On occasion in information architecture and sitemap meetings we've been asked to either remove or justify the 'Meet the team' page on websites.
Our response to this is pretty straightforward. You simply have to have one.
The 'meet the team' page is a vital page on any website, it's how your users and website visitors find out who you are and what you're all about. It's how they put a 'face to the name' and it's how they engage with you before they pick up the phone or fire you an e-mail.
If you've already got a 'meet the team page' on your website, have a look at your Google analytics. You may or may not be surprised by the results. Anecdotally, many people find that, after the home page, it's their most visited.
On our own website it's the 4th most popular page after our home page, projects and services pages.
Our users arrive, see what we've done, see what we can do and then have a look at who we are. It's really that simple.
Engaging with your audience
As I've already mentioned engaging with your users is absolutely vital in this digital world of ours. It's true of any business. Customers, clients, users all want to know who they're dealing with and your 'meet the team' page is often going to be your first interaction with them.
This is an opportunity to showcase your team's talents, and demonstrate what they're great at! You and your team are brilliant at what you do and your potential clients want to know it.
It's also an opportunity for you to show your team how much you value them. Big them up, make them feel good about themselves.
We recommend publishing names, job titles, a little bit of information about their day job and perhaps some contact information, though maybe not phone numbers and direct email addresses.
You don't want to make yourselves hard to connect with. There's nothing more frustrating than having to skip around trying to find contact details but at the same time you don't want to be bombarded with spam from internet robots.
Let your personalities shine through
On our website we've included a little bit of personal information, such as 'Tristan's great at Mariokart' (which isn't true *jokes), or Greg's good at table football (also untrue *jokes #2). It's often good to include this type of info as it personalises or humanises your peeps. People like to deal with people, particularly where they may have a common interest. Making your guys and girls real makes them easier to engage with.
Of course this has to be balanced against the type of organisation you're running. Sometimes this kind of content may not be appropriate depending on the image you need to portray to your potential clients.
Be yourself, don't pretend to be something you're not. Don't show yourselves in trainers and trackies if you're a big corporate powerhouse. Conversely, don't try and appear too conservative if that's not who you are.
Search Engine Optimisation
The SEO value of 'meet the team' pages is also important, particularly if you've also included links to social media such as LinkedIn or Twitter.
LinkedIn is particularly useful as it's a way for your potential clients to validate your team members' skills, they can see who's worked with them in the past and endorsed them professionally.
Twitter is also a useful tool, particularly in a digital environment where many people tweet ferociously. Again, this needs to be carefully thought out. Not everyone wants to see a picture of your Starbucks mochachino, or needs to know how surprised you were by the end of last night's 'Game of Thrones'.
With some promotion, blog posts and maybe some social sharing a good page can bring you some brand awareness.
If you Google 'meet the team pages' you'll find there's a raft of blog posts dedicated to interesting, quirky and unusual 'meet the team' links. Anything shared is great for SEO and PR, so if you make yourself something unusual maybe you could benefit from it.
Of course you need a 'meet the team' page!
Make sure you include photos, names, bios and where appropriate personal info and social profile links.
Your 'meet the team' page is your first interaction with your audience and your users want and need to know who they're dealing with.
Don't be a closed book. Don't hide your employees away, show them off - they (and you) are your organisation's greatest asset. Let the world know!