Ever since Google started mentioning using rel=nofollow as a possible way of diverting PageRank away from “pointless” pages there have been articles telling webmasters to use it on their Terms and Conditions and About Us pages. The implication being that About Us pages are not important. If any of you have ever read Michael Martinez over at SEO Theory you’ll know that he regularly rants against this practice.
He makes a number of excellent points, most of which I thoroughly agree with – particularly on the About Us page. It’s something I’ve been trying persuade clients of for a long time – so many of them either don’t see the point of an About Us page or assume that it’s a boring page of no importance, to be cobbled together as an afterthought while they work on those shiny new product images. The really sad ones stick their mission statement up there!
So what possible advantage could this much maligned page have? Well, consider someone who has a business that is complementary to yours. Maybe he’s looking to work in a new market area and has a partnership offer to make that would suit both of you. Or maybe someone in Europe is looking for a UK supplier of a product or service that you offer, because their old local one is no longer in business. These people will want to learn something about your company before contacting you so they can see if you match their working philosophy. They’ll more than likely look for your About Us page, they may well search precisely for that. And they may make a decision based on it!
Have something interesting to show them. Really tell people what your company is like, what it stands for, how many people are in it and what skills you have available. Where you operate from and to, where you have ambitions to.
As well as being useful searchable content it’s good PR and good branding. Don’t just talk about your products, that’s what the rest of the site is for, talk about *you*. As I’ve ranted about many times, it comes down to Trust. And Trust sells. So build it, starting with your About Us page
And for the SEO geeks amongst you; in case it isn’t obvious I DON’T recommend “sculpting PageRank” by nofollowing links to About Us pages.