The "About Us" page - it's probably the most neglected page on a website. You know what to expect when you click through to an about page: paragraphs of boiler plate text rambling on about a company touting its own horn. For example:
"We have been in business since 1965 and continue to innovate while maintaining our core values. Trendsetters in an ever expansive market. Trailblazers constantly redefining what it takes to succeed in this industry" and so on and so forth.
Most pages contain just that: information most people aren't interested in. This is the reason why these pages are often overlooked by developers, designers and content creators. Still, even with all the negativity around "About us" pages, it is a standard web convention that you can find on every website.
Most likely the about page will be on the second to last position in your navigation right before the "Contact Us" page, or in a secondary navigation with the contact page. It seems like a waste of valuable navigational real estate. What if we improve the relevancy of the "About Us" page by leveraging the lead generation power of the "Contact Us" page? What if we combined the two pages into one?
I came across this article that outlined some "must haves" for an about page. The author later came back and updated the article with one small tidbit that blew my mind:
"Since writing this post I have included an Aweber 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!"
And so a new page was born.
The Connect Page
It has a pretty nice ring to it doesn't it? Think of it like approaching someone at a bar, trying to get a date with you. If you start with "Can I get your number?" or "Can I contact you?" you will probably get turned down 10 times out of 10. But if you introduce yourself and share some interesting and relevant things about who you are, you might get a "sign up" for that date.
Think of the "Connect" page as a glorified "About Us" page with a contact form. One page to inform the visitor about you company with the focus on subscription and lead generation. With the growing importance of social media, the connect page can also be great place to compel your visitors to subscribe to your social media profiles. All the basic brand information and background tied together with ways to get in touch and stay up to date with you and your brand.
Best Practices For A Connect Page
It's simple. Take what we already know about what makes a compelling about page and combine it with the tactics that help increase lead generation on a contact page.
- Use pictures of your staff/office. They add a personal touch and make your brand seem more "real".
- Give your content personality. Don't just ramble on about your company's background. Tell the visitor what makes you unique.
- Tell a story. This is a great article that talks about how telling a story can help sell any point you are trying to get across. In this case, we offer what you are looking for! Contact us!
- Have an easy to use contact form. Don't dilute it with 10 fields. Don't force visitors to format things the way you want them (ie postal code). Do ensure validation is simple and informative.
So did I change the web yet? Probably not. But I think as the web evolves, so too must its conventions. And the "About Us" / "Contact Us" paradigm may be the next in line. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about the idea of a "Connect Page".
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