Why your “About Us” page is so important
A potential client is hunting for a new bookkeeper. How do you win them over?
Often with your “About Us” page on your website.
The “About Us” is the second-most important page on a bookkeeper’s website (after the homepage). Why? Because it’s an industry that runs on trust, and so your biggest selling point is you. Your “About Us” page introduces yourself, explains what you do, and builds a rapport that will hopefully turn a prospective client into an actual client.
Bookkeepers rely heavily on word-of-mouth referral to generate new business. In fact, at a recent ICB summit I asked for a show of hands for where bookkeepers’ new clients come from. The most common source of new business was word-of-mouth, with almost 100% of hands raised. In second place was formal networking at approximately 5% and other forms of advertising were negligible. However, the reality is that many potential clients will check you out online before making personal contact when referred to you.
This important About Us page is digital speed dating
Think of your “About Us” page as speed-dating with a potential client. They’re looking at your profile because they’re on the prowl for the right bookkeeper and you only have a few short moments to wow them. And that might not be as easy as you think. In one study, Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) recently found that, while the usability of “About Us” pages has improved 9% over the a five-year period, paradoxically, user satisfaction actually dropped (from 5.2 to 4.6, on a 1-7 scale). Why? Because nowadays people expect more.
We speed-dated (i.e., checked out the “About Us” pages) of the ICB Bookkeeper websites for practices located near our UK office in London and found that almost all of the sites missed the simple essentials of a great About Us page.
So here are some tips for making a top-notch “About Us” page, so you can speed-date your way to more customers. Ready...Set...Go!
Goods and Services: “So, what do you do?”
It’s crucial that your “About Us” page says what services your business provides. This might seem like a no-brainer but it’s a surprisingly tricky thing to get right, especially since, for some people, bookkeeping may seem like a jargony, technical field. You don’t need to list all the services in detail as the detail can be supplied via your services pages but it’s important to explain clearly your areas of expertise.
It’s not enough just to say what you do; you need to say what you do in a way that’s easy to understand. NNG actually found that the ease of finding out what a business does from their page dropped 9% over the five-year period. Why? Because, in their words,“marketese and blah-blah text ruled the day on many sites.” So don’t just copy-and-paste your company mission statement onto your page. That might look great to the execs but it doesn’t mean anything to the average user. Explain your core business using plain English in an engaging way.
Images: “Wow, you look great!”
Including images on your “About Us” page isn’t just about making it look pretty (though that certainly helps)—it’s about building trust.
Faces build rapport. Of the bookkeeper websites we looked at 0% had photos of the bookkeeper and less than half listed the bookkeepers name. The result? They don’t feel like there are real people involved in the practice. Users want to see you and your people (stock photos are a no-no!), so don’t hide! Include a photo of yourself or, if you have a team, include a group photo or individual photos of your team. Most bookkeeper practices are a one-two person businesses but photos are still important, because putting a face to the name really helps give you a credibility-boost, no matter what your size. Here are a some examples of bookkeepers who include their photos on their About Us page:
You might also like to include photos of your office if you have one or even better, show yourself with clients to prove that you’re a credible, real-world business—not just a cyber-phantom looking to scam a few bucks out of people.
Credibility: “I feel like I can trust you already.”
Part of building trust involves establishing your credibility as a bookkeeper. You can do this by sharing your qualifications. Let your site visitors know what kind of qualifications and software certifications you have and explain what those credentials mean.
You’ve invested into becoming a qualified bookkeeper and it’s good to utilise this investment to best effect.
Just like people on a date, your site visitors are trying to figure out whether or not you’re “the One”. So, in other words, it’s okay to brag...at least, a little!
Authenticity: “You’re so real.”
A common approach to gaining trust is to use formal, stiff-and-starchy corporate-speak. But not only is this writing tough to understand, it makes your business look aloof at best and dubious at worst. Users want to know that you’re a real, viable business—one they can trust. You want your business to come across as “human”. 90% of the pages we looked at failed on this front.
You can beef up the “humanness” factor of your page by presenting your business with a bit of creativity and pizzazz. The best “About Us” pages have personality. Even in bookkeeping, where precision is paramount, coming across as authentic and human will really help.
One compelling way to do this is to tell a story. Stories are a deeply human activity that can establish a strong sense of connection. Tell the story of how your business came into being or some other part of your history that really speaks to what your business is all about.
Be sure to include your own name on your About page more than once too so that you are giving Google a good steer to Google to show your site when someone searches for you by name.
Navigation: “Where have you been all my life?”
You might have a mind-blowingly brilliant “About Us” page, but if users can’t find it then it’s not much use. So your homepage should have a direct link to your “About Us” page that’s easy to spot. NNG found that there were two types of hard-to-find “About Us” pages:
- Link buried among a bunch of advertisement-like graphics, called “banner blindness.”
- Link labelled something obscure, like “Info Centre.”
It’s this latter issue—giving your page a non-standard name—that poses the biggest threat to the findability of your page. The easiest solution is to simply name the page “About Us”, “About [Company Name],” or simply “About”. More creative names, like “Who Are We?” or “Meet the Team” work well too. But less obvious names risk being overlooked.
Call to Action: “Can I get your number?”
So a website visitor loves your “About Us” page—then what? Your page needs a call to action, something for the user to do next. Few of the bookkeeper pages we assessed included a call to action. What a wasted opportunity!
The best call to action for most bookkeeping businesses is to invite your user to contact you. “About Us” is the perfect place to link to or include contact information. Don’t bury your contact details in the farthest, cob-webby reaches of your site because, as NNG points out, doing so will make your credibility drop fast. Your “date” will wonder what you’re trying to hide.
The best speed-dates end with giving out your phone number and so do the best “About Us” pages! Don’t forget to put your company contact details there so that they can get in touch.
Re-Cap: Looking for a long-term relationship
As you can see, there’s quite a bit more to a great “About Us” page than you might think. Remember these key points:
- Say what your business does in a way that is easy to understand.
- Images show that you’re a trustworthy, legitimate business.
- Be “human,” easy to understand and relatable.
- It needs to be easy to find from the homepage.
- Include a call to action.
Do these five things and you’re well on your way to having a great “About Us” page. Only two of the pages in our research included all of these elements, and only one of them did so exceptionally well. That means that carefully constructing your page will really help you stand out from the crowd. Your “About Us” page—just like speed-dating—is all about dressing to impress.
If you’d like to create your own bookkeeper website with Rocketspark you can start a 30 day free trial of our website builder and sample our bookkeeper templates which provide an excellent starting point for creating a highly effective bookkeeper website.