Is your ‘About Us’ page holding you back from ranking on Google?
Do I really need to care about my ‘about us’ page?
When it comes to SEO, knowing what to focus on can be tricky. There’s a lot you could be doing, and not all of it is going to move the needle in a meaningful way.
It’s easy to think that an ‘About Us’ page isn’t useful. You’re rarely going to be using one as a landing page for organic or paid traffic, so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to spend time on it. But a properly written and built ‘about us’ page might be far more important than you realise.
E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. In a nutshell, E-A-T is how Google measures whether or not someone is qualified to be giving advice on a topic. How they do this is a little complex. As Ahrefs points out in their article on the topic, E-A-T isn’t necessarily something a computer can measure. They’re human concepts.
But the computer can measure proxies, so Google builds their algorithm to measure these lead-indicators of E-A-T, then has their human ‘Search Quality Raters’ assess the impact of tweaks to this algorithm.
Which is enough for us to know that improving our E-A-T is important for ranking in search.
One of the best ways to improve your E-A-T, is by giving your ‘About Us’ page the attention it deserves.
However, for many industries and niches, it’s not going to be the make-or-break for your website. Google isn’t too concerned with which t-shirt company is most qualified to write content about t-shirts.
What they are looking at are the sites in the ‘Your Money Your Life’ category. These sites are the ones that talk about things like money and health. For these sites, Google is super critical. They want to make sure that anyone blogging about how to make money or how to stay in shape, or providing medical advice, are properly qualified.
When it comes to E-A-T, your background matters.
When we write content here at Dilate, be it for ourselves or our clients, we focus pretty heavily on the spotlight method. This method of copywriting refers to putting the spotlight on the reader, not the writer.
If you make it all about you, people quickly lose interest. You need to constantly be thinking about someone’s motivation; their desires and fears, their pain points and needs. But for good E-A-T, you need to do a little shining the spotlight on yourself.
E-A-T lead indicators include things like credentials and certifications mentioned throughout your site. The About Us page is one of the best places to do this. You can write about yourself and your background, without it feeling out of place.
But, don’t get too carried away singing your own song. Use this opportunity to connect with your users; use their pain points and motivators as context for your own authority building.
What does Google look at to assess your E-A-T?
Like pretty much everything Google, the E-A-T process starts with algorithms that measure and assess your site and your content. While we have no idea what this algorithm looks like, we can make a lot of inferences from the ‘Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines’. Basically these are the guidelines Google provides to the human ‘checkers’. These are the people that manually assess the quality of Google’s search results. I.e. they evaluate the performance of the algorithm
These guidelines have heaps of things we can use to understand what Google is looking for when it comes to E-A-T. We essentially need to optimise for what the Quality Raters would be assessing if they looked at our site.
The E in E-A-T, this refers to your ability to demonstrate you have the required skill or knowledge in a particular field. Google wants to see that you’ve got the credentials to back up the content you’re creating.
Expertise is evaluated at the creator level, rather than at a website level, with Google assessing the creator of the main content on a page this is the first hint that a strong ‘about us’ page is necessary. Unattributed content, written by an anonymous website, isn’t going to perform well when E-A-T matters.
Formal expertise isn’t the only consideration, however. There’s still value in ‘everyday expertise’ as Google calls it. People sharing personal stories and anecdotes are still considered to be reputable sources. The caveat on this, is that it doesn’t apply to medical advice. The stories and experiences are valuable, but only as long as they stay outside the realm of specific diagnosis and actionable advice.
Think of this one like your reputation. Are you known for the topic you’re talking about, or are you a pastry chef giving a lesson on open-heart surgery? The Search Rater’s guidelines indicate we should be focusing on ensuring both our author-profile and general website’s authority is up to par for the best chance of ranking well.
There are three main areas to focus on for good authority. Ensure your website and author are relevant to the topic you’re writing around, that the credentials for both are in order, and that you’re earning backlinks from other websites in your space. This last point on links can be difficult, but it's important you’re recognised in the space you’re playing in.
It’s important to note that authority is relative. In the digital marketing space, Dilate’s authoritative. But we’re completely unqualified to talk about medicine; and Google knows that.
For expertise, Quality Raters are assessing your author. Authority, the author and the site itself. Trust however, they’re looking at the author, the site AND the content. To prove you can be trusted, you’ll need to ensure your content is accurate. Reference your claims and share your sources, be 100% factually accurate and don’t mislead the user with flashy distractions, banners and ads.
