Your website really needs an About page. Did you know it’s one of the most visited pages on most websites? It can also be one of the most difficult to write, especially for yourself. Because of that, it’s often the page that can delay completion of your new website. Here are some tips on how to write your About page and what to include.
Who is this post for? It’s written for small businesses and soloists who may already have a website and an About page, or are contemplating it. It’s aimed at businesses that sell products or services. It’s not so much for larger businesses.
What’s your About page really about?
There’s a school of thought that your About page shouldn’t really be about YOU, but about your customers. I don’t agree. The reason people visit your About page is to learn more about you. About your company. About how and why you got started in the business. And about why they should trust you and do business with you. People buy from people.
If you sell Services:
The About page is crucial if you supply services as you’re establishing a direct relationship with clients. Your About page is a chance to build trust and credibility with an online audience, well before they choose to contact you.
If you sell Products:
Even if you only supply products, you and your story can inspire people. And build trust.
I see a lot of About pages on retail stores that just reiterate – or add more – information about their products and why they’re better or different, which is (or should be) already covered on the product pages and probably the home page.
The About page is the People page. The Personable page. It’s the one where you can reveal something about yourself and your story.
The About page is still a Sales Page
Despite opening up a little and telling some of your story, don’t forget that the About page is still a sales page. You’re selling yourself here, the person behind the services and products you supply.
Focus on benefits. Even while it’s about you, it can be framed in terms that indicate benefits to your customers. eg. the benefits they gain from your skills/ experience/ passion/ knowledge.
Avoid sales talk and clichés. Don’t use terms like “the best” or “guru” or other words you probably wouldn’t use when speaking to someone in real life (“Hi, I’m Sal, simply the best yoga teacher on the planet” is the sort of phrase that would have people scrabbling in their handbag for a pair of scissors to cut down that tall poppy…)
Write in third person. If you do have things worth mentioning that feel a bit like bragging, you can use the third person (but still without cliché). For example, “Sal is an experienced yoga teacher who has trained in 4 countries for 20 years and can teach you any of 10 different yoga styles. She’s produced a series of videos on YouTube that have been viewed 5 million times.”
Add reviews. This is a good place to mention what other people have said about you. Use some testimonials, perhaps without calling them as such.
“What others say About Us” makes a good sub-heading. Just add one or two of your rosiest reviews (real ones, never faked!). And perhaps link to a page of “more reviews” or “more testimonials”.
Put a face to the name
Have you ever dealt with someone over the phone and/or email for months or years, and then finally met them in real life? It’s always enlightening. You’ve built up an image in your mind of how they look, and sometimes you were close, and other times way off. But that real life meeting changes your relationship with that person, because now you ‘know’ them.
Your website gives you a chance to replicate real life, albeit to a lesser extent. Putting “a face to a name” helps people feel as if they know you.
The About page isn’t a place to hide behind your logo and brand name. We’re all more comfortable doing business with real people, so put yourself out there.
- Provide your name.
- Add a clear, professional-looking photo. If you’re shy about your looks, get a professional makeover and photoshoot done. Even if you never look that schmick again, it’s still a representation of you. (Just like so many wedding photos…)
- And if you want to really show yourself, add a video. Not only will they see you and hear you, they can assess your body language, eye contact and confidence.
Who’s on your team?
If you have a team, introduce them individually, or at least with a team shot.
This is where you can inject a little fun, if that fits your business profile. Share a little quirk or dream or favourite thing of each team member. Then when someone calls and your assistant answers the phone, people have already seen his friendly smile and know he likes surfing every morning.
Using I or We on the About Page
When you’re a very small business, it’s tempting to refer to yourself as a larger entity, to appear bigger than just “me”. You might think it looks more professional.
I started that way, using “we” instead “I”.
But I’ve since changed tack, as I’ve found that people like knowing they’re dealing with me, just one person. There are benefits to my clients – they like getting personal service, not being fobbed off to a junior team member, or finding their website was subcontracted to an overseas coder.
That suits me as I want to remain small and solo. But if you have larger aspirations of building a service team or expanding your retail business, you might be better using “we” from the start. All going well, your business will grow into that term soon enough.
Naming convention for the About page
Keep it simple. Just call it “About”. It doesn’t even need the word “Us” on the end. Some people like to get fancy and name it “Who are we?” or “Meet our team”. It’s best to stick with convention – people know what “About” signifies and will recognise it easily.
But when they arrive at your About page don’t waste your main heading on “About Me”. Try a benefit-driven headline, like “This accountant knows how to maximise your return”.
What else to include on an About page
Other elements you might include on an About page are:
- A Call To Action (CTA) such as “Book a free quote today”, “Subscribe to my weekly blog”, “View my Portfolio” or simply “Contact us” (with a link or details, of course).
- Your clients and their logos, if appropriate to share.
- A little bit of history about how and why you started the business. But don’t go overboard. Only relay what’s relevant to your current product or service. And don’t start the page with it, unless it’s really compelling. What not to do: “Back before the turn of the century, when men were men, and… blah blah blah… and I was raising 7 children and realised there was a market for women who… blah blah blah…”)
- A nice touch is to add your signature (not your actual one, but something handwritten). Scan it in and add the image. It provides that personal touch, making it feel like an online letter.
- Links to your social pages. You probably have social icons elsewhere on your site, but on the About page you can add some detail (“Connect with me on LinkedIn to find out more about… and meet some of my clients or cohorts”)
- A sign up form. If your About page has done its job in helping people decide they like you and trust you, they want to hear more from you. Let them sign up there and then, while they’re still feeling the love.
If you want some inspiration, check out http://bestaboutpages.com/ for a whole bunch of ideas (while bearing in mind what you’ve just read, as I can’t vouch for the quality of the pages showcased…)