Jun 25, 2015 • Jessica Jones
“Meet our Staff” - “About our Team” - “Meet the Owner” - “A Word from Our President” - You’ve seen pages with these or similar titles on plenty of pages. How important is it for you to have personal information on your website? The answer is the same as to so many of the questions posed on this blog - sing it with me - it depends!
<figcaption id="caption-attachment-3421" class="wp-caption-text">Should you put your mug up on your website?</figcaption></figure>
First off, how likely is it that your customers are going to be dealing directly with you or your staff? For certain types of businesses this is a no-brainer - if you’re a real estate agent, then yes, people want to see your face and know a little bit about you. Many attorneys also like to put a picture and a bit of personal information, including qualifications and experience, on their websites. Seeing someone’s face and learning a bit about their background can help promote a sense of trustworthiness and make a potential client more likely to reach out to you.
In some cases it makes sense to showcase the full staff of a business. Small medical or dental practices frequently do this - potential patients might like to know a little about the practitioners that could end up caring for their health. Boutique shops or cafes with a small, steady staff with low turnover might consider this, too - someone who visits your location frequently might like to see a nice picture of their favorite employee and learn about how that employee is studying architecture or building a greenhouse.
With larger businesses, businesses with a high turnover rate or businesses where the customer has little or no direct contact with the employees, staff bios generally aren’t helpful or practical. In cases like these if you still want to add a bit of a personal touch to your site, or to give users a face to associate with the business, you could consider doing a bio for a single key person, such as the owner or founder. If it’s an older business with a founder that is no longer in the position of running the company you might think about including a company history page to tell the story of the business’s start.
Keep in mind that if owner, staff or employee pictures and/or bios are something that you choose to do, it’s important that you do them well. If you’re going to include pictures, make sure that the pictures look good. Have a professional photographer come in to take nice headshots of everyone. At the very least, put someone with a decent camera and a bit of Photoshop knowledge in charge of taking the pictures. Not having a staff page at all is far preferable to a staff page with terribly lit, low resolution, washed out pictures. Your employees don’t need to be supermodels, but the pictures do need to look professional - or at the very least high-quality casual.
If you include bios as well as pictures, these also need to be well done. Depending on the nature of your business it might be fine for the bios to be written in a casual or humorous style; staff bios on a coffee shop’s website don’t need to read like a cover letter. They do, however, need to be proofread for grammar, punctuation and spelling. If writing isn’t a staff member’s strong suit, make sure you help them out with their bio or put your business’s best writer in charge of making certain that the bios read well. Poorly written bios can significantly deter a potential customer’s confidence in your staff and your business as a whole.
The take home message: yes, having bios and pictures can be beneficial for some businesses, but in order for them to be effective - whether your goal is to draw in new customers, increase customer trust or foster a sense of closeness with your customers - you need to invest some time into them. Of course, you already invest time into ensuring the quality of all of the content on your website, right? Right.