Something that I have wanted to do for a long time is take a look at the web’s best About Us pages.
Why? Because a good About Us page is very hard to come by.
Normally they are a boring, self-serving mix of me me me and us us us. But a they are so vital to your business. In fact, its usually the first place people look before they start to take you seriously. Get it wrong and you could be turning people off without even knowing it. Designing a good about us page should be at the top of your list when you plan to start a blog.
In this post I am going to show you what I consider to be 12 of the best About Us pages on the internet. I’m going to go through them all, one by one, and show you what makes them so good.
What should a good About Us page contain?
I need to start this article by qualifying what makes an amazing About Us page. The reason for this is that some About Us pages look amazing but have terrible content whilst others look terrible but grab your attention immediately. The list I have compiled here are based on the fact that they:
- Get the point across
First and foremost an About Us page has to get a point across. Everything else is completely useless unless the content and the layout is achieving a goal. That goal is to tell the user who you are by showing them what you can do for them or have done for others.
- Quickly direct you to useful content or people
Some About Us pages spend the whole time talking about what it is that the company does and nothing about the staff members. Some do the opposite. Good pages should know why you are on the page and what you’re trying to find quickly.
- Give you authenticity statements
A good About Us page always needs to have some mention of past successes, achievements, social proof, etc. Giving concrete examples of why your site or blog is worth reading is extremely important for these pages.
- Contain an email sign up form
Since writing this post I have included an email sign up form on my About page and have seen a hugely successful subscriber rate. It seems that people want to subscribe to you while they are reading about you!
I didn’t want to go in to too much detail here because I am going to talk about the advantages of each About Us page as we go through them. I’m hoping to use this post as a way of showing you what I believe you should be doing on your own page.
The best About Us pages on the internet
Let’s jump right in and start looking at these About pages. As always, if you have any other suggestions from sites that I have missed please leave a comment and let me know. Even more importantly, if you don’t like one of these pages I would love to hear why not. Oh, and these are in no particular order. I just couldn’t do it.
Let’s start with Brian Clark the Copyblogger. As you can see from the screen shot it starts out by talking about others, not himself.
How different and refreshing it is from the usual, “I am so and so and I am doing such and such”. The Copyblogger about page is all about you and what you will learn from his website. It isn’t until way down the page that he actually introduces who he is.
Most “experts” start their about pages talking about themselves. Here Clark gives reasons why his blog will help you. What this does is actually give his following credentials more weight because you are curious as to who is providing all this amazing value. Rather than talking about how good he is, he lets his examples talk for him.
Darren Rowse has one of the most popular About Us pages on the internet. Why? Because a lot of people go to his website to find out how to actually write an About Us page.
The thing about Darren is that he is his own brand. People love him and become very loyal to the Problogger brand not so much because of its excellent content, but because Darren is a constant voice of guidance and support. His About Us page echoes this personal branding with a story based introduction followed with paragraphs on how you can get the most out of the site and his content.
If I could make one suggestion for Darren it would be to include more of his amazing press. He’s been mentioned in dozens of newspapers and even been featured on prime time news here in Australia. That is incredible credibility for all the newcomers finding his site.
3. Tim Ferriss
We all know Tim Ferriss from his 4 Hour Work Week and now his new 4 Hour Body. His blog is a constant source of inspiration for thrill seekers (and slackers) everywhere. The About page starts with a quote that sums up the whole persona of Tim and his site:
“Tim is Indiana Jones for the digital age. I’ve already used his advice to go spearfishing on remote islands and ski the best hidden slopes of Argentina. Simply put, do what he says and you can live like a millionaire.” -Albert Pope, Derivatives Trading, UBS World Headquarters
Tim’s About Us page is written in the third person and done to great effect. It is a good way of being able to list his myriad of achievements without sounding like a bragging private school kid. The focus of his page is references – social proof coming from some of the most popular news stations and magazines around the world. Read this page and you are certain to go on and check out the blog.
Moz is a net famous search engine optimization company that has an amazing blog and an even more amazing set of products that help you get more traffic to your website. Their About Us page is one of the more robust examples in this list but instead of detracting from the message the extra content gives it a lot of authority.
The main focus of their About Page is a timeline graphic that takes you back through their history and details some achievements, challenges and major dates of the company. This gives a real sense of stability and gives you the idea that Moz will be around for a long time.
A major advantage of this type of About Page is that the timeline lets you feel part of their story. You know where you’re slotting in and you feel like it’s transparent.
5. The White House
The White House is a fantastic example of an About Page that makes staff and organization members appear more approachable. There is a heavy emphasis on the story of the President and other main members and this really makes you want to dive deeper into their histories and policies.
