I don’t know about you, but when I land on a new website, I’m always tempted to the About page.
It comes down to intrigue. I want to know more about this person or company and to hear their story in their own words. You can also tell a lot about a business by how they present their About page through the tone of voice and the words they choose.
And I’m not alone.
The About page is one of the most trafficked page of any website, for the exact reasons I’ve included above. It’s an essential element of your site. A website without an About page is incomplete.
And because so many of your visitors will check out your About page, this makes is a great opportunity for you to present your brand and tell your story … and to convert visitors into leads.
Here’s what you should be doing in 10 simple steps.
1. It’s Not About You
OK … what?
Despite the name, the About page is not about you or your company. It’s about your reader.
As with all good copywriting, the reader comes first. The reader only cares for himself or herself, and that has to be your focus.
This is one of the big problems with About pages. You think that because it is about you, this gives you permission to suddenly shift the focus to you and your business – and to forget all about the reader.
While you clearly need to include some information about you and your business, the keyword here is some.
The primary focus, as it is with all the other pages, is how you can solve a problem for your reader and provide them with a reason to stay on your site.
That means you should avoid providing a boring bio or a detailed history of your company. Include some details, but always present your story in the context of what you can do for your reader.
Any About page can be improved by making the reader the focus. If you only follow one of these tips, make it this one.
2. Focus on the ‘Why’
Don’t focus purely on the what and the how. How you started small, what you do each day, how you took over the world, etc.
Focus on the why.
That’s what people really want to know on your About page. Why you are doing this in the first place? Why do you get up in the morning? Why does your business exist?
This can lead onto the problems you solve for your customers, going back to what we looked at in the first point.
Sure, articulate what you do and communicate how you do it. But emphasise why you do it to create a more engaging page.
3. Tell Your Story
We all love stories – and your About page is the perfect place to tell a corker.
Tell your reader about the real you, going beyond just providing the facts. Facts are useful, but they don’t persuade. People want to know about the real you and the people behind your business.
Make your backstory interesting. People want to know how you got to your position, what drove you, what led you on.
So avoid just providing a boring list of facts, and make it intriguing. Draw your reader in and engage them.
4. Use a Conversational Tone
Keep it light with your About page. It’s so easy to slip into a dull corporate tone, a professional tone – and this is what slips so many businesses up.
It’s bad with any website copy, but it’s terrible on the About page.
It says “We don’t want you to read this, we’re only including it because we feel we should.”
Show your personality. Be warm and friendly. Be approachable. Be funny if it’s appropriate.
And whatever you do, steer well clear of jargon.
5. Throw in Some Social Proof
There’s never a bad place to use social proof on your website – and the About page is a great place to use it.
So add in a short testimonial (no need to go crazy). Add some credentials, associations you belong to, professional memberships, etc. These can all fit in nicely on the About page and they make perfect sense.
Don’t shout about them: just have them there to increase trust in your services.
6. Skip the Superlatives
It’s easy to fall into superlatives when you talk about your business, which is your pride and joy.
When you start talking about yourself, naturally you want to make yourself sound good. So you end up using words that sound … impressive.
Cutting-edge. Visionary solutions. Global perspective.
They sound exactly what they are: words that you have chosen to make yourself sound better. They do nothing to get across who you are, why you do what you do, and how you can help your reader.
They only make it sound like you are praising yourself.
Instead, if you genuinely think you provide cutting-edge solutions, show how that’s true. If you think you are visionary, show how.
Self-congratulation does not establish trust.
7. Add a Quick Video
You don’t have to use a video. In fact, sometimes it’s best not to. I don’t use one on my About page (I come across better in words, I think).
But if you do decide to use a video, it can be a great addition to your About page. Just make sure it doesn’t make up the entire About page.
You still need words, even if it’s just a few hundred. A video on its own is rarely enough.
8. Include a Call to Action
The About page is also a great place to include a CTA. Not a hard sale, but just a suggestion to get in touch or explore the site further.
You could encourage some social sharing. Social links work well on your About page, and it is the perfect place to start building a relationship and encourage networking.
Whatever it is, tell the reader explicitly what you would like them to do on your About page so that it doesn’t become a dead end.
9. Don’t Drone On
How many borefests have you read lately while checking out an About page? Plenty, I’m sure.
Whatever you do, don’t be boring.
Check out your analytics. Do lots of visitors exit your site after landing on your About page? Yup – it’s boring.
One of the primary problems is that people love talking about themselves. You may be very proud of the little business you set up from nothing, and this is your opportunity to tell everyone about the difficult early years and your perseverance.
But most of this will be boring.
Instead of going on and on, keep it tight. Use good pacing and stick to the main details. Don’t test your reader’s patience.
Here’s an idea. If you absolutely must give the full version of your history, write this on another page and add a link at the bottom of your About page. Something like: “Read the full company story.”
Your reader then has a choice, but you don’t bog them down with details unnecessarily.
10. Be Different
Whatever you do, try to make your About page stand out from all the others. You can read a hundred About pages and they all sound the same, so make yours different. Make your page the one that no one else could ever have created.
Your About page is all about why you are unique, why you are special. So show your reader how special you are by creating something completely different from everyone else.