Article by Guest Poster
This article was written by a guest contributor. The author's views below are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of WHSR.
Whether you’re a solo-preneur or part of a thousand-strong team, your “About” page is one of the most important pages on your website.
Take a moment to think about your own browsing habits: when you find a new business that looks interesting, the “About” page is usually one of the first places you go to find out more about the organization and its people. As one of the most visited pages on your website, you want to make your “About” page represent the best side of you and your business.
After all, it could mean the difference between an interested reader who eventually becomes a customer, and a bored browser who leaves your website, never to return.
Here are some tips to help you create an “About” page that will keep your visitors hooked.
For most businesses, the purpose of the “About” page is to provide more information about the people behind the scenes, revealing a little about who you are and what you do. Even though all readers know logically that real people with their own backgrounds and interests are behind a website or business, it still helps to have an “About” page to confirm this fact. As with all pages on your web site, the “About” page is a great opportunity to convert readers to clients.
By providing more information about the people involved, readers feel like they know you a little better, which helps create trust and the beginnings of a positive rapport.
Think of the main readership or audience of your website, and tailor your “About” page with them in mind. It can help to image you’re writing the page especially for a real or fictional reader.
For example, if I’m writing a blog that offers money-saving tips and my target readership is single mothers with one or more children under ten, I might picture a 34-year old woman called Megan, who juggles two part-time jobs and is determined to save money for her son’s college fund. Even though I’ve created Megan out of thin air, picturing her while I’m creating my website’s “About” page will help me keep it relevant and interesting to the people who are most likely to be readers.
This article might be called ‘How to create a killer “About” Page’, but that doesn’t mean it has to be called an “About” page.
Find a headline that’s relevant to your business and how it helps the reader. For example, “How I found happiness, love, and freedom by getting out of debt” is a lot more intriguing than plain “About”. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with using “About” if it fits with the tone and content on the rest of your website, however try exploring a few alternative options that more likely to grab readers’ attention.
Writing the first paragraph of an “About” page is challenging, and many people jump straight in with something like “Born in 1978, Chris knew from the age of five that he wanted to be a web designer”.
While that information might be interesting to a handful or readers, you need to treat your “About” page like a newspaper article. Start with the most important information to draw people in, then go into more detail further down the page. The most important information for readers is always what value they can get out of your website or business, so open with this before addressing anything else.
After you’ve explained the value readers can get from your site, reveal a little about your personal background, or that of your company. The information should be relevant to the website, including how you got to where you are, and, especially if you’re a solo-preneur, why you think it’s important to solve the particular problem or need that your business solves.
As well as information about who you are, include your picture – if you’re running the website alone – or a picture of your team. Being able to connect a name with a face will help readers feel like they know you a little better – just remember to choose a picture that fits with the rest of the website.
For your references, here are some well-personalized about page.
You should include your contact information on your “About” page, and make it clear that customers can contact you. Whether this is an email address, a physical business address or an office phone number, making yourself available for readers to contact you will help build their trust of you or the business you’re writing about.
Even if you have statistics, awards, and testimonials elsewhere on your website, it’s still relevant to include them on your “About” page. If you have a high number of subscribers, website visitors, or a large social networking following, sharing these figures can help improve the credibility of your site with new readers. Equally, a testimonial describing a previous customer’s experience with your flagship service or product helps establish the reputation and quality of your brand.
You’ve explained how your website can help readers, revealed information about your background and who you are, and demonstrated proof of your brand’s quality.
To finish, you need to tell readers what you want them to do with that information. Your call to action might involve asking readers to subscribe to your email list, to contact you directly, to share the site on a social network, or to visit other areas of the website, such as the store. Most readers won’t think to do any of these things unless you ask, so do all the thinking for them.
Just because you’ve finished your “About” page doesn’t mean it’s set in stone: you can change it as many times as you want. The first incarnation is unlikely to be perfect, and you can update it as and when you need to. If you find writing an “About” page challenging, you might be tempted to leave it untouched for months, even years. During that time, however, your business is undoubtedly shifting and changing, so use as many opportunities as you can to improve the copy, tighten up the focus, and create the “About” page your business deserves.