Your About Page
Arguably, the About page of your website is one of your most important pages on the site. It is important because it contains information that everyone wants to know. This is true whether you are selling products, services, or strictly providing information in the form of a blog.But what is it that people are in such need of, that they always seem to migrate to your About page? Here is a clue. It is not all about you.
It is also about them, your audience, and their needs. Yes it is nice to know about how much you love to swim, or that you are involved with saving Orca Whales, and that you have a degree from a university, and blah, blah, blah. But how does this help your audience? (Exceptions abound. If you are a neurosurgeon, it would be helpful to know that you actually went to school.)
For many folks, a trip to the About page is another part of their quest to gain information about what you and your company can provide for them. Many times they get there to find that the voice of the page is speaking to them in the first person. This may lead your audience to believe that you are just self aggrandizing. And while it takes a bit of this to be a good sales person, a little goes a really long way.
- Write the first draft of the page yourself. Do not farm this out. Don’t worry about it being too long, but get it all down on paper. Remember, no one knows your business like you do.
- Cut that first draft in half. Still don’t worry about grammar. Now, if you know your writing skills are not on par with Thomas Wolfe or James Baldwin, hand this rough draft off to a copy editor and they can tidy this up for you, … but read on!
- Write about the virtues of your product. Instead of saying you make the best baseball gloves in the world, talk about how stitching and leather preparation is the virtue of any baseball glove. Your audience will get it, that if you are mentioning it, your company will provide it.
- Or, you’re a wedding photographer. Your About page may say you are excellent with contrast and lighting. Talk instead about how successful photographers spend time with the wedding party before any shots are taken. And how this is a critical element in the success of understanding what memories might be important to them.
Another way to handle this is to use two About pages. Sound crazy? Check out the image to the left. When the user hovers over it they will have two choices. It’s either About The Business, or About The Person.
Why do this? I have advised clients to use this approach, especially when they are providing a service, as opposed to a product. It gives your audience the ability to either focus on the business, or on you. This is especially useful if your business relies heavily on a strong personal relationship between you and your client (such as a family counselor or child psychologist). This can give you the chance to focus on your interpersonal traits that enable people to have an intimate discussion with you.
And above all, make sure that your About section is timely and relevant. If you have acquired new products and/ or skills be sure to include these items. Do not let the About section get stagnant.
Oh, and before I forget. Do you know the purpose of the About page? It is to get the visitor to engage with you. So, in many subtle ways, this page is about them.