make them clear on their website:
The page also includes an embedded YouTube video that helps communicate their mission and values:
Note that not all of these values are directly related to making ice cream. But, they help people who buy their ice cream know their supporting a company that reflects their values too. That can be powerful for persuading people to buy and building long-term loyalty.
Your values don’t necessarily need to be overtly political or world-changing in nature. And, if your company doesn’t have documented core values, this portion may need to be a project for another day.
But, as long as you have some sort of purpose behind why you’re in business, you can incorporate that into your page.
Finally, add in your visual design elements. This might include:
If it’s visual, and it can help tell your story, why not include it?
If you’ll need a designer to create graphics, be sure to give them clear direction. In the document you use to write your page, include notes formatted something like this:
This should give them enough to bring your idea to life.
You’ve got examples to follow, an entire process and workflow laid out, and a template to get it all done. All that’s left is to do now is get down to work.
Best of luck writing your page, and if you have questions or comments, please do share them below.
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