Ask the experts: Give company history, personality on website

08/25/2014 8:00 PM

08/25/2014 11:56 PM

When it comes to a website, first impressions are often made on the “About Us” section of the homepage.

To make that all-important good first impression, that part of a company’s website should tell visitors the story of the company and give a sense of the personality of the business, says David Chapman, CEO and founder of 919 Marketing in Holly Springs.

“Typically, that is the first spot people go to,” Chapman said. “The things they want to know are who started the company, what is his or her story, who else works there and then pick up some of the personality of the company.”

Photos can be used as a tool in portraying the culture of the company, Chapman said.

“The pictures that score a lot are the ones that show some of the personality of the people,” he said. “The more transparent and behind the scenes you can make the pictures the better it is. On our website the photo gallery shows some of the work we have done with the Dave Matthews Band to LeAnn Rimes to being at the New York Stock Exchange, meeting Jim Brown. It shows the places we go and the people we interact with.

“It even has some pictures from our parties. People want to understand what your company’s culture is all about.”

Videos can be included but the quality is more difficult to control than photo galleries.

“Video is much harder to do well than just using pictures,” Chapman said. “I’ve seen a lot of videos and haven’t seen many very good videos.”

Length of the “About Us” section is not that important, Chapman said. It’s more about quality. A lengthy description of the company should be broken up to make it easier to read.

“You can have 1,000 words but you need to break it up into 10, 12 or 13 paragraphs,” he said. “Sometimes you go to a website and the content is not bad but it looks like you are reading a novel because it is not broken up.”

It is often necessary to get an outside person to write the section, Chapman said.

“It is difficult to write about yourself unless you are in the marketing business,” he said. “I would strongly suggest getting someone in the marketing business who has experience writing websites and marketing copy.”

In the case of the “About Us” section of website, emotion and passion are the key words.

“The visitor to the website is looking for the story behind the company the human interest story,” Chapman said. “The more you are passionate about your business and why you started the business, the better off you are.”

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