June 03, 2008

New Chart: Why You Must Pay More Attention to Your ‘About Us’ Page

SUMMARY: The buying cycle includes at least four distinct phases. Each involves important information about your company and its products and services.

This is why you can't overlook the importance of your 'About Us' pages, especially during the key negotiation phase. Although it might not solely make a purchase, a bad 'About Us' page can definitely stop a purchase from happening.
Chart: How Company Info Factors Into Buying Cycle
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We could write pages of suggestions about this chart. But in keeping with the intent of Chart of the Week, we’ll make one easy-to-digest point: Your ‘About Us’ pages are more important than you think.

This chart tracks five of the different types of information that buyers seek over the course of the buying cycle -- from awareness through purchase. Company information starts out quite a bit lower in importance than the other material and still ranks lowest when all is said and done. But notice its significant rise in importance at the negotiation phase.

It’s at this point that prospective buyers start looking at your company as a whole after you’ve made their short list. They move beyond features and functions of your products and services. They want to confirm that you will be the kind of stable partner with no danger of disappearing.

‘About Us’ pages also become much more important at the negotiation phase because of the company execs interested in it: the CIOs, CFOs, etc. They’re the execs who have the final say on significant purchases, and your company information can go a long way in easing their concerns about you as a potential partner. Remember, they’ve already received recommendations from the search team about your product. Now, they want to be convinced your organization is reliable.

Here’s what they look for:
1. Up-to-date material - Complete and current information, including recent press releases about your company’s successes.
2. Customers - Who else do you work with?
3. History - What are your company’s roots and its growth pattern?
4. Location(s) - Do you have an office nearby? For some companies, especially manufacturers, it’s a real plus to have a physical location in the vicinity even in the Internet age.
5. Boards of directors/advisors - Who are they? Successful and prominent directors can validate a company, especially in its growth years.
6. Media coverage - High-profile articles or a mass of media coverage can put you on the map.
7. Blogs/thought leadership - Blogs offer a view of the thinking of a company’s executives.

Strong ‘About Us’ sections probably won’t make the sale. But they can sink your chances if the information is meager, out of date or unimpressive.

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