The stories all intertwine to make a clear message about the goals that the Government are trying to achieve. Whether you agree or not, you get somewhat swept up in it all. Stories are a powerful way to convey ideas and should play an important part in any About Page.
6. Mail Chimp
We all know Mail Chimp. Their users hijacked my article about why Aweber is the best for email delivery. But I’m not bitter. And I’m still with Aweber.
This is a great example of an About Page because it mixes the warmth of the staff photos with some actual business. It’s actually a clever little pre-sales page. They give you one paragraph about themselves and then say:
But enough about us—let’s talk about you. Whether you own a business or manage email newsletters for clients, you need an email–marketing service that takes care of the complicated stuff so you can focus on your job.
There is also a focus on other elements of the company away from their main services like community engagement and culture. This can do wonders for making your big company feel more “human” and down to Earth.
Okay I’m just going to say it. Tumblr’s About Us page is probably the best of the lot. It is perfect. It is what you want to achieve when you set out to craft an amazing About Us page that captivates your readers, gets them hooked in to your ideas and still tells them the nitty gritty about who you are.
Check out the page and you will see the first part devoted to mass social proof – stats of how many people are using the service. Then you get high definition photography of the people and the offices followed by 36 words that make up the sharpest concept copy you will ever read.
Scroll down further, however, and you see something interesting. They let other brands tell you what Tumblr is. They have sound bites from the New York Times, Forbes and Business Week telling you what Tumblr does and why it does it so well. The chosen quotes are short but they paint you a full picture of the service.
The last thing they show you is a growth chart. Need they say more?
A dream to make the best sports shoes possible. That’s where you start on the Adidas About Us page. From their they launch you in to a graphical journey through the company’s history. This is a very cool and unique way to show people what your company is about but I do have a few problems with it.
Firstly, it probably wouldn’t work on a phone. Secondly, those things can be kind of annoying when you are looking to scan information quickly. But when you are a shoe company worth hundreds of millions of dollars I doubt it matter to much about what your About Us page does. You can afford to be innovative.
What you need to take away from this one is that super freaky graphics can be an incredible user experience or they can be a downfall. If you use them I suggest that you make it only a part of the page, not the whole page. That way you ensure that people still get something if the graphics fail to deliver.
The Twitter About Page is a laser-focused sales pitch for their entire brand. It’s all about immediacy and what is happening in the world right now.
The main feature is a big photo of a celebrity like Barack Obama or Kanye West and then you’ll stumble down to a section that shows you some of the main events going on in the world right now. This is very clever because it gives you a feeling of missing out – a very powerful marketing tool and something that humans hate.
If you can use your About Page to show how others are engaging with your brand and make them feel like missing out would be a mistake then you’ll go a long way to developing engagement.
10. National Geographic Magazine
National Geographic is one of my favorite magazines in the world. Ever since I was a kid I have been fascinated by the photographic stories and amazing treasures that their reporters uncover. And while their About Us page is not the most exciting in the world it does do a good job of conveying the sheer magnitude of things that their organization does by putting things in neat categories.
I wonder if anyone can think of a better way that National Geographic could do their About Us page? Do you prefer the Red Shark theme for it’s clear minimalism?
Gummisig is a web designer that I am a big fan of and the reason I wanted to show you his About Us page is because it is an excellent lesson in using text to draw the eye in and grab attention.
You might have noticed that hip web savvy people are now creating a trend of using massively over sized text to present a shocking or interesting idea. Gummisig does it really well here by starting with a joke and progressively moving the text size down as it gets more serious. He ends with a bunch of testimonials. I’m not sure why he didn’t get a testimonial from IKEA though as he built their website!
If you want to use big text like this it is a good idea to consult a designer as it can come out looking really bad.
12. Bentley Motors
Anyone out there own a Bentley? They start at around $200,000 so you must be doing alright if you do. And the thing about Bentleys is that they rely a lot on that prestigious image that goes along with the brand. After all, there are plenty of cars out there that are probably just as good and cost a whole heaps less.
The About Us page does an excellent job of creating that magical and illustrious vibe. They use rich professional photographs and enticing copy like:
“The six-time success at Le Mans has made Bentley more than a car – it has come to stand for a way of doing things: with spirit, flair, courage, instinctive intelligence and teamwork.”
The whole point of this About Us page is to get you to feel part of the experience. To draw you in to their way of thinking and acting which is, in fact, their marketing plan and branding. Remember that your About Us page often serves as a point of consolidation – the place where people go to put your whole vision together.
Which ones do you like?
Thank to everyone that commented. There were some really awesome suggestions. Please note that comments on this post are now closed but you can always let me know what you think on Twitter or leave a message on a newer post.