Also ensure your website’s architecture and back-end are secure. If your SSL certificate isn’t up to date, for example, you’ve got no hope (well, you’ve got other problems if this is the case but more on that another time). Similarly, as Semrush points out, “In section 6.1 of the Quality Rater Guidelines, Google refers to “a shopping checkout page that has an insecure connection” as untrustworthy.”
You’ll also want to be sure that your company’s details are very clear, easily accessible and contacting you isn’t a mission for 007. Clear, transparent details are important for establishing trust. This is true for both E-A-T and SEO, and just in general for building trust with potential customers.
How to leverage E-A-T with a great ‘about us’ page
By taking the time to write a strong, correct and detailed ‘about’ page, you essentially anchor your site’s E-A-T. Google can easily find your credentials, and can easily see what you’re an expert in. By Google, I mean both the algorithm and the human Quality Raters.
The ‘About Us’ page also gives surety to people that might be considering linking to your website. If you’ve created a strong piece of content with some potentially divisive claims, backing that up with an author profile and ‘about’ page gives credibility to what you’re saying.
A good about us’ page serves both Google, and other publishers in your space. You’ll drive up your E-A-T scores, and drive quality links. On the note of quality links, the ‘about us’ page is often where news outlets and such will point their links when referencing your company; so it’s important to make that page count.
How to actually write a ripper ‘about us’ page
Writing your team page doesn’t need to be rocket science, but you do have to have a plan before you get started. Work out what’s most important to communicate, and what you want people to take away from the page. Remember that E-A-T isn’t the only element that’s important here. Many users will use your ‘about us’ page to understand whether you’re the type of company they want to do business with.
Hot tip: If you can clearly communicate your expertise, authority and trustworthiness to a potential customer, you’ve probably convinced Google too.
In the end, your customer is most important, and Google’s algorithms are designed to reflect what they might be looking for.
1. Communicate your brand story
Yes, this is a piece on building strong E-A-T. But, your brand’s story is a part of that. A big part. The brand story should incorporate how it all came about, and why. You can get into brand values and your mission and vision here, but keep in mind your customer’s attention span.
They don’t want to read your autobiography here, they want to understand who you are as quickly as possible. Why? So they can make a subconscious decision around whether they align with that.
Utilise the ‘spotlight method’ here to make that possible. Focus on what you can do for your customer, rather than just talk about yourself. Frame things in the context of how they benefit your customer, now how great of an achievement it is.
2. Demonstrate your E-A-T
Make sure you cover what makes you qualified to both do the work or sell the product you’re trying to sell, but also to write the content you're looking to publish. Go into things like years in business, accreditations and certifications, awards and more. All these things add up; both for the algorithm and for the trust of your potential customers.
Again, try to frame this in a way that demonstrates the benefit to your customers. Rather than talking about the long and arduous education process you went through, focus on how much you learned and how that gives you an exceptional ability to help your audience. Focus on ‘why it’s important’ rather than the ‘what’.
Include lived experiences relative to your industry/niche too. Remember that Google considers ‘everyday expertise’ as points in your favour. So does your audience.
3. Show your motives
Many people, when they’re evaluating a company, consider their motives. The obvious one is financial reasons, of course, but all of the biggest and greatest brands had a higher calling. This is partly covered in your brand and brand mission statement, but you can go further and clearly state why you’re in business. What are you hoping to achieve? What change are you trying to make?
Showing your hand, so to speak, helps people to trust you. If they can clearly see what you’re getting out of the arrangement (aside from the financial incentive), then they’re better equipped to understand the ‘value exchange’. If you’re promising low prices, for example, many people will assume lower quality. But if your low prices are because you’re genuinely trying to make a difference and are running on very slim margins, then it’s a good idea to say so. Be sure to back something like that up, however. ‘Show don’t tell’ is an important phrase to remember!
4. Make it personal
Use plenty of videos, anecdotes, quotes and photos of your team on your ‘about us’ page. People visit this page to understand who you are; so show them. It’s much easier to trust a face and a name that is an impersonal website!
5. Don’t forget that the ‘about us’ page is still a sales asset
Every piece of copy on your website should be working to communicate your value proposition to your ideal customer. This doesn’t mean ‘sell at all costs, all the time’, but it does mean you shouldn’t be afraid to make your case on the ‘about us’ page. Speak to your customer’s pain points where it makes sense, and aim to leave your readers with a clear idea of where you fit in the market so they can decide whether you’re the solution they’re looking for.
Need a hand?
Here at Dilate, we know a thing or two about challenging the status quo, and communicating our brand values and celebrating the team has been an important part of the journey. Don’t take your ‘about us’ page for granted. If you want some help getting it sorted, reach out and let’s talk!