Commandment 1: Know thy audience. Who’s most likely to look you up? Friends, advocates, opponents, information-seekers? Figure it out and talk to them. Design separate pages for specialized users if needed. No dry resumes or warmed-over Annual Report summaries, please. DO let your org’s personality show. But DON’T imitate the Web site designer who blogs on her home page about an anxiety disorder that keeps her from working for days at a time. (Great way to win new clients, huh?) Think elevator speech. Wrap facts in an enticing overview.
Commandment 2: Thou shalt not generalize. Noble abstractions (“achieve the highest standards,” “provide timely and efficient service”) may read well in mission statements--but to hold the attention of fickle web-surfers, you need specifics. How many products or services do you offer? How long have you been doing it? What awards have you won? What do clients say?
Commandment 3: Reveal thy personality. Photos are good. Quick, solid info about the people in the company is better. Who was your founder, and what DNA did he or she impart? (From Walt Disney on down, I’ve yet to encounter a company that didn’t reflect its founder’s interests and quirks.) Where is your current CEO steering the company? Who’s on your management team? What are your employees’ aggregate strengths?
Commandment 10. Remember to keep holy the updates. Once your “About Us” pages are polished, keep them fresh. A copyright date from even one year ago suggests that no one’s minding the store.