Your website’s “about us” page can say a lot or very little about your organization. Go beyond bland descriptions and a staff list to make this page more engaging, a place where members can build connections with your team and your community.
There are so many ways for people to make connections in the digital world—maybe you click “connect” on LinkedIn or “follow” on Twitter—but there’s also a tried-and-true website page that almost every business and brand in the world uses to connect with customers: the “about us” page.
When was the last time you thought about your “about us” page—not just whether your staff list is current, but whether the page is doing the work you want it to do for your organization? The best “about us” pages have something in common, according to Ramona Sukhraj, head of editorial content at Impact, an inbound marketing firm.
“There isn’t an exact formula you have to follow,” Sukhraj wrote in a blog post. “You simply want your ‘about us’ page to be interesting, informative, and personable. You want to give your prospects a reason to fall in love with your brand.”
The Council on Social Work Education is approaching its “about us” page redesign with that goal in mind. “Anything we can do to make the ‘about us’ page a little bit more personal—whether it’s video, photos, or animation—helps us say, ‘This is who we are, and this is how we can help you,” says CSWE President and CEO Darla Spence Coffey, Ph.D., MSW. “The page should serve members and help advance social work education.”
Associations with text-heavy “about us” pages should consider making changes that align with their membership or mission and strategic goals, says Spence Coffey. And if it’s been more than a year since you’ve updated the page or if you’ve noticed that inbound traffic has been lagging, it could be time to make some changes.
Currently, CSWE’s “about us” page features a couple of paragraphs of text about the organization’s mission, along with a menu of links to related pages, including CSWE history and a staff directory with professional headshots.
In the months ahead, the page will be redesigned to inject more storytelling, personal photos, compelling graphics, and even videos to engage members at a deeper level. “The ‘about us’ page should be a conduit to connect members and staff,” Spence Coffey says.
Aside from delivering engagement value, it’s a good idea to keep in mind user-experience and accessibility design principles to make the page open and accessible to all. A great example of an “about us” page with accessibility baked in is the one on the website of the National Association of the Deaf. It features bios written by individual employees and YouTube videos where staff members explain their job and tell a fun fact about themselves via sign language. Here’s an example from Jenilee Marques, NAD’s front desk assistant:
Has your association made changes to improve the ‘about us’ page? How do those changes better serve members? Post your comments, ideas, and examples below.