Monday, November 28, 2011

“About Us” Evaluation: L.A. Burdick Chocolate Gets an A

L.A. Burdick Chocolate, based in Walpole, N.H., sells delicious handmade chocolates via direct mail, on the web, and through a restaurant and several cafes. The company was founded in 1987 by Larry Burdick and his wife, who still run the business. Its About Us page is here.


L.A. Burdick’s About Us pages are as nicely concocted as their chocolates … and that’s high praise.

Products/Services: A-

The main About Us page is all about the chocolate, describing the ingredients and how it’s made. Photos show the chocolate and the busy, professional people in white coats who produce it.

One failing here: the list of the company’s activities (“direct mail and web business … French-inspired restaurant, as well as three cafés”) should have links to the relevant pages on the site--like the order links on the History of the Mouse page. Yes, the top menu has links, but between the moment we see “restaurant” and the time we find it in the top menu, our email program can ding, our phones can ring, or a colleague can offer a latte. Even if we choose to finish reading the page, the link serves as highlighted text to remind us what page to visit next.

Personality: A

About Our People is geared very well to Burdick, giving the impression of a small, tightly managed company where high standards and customer service are priorities. The page provides information on the founder and 3 top people, with photos of them at work and bios that focus on their qualifications for that work. No extra clicks, no irrelevant information: we appreciate that.

One suggestion re style: Fiction writers know that direct quotes are usually more effective at holding a reader’s attention than exposition. The same is true of bios on web pages. Instead of “Larry has within arm's reach all the qualities of life that he holds dear,” try “Larry says, ‘I’ve got within arm’s reach here all the qualities of life that I hold dear.’”

On this page, too, there should be links making it easy for readers to get back to the business of buying chocolate--for example, when Larry mentions a restaurant, or Michael Klug talks about chocolate.

Accessibility: A+

The company’s 800-number is at the upper right on every page and its mailing address is in every footer. The drop-down Shopping menu is extensive and clear. Well done.


We repeat: Put links wherever they’re relevant: don’t rely on readers to scan your top or side menus.

Does your Web site’s “About Us” section accurately convey your organization’s history and capabilities? Every two weeks we evaluate one example, grading it in three areas that are key to potential customers: Personality (Who are you?), Products/Services (What can you do for us?), and Accessibility (How can we reach you?). Contact us if you’d like to have your site evaluated—there’s no charge and no obligation. has no ties to this company, although we have often enjoyed their chocolates. Also, we sometimes show their tiny history brochure to clients—it came tucked into a box we ordered years ago—as an example of how history can be used to marketing advantage even in the smallest